Few people of this school, however,nhave given freer rein to their fantasies. Innorder to portray Israel as the aggressor,nNeff resorts to the tedious method ofnemphasizing any violent or hostile Israelinactions while ignoring or minimizing thenevents that triggered them. Israel’snreprisal raids for border incidents ornPalestinian raids are much more heartilyncondemned than “fedayeen” activitiesnin Israel. Neff barely mentions Egypt’snclosure of the Suez Canal and the Straitnof Tiran to Israeli ships; he intones solemnlynthat Egypt’s justification for thisn—that the two countries were at war—nwas just a “fiction.” Even an observer notnespecially favorable to Israel, ColonelnT.N. Dupuy, has commented that thisnparadoxical statement “places them innthe position of basing their case uponntwo inconsistent arguments. Either theynwere not at war with Israel—in whichncase their blockade of the Suez Canal,nand even more of the Strait of Tiran, wasnan illegal violation of international law,nand a clear casus belli—or they were atnwar with Israel (thus justifying their positionnon the closure of the waterways) innwhich case the Israeli attack was merely annormal incident in such hostilities.nWhatever one may think of the collusionnbetween Israel, Britain and France, therenis no justification for accusing Israel ofnaggression. Egypt wanted the rights ofnbelligerency without the consequences.”nA high point in NefPs hocus-pocus isnhis attempt to blend Israel with the specternof “colonialism,” which he refuses tondefine, but paints in the darkest colors.nHe maintains that Egyptian militarynleaders’ “resistance” to Israel was “basednmore on their suspicion of Western intentionsnthan anti-Semitism, which wasnrare in Egypt,” and that Israel wasnthought to be a “beachhead” for renewednimperialism. This is nonsense, asnNasser knew very well: Britain, thenleading “imperialist” power in the MiddlenEast, opposed the creation of Israelnand openly backed the Arabs in 1948.nBritain, in fact, was the leading patron ofnnationalism in the Arab world until then1950’s, although this may seem unbelievable,nthanks to the smoke screennabout “colonialism” created by Neff andnpeople like him.nIn his treatment of the British andnFrench role in the Suez crisis, Neff is closento the prevailing orthodoxy. It has beennfashionable to extenuate Israel’s actionsnbut condemn the Anglo-French responsento Nasser’s seizure of the SueznCanal. NefPs obsession with “colonialism”nis extreme, but not unique, merelyna variation of accepted leftist notionsnabout foreign policy:n1. “Colonialism” was not just unfortunatenor outdated, but somethingnhorribly wicked for which the Westnmust perpetually atone.n2. “Colonialism” includes not onlynactual mle over a foreign people,nbut anything that might be construednas an “intrusion,” includingnmilitary bases and investments.n3. Any attempt by ex-imperial powersnto influence the ex-colonialnworld is a revival of “colonialism.”nAny use of force against an ex-colony,nno matter what the provocation,nis another manifestation ofn”nineteenth-century gunboat diplomacy.n”n4. National independence is “freedom,”nas exemplified by conditionsnin Indochina.n5. All anticolonial leaders and movementsnare good (and equal); Nasser,nSukarno, Nkrumah and HonChi Minh are seen by Neff as wearingnthe same mantle as Nehru,nKotewala, Quezon and Sjahrir.n6. It is preferable for former colonistsnto be neutral rather than alliednwith the United States, or evennthe West. U.S. foreign policynshould be aimed at humoring ournenemies—if necessary, at the ex­nnnpense of our friends.nWarriors at Suez is little more than andistillation of these precepts. Neff slidesneasily over the history of the last twondecades, devoting a mere five pages tonthe aftermath of the war. Israel is treatednwith the usual bias; her victory in thenSinai “encouraged later generations ofnIsraelis to pursue Ben Gurion’s hostilityntoward the Arabs and to repeat the conquestnof land by war. The 1967 capture ofnthe Sinai and the West Bank by Israel ledndirectly to the 1973 war that shook to thenroots Israeli self-confidence and broughtnupon the world oil shortages, economicnmisery, and an incalculable strengtheningnof the Arab oil states.” It is a remarkablenfeat to describe the origins of then1967 war without mentioning Nasser’snexpulsion of the U.S. police force, hisnmobilization in the Sinai and blockadenof the Strait of Tiran. It is still more farfetchednto blame Israel for the relentlessngreed of the oil states. Nasser’s brutal, ifnineffectual, expansionism is described inna one-sentence reference to the war in thenYemen. Nasser’s hostility toward thenUnited States is blamed on Eisenhower’sn”blind prejudice” against Nasser. Neffnignores the fact that President Kennedy’snconsiderable efforts at a reconciliationnwith Nasser proved ineffectual.nWhile indulging in fashionable sneersnagainst John Foster Dulles, Neffnnonetheless approves President Eisenhower’sndevotion to the “rule of law”; “itnwas one of the high points of hisnPresidency.” But Ike himself regardednthe Suez crisis, and the fact that he feltncompelled to oppose our friends, as a bitternmoment. It can also be argued that itnwas a shamefiil moment, one of the fewngreat mistakes of his Presidency. Thatn”mle of law” ultimately led to war, terrorismnand oppression in the MiddlenEast, and to potential economic disasternfor the world. One can share Neff’sngenerally high opinion of the EisenhowernAdministration. Fortunately therenare better foundations for such praisenthan its conduct in the Suez crisis. DnJttly/Augustl98Sn