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Revolutionary JusticeSpecial Courts and the Formation of Republican Egypt$
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Yoram Meital

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190600839

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190600839.001.0001

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Who Was Responsible for the 1948 Debacle?

Who Was Responsible for the 1948 Debacle?

(p.86) 4 Who Was Responsible for the 1948 Debacle?
Revolutionary Justice

Yoram Meital

Oxford University Press

The question of who to blame for the 1948 debacle was unequivocally answered by the prosecution and judges in the ‛Abd al-Hadi trial. The judges saw themselves as being in charge of reshaping the historical narrative on Egypt’s entry into the 1948 War. That is, the quasi-legal clarification of the prewar decision-making process aimed not only at discerning the colossal failure of government officials but also at justifying the process of overthrowing the corrupt government in a military coup “in the name of the people.” The judges took on the mantle of the historian and charted a new narrative that, while focusing on the past, painted a picture with clear implications for the present. However, contrary to the prevailing view in the literature, this rare documentation shows that the Free Officers did not fully absolve the army from all responsibility for the defeat.

Keywords:   1948 War, Egyptian army, King Faruq, Israel, Ahmad al-Muawi, Mahmud Fahmi al-Nuqrashi, Muhammad Haidar

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