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Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation, and the Countdown to the Suez War Revised & enlarged Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0198292623
ISBN-10: 0198292627
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"No one henceforth will be able to write on this period without reference to this basic study....Told with high regard for sources, in a smoothly written narrative that leaves the reader with a sense for how deep the antagonism between Arabs and Israelis really is."--Foreign Affairs


"Morris has thoroughly combed newly opened archival material...and newly published studies, to produce an exhaustive, often revealing...account of those seven years of Arab-Israeli hostilities."--The Jerusalem Report


From the Back Cover

This revised and updated paperback edition of a highly successful study looks at the development of Israel-Arab relations during the formative years 1949 to 1956, focusing on Arab infiltration into Israel and Israeli retaliation. Palestinian refugee raiding and cross-border attacks by Egyptian-controlled irregulars and commandos were a core phenomenon during this period and one of the chief causes of Israel's invasion of Egypt in 1956. This pioneering study, which has been expanded on the basis of much new, and recently declassified material from the IDF, deepens our understanding of the current situation in the Middle East, and of the prospects for a lasting peace there.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Clarendon Press; Revised & enlarged edition (December 11, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198292627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198292623
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,418,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Wow, one review here is from the "expert" Daniel Pipes who, after the Oaklahoma City Bombing, suggested in USA Today that the blame belongs to Muslim extremists. What a fascinating and disturbing ideologue.
I can only suggest that the information here largely comes from from primary Israeli sources.
Judge for yourself. I found it important.
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Format: Paperback
Benny Morris is a rather decent historian, even if he has rather poor analysis skills later in his life. This book was written about the issue of "infiltration" into Israel from 1949-56. Morris systematically deals with Israeli-Jordanian modes to resolve the issue. He details Israeli policy and how it was seized to use excessive force unnecessarily, further worsening the situation. He discusses Jordanian clamp downs and proposals to stop because the Jordanians (and Egyptians) had no interest in war with Israel, not getting invaded by them on "retaliatory" raids. It is not a tough read, but a necessary one in the field of Middle Eastern studies. And the best part is, this is still before Morris read Huntington and actually did decent research, comparatively speaking.
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Format: Kindle Edition
When I obtained a copy of “Israel’s Border Wars”, I was expecting a description of specific cross border military operations.
I got much more than I bargained for.

This is not a blow by blow description of military operations but an epic survey of the border situation of Israel and its Arab neighbors in the immediate aftermath of Israel’s war of independence. Morris relied heavily on data from the archives of: Israel, the UN, and Britain (which covers a lot of the Jordanian side). He does not pull any punches in regards to tactics used by Israeli’s military or Arab terrorists.

Morris delves into the precarious state of Israel’s borders following the war as it struggles to secure a new country from infiltrators. The Israelis enacted a “shoot to kill” policy against all infiltrators and often placed brand new immigrants, who were unfamiliar with region, in border villages on the front lines. The new Israeli government worked to keep these people in place (and thus has to insure their security) in a situation where the former residents were sneaking back to the lands in order to work the fields, “steal” things left behind, and sometimes commit crimes including murder.

The Arab nations made frequent efforts to control the infiltrators with some notable successes and failures. Syria and Lebanon were fairly successful at controlling their borders, the Egyptians usually managed to insure that only “authorized” infiltrations got through, but the Jordanian frontier was far too vast to manage to despite the Jordanians best efforts (which were inconsistent).
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