Arab-Israeli Conflict

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    Egypt's gonna get one, too
    Just to use on you know who
    So Israel's getting tense
    Wants one in "self defense"...

    Tom Lehrer on the state of the conflict as of the early '60s, Who's Next?.

    The Arab-Israeli Conflict is a 76-year-long ongoing conflict involving Jews, Arabs (and possibly Iranians), suicide bombings, F-15s, hatred, Jerusalem, and refugees. Don't start here on the rights and wrongs of it, as this will cause an Internet Backdraft.

    All in all, it's very much a Grey and Gray Morality affair. Depending on which side you take, you may see tropes in Real Life here such as The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified, The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized, The Empire, La Résistance, The Remnant, We ARE Struggling Together!, Villain with Good Publicity, Hero with Bad Publicity (and no one can agree on who has the good or bad publicity), The Kingdom, The Federation, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, Nice Job Fixing It, Villain, and others (Idiot Ball is a common one). There's also plenty of Cultural Posturing to go around on both sides. The exact combination of these you perceive depends on your nationality, religion, and political bent. And everyone can agree that foreign discussion of the conflict tends to suffer from the Golden Mean Fallacy and the Wounded Gazelle Gambit. Additionally, with so many sides playing (or trying to play) subtle games to their own ends, you naturally find that the whole thing, upon closer inspection, is one huge Gambit Pileup, very often conducted by gibbering idiots, with a dash of nationalism to make things that much more explosive (and we mean that literally as well as figuratively).

    Oh, and due to this conflict, many Jews will suffer from the same Misplaced Nationalism as Iranians if someone suggests that the Middle East is all Arabs.

    On top of everything else, for a patch of land the size of New Jersey and without a single drop of oil or gas (until 2011, anyway), the conflict has become a massive fodder for international diplomatic machinations and shady dealings. With Western powers treating Israel as a all-important ally and democratic foothold into the rest of the Middle East or supporting Israeli causes to curry favor with the local Jewish constituency (especially blatant in the US -- which for a long time had a higher Jewish population than Israel) (or to curry favor with a common deity whose messiah the supporters (but less so the supportees) expect to return at any moment (even more blatant in the US with the Conservative Christian elements of the Republican Party)) while not being so supportive that it pisses off the nearby Palestinian-sympathizing nations who do have the oil; and the many Islamic countries and terrorist organizations treat the mistreatment of Palestinians as a unifying rallying point, or use it as a convenient excuse to justify acts of terrorism.

    It should also be noted that despite its length (well over 60 years) and the attention it gets on the international media, the Arab-Israeli Conflict is actually one of the least bloody of the ongoing conflicts in the world today, with the combined death toll not even reaching the 60,000 mark. On the other hand, we really ought to note that the combined population of "the land between the river and the sea" (as the area is called when you really don't want to offend anyone) is about 11.5 million (Israel at 7.5 million and the Palestinian territories at 4 million) today--and it has never been larger, as both Israel and the Palestinian lands went through huge growth spurts since 1948. As a result, one would be well-advised that an attack on Israel that killed 100 people is equivalent to an attack on the US that kills 4,000; the death of 100 Palestinians in an Israeli assault is, in terms of relative impact, similar to 7,500 Americans. (For comparison, 9/11 claimed just under 3,000.) All of a sudden, 60,000 deaths sounds like a heckuva lot worse...and indeed, literally everyone in the area, Israelis and Palestinians, knows someone who was killed or injured by the other perhaps the stubbornness involved is a little more understandable, no?

    See also: Israelis With Infrared Missiles and Warriors of the Desert Wind.

    Major Wars

    Major wars of the Arab-Israeli Conflict include:

    The Arab Uprising of 1936-1939

    Directed against Jews, the British, and those Arabs (i.e. the level-headed ones) who didn't support Haj Amin al-Husseini. Ended up backfiring badly against those who initiated it, by greatly weakening the Arab economy, and turning its Jewish equivalent much more self-sufficient, while not achieving all that much to show for all the trouble it caused.

    World War II

    Haj Amin al-Husseini takes part in the Farhud in Baghdad in 1941. Operating on the principle that The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend, al-Husseini spends the remainder of the war making propaganda broadcasts in Germany and recruiting Muslims into the Waffen-SS. To their credit, most Arabs don't really notice. [1]

    The Arab Uprising of 1947-1948

    Again led by Haj Amin al-Husseini. Since the British were leaving, it was mostly directed at the Jews (with the Jews fighting back with the paramilitary Palmach, regular Haganah, irregular Irgun, and the terroristic -- and occasionally quasi-fascist -- Lehi), but once again, level-headed Arabs got caught in the crossfire.

    The Israeli War of Independence

    1948-1949: Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon invaded Israel upon its establishment as a state. Many historians -- even Arab ones -- now regard this as a huge but inevitable mistake: the Arab governments were almost all very unpopular at home -- most of them on the verge of revolution -- and so they stirred up resentment against the Jewish settlers in Palestine to get the people's attention off of the home front. This worked too well, and the Arab governments found themselves facing a war that they knew they were going to lose. The Arabs are defeated for a variety of reasons, but not as badly as they would be in later wars: Egypt manages to get the Gaza Strip out of it, and Jordan gets the West Bank and part of Jerusalem, including the Old City. As many as 800,000 Palestinians fled and were mostly not allowed to return to Israel, with an uncertain but significant number being forced out at gunpoint by Israeli military forces or militias. 900,000 Middle Eastern Jews are expelled from Arab countries (again, to get the people's minds off of rebellion) and settled in Israel and elsewhere. The event is generally known as Al-Nakba (the Disaster) by Arabs. For a final irony, the Arab governments' plans all failed utterly: within the next ten years, Egypt and Iraq both had revolutions/coups d'etat, Jordan's king was assassinated by a disgruntled Palestinian, Syria entered a ten-year period where coups happened not once but twice a year, and Lebanon had to call in the United States Marines to avert a civil war. Meanwhile, whipped up by government rhetoric against the Jews (again, a means of distracting the populace, just like the war), many of the dumber segments of Arab society began to conduct pogroms against the local Jewish populations, leading to the aformentioned mass exodus of the (formerly substantial) Jewish communities of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq to Israel (ironically creating exactly the sort of large, disenfranchised, and bitter power base needed for the most radical segments of the Israeli Right to eventually take power in the 1970s). The stupidest of the pogromites unfortunately started to think that Those Wacky Nazis had the right idea in demanding the total extermination of the Jewish people; we should note that most Arabs thought that this was rather extreme even at the time, although the complete elimination of Israel remained a major goal/dream for some time.

    The Suez War

    1956: Israel attacked Egypt as part of an Anglo-French ruse (namely a painfully-obvious Batman Gambit) to prevent the nationalization of the Suez Canal; the Israelis joined for somewhat more sensible reasons (ending an Egyptian blockade of Israeli shipping through the Red Sea, and ending terrorist attacks and other nuisances originating from Egyptian-held territory). Israel seized the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, while Britain and France took over the Canal itself to "separate" the Egyptians and Israelis "in the cause of peace." While the unprepared Egyptians frankly got their asses kicked militarily, clever Cold War political maneuvering by the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser (convincing both the Soviet Union and United States to oppose the venture) made up for that; France and Britain soon folded and evacuated their troops. Israel withstood combined Soviet and American pressure into 1957, obtaining a new cease-fire agreement with Egypt that ended the blockade of Israel's access to the Red Sea, demilitarized the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, and inventing the UN peace-keeping force to place in those two territories as a means to keep them separate.[2] This was regarded as a humiliation by the Egyptians. Arabs often call this one Al-`Idwan al-Thalathi -- the Tripartite Aggression or the Three Enemies (i.e. Israel, Britain, and France; thanks to colonialism, the Arabs had plenty of reason to hate the last two).

    The Six Day War

    1967: Yet another war caused by most if not all sides acting like gibbering idiots; Israel gets props for being the least stupid country in this festival of idiocy (when your situation is "oh shit, we might all be dead within a week", you get a pass for making the occasional stupid decision). Israel makes a preemptive strike on the Egyptian Air Force to prevent a war they could see a mile away; Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq had been massing troops for weeks (although King Hussein of Jordan had to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing so). Ironically, the reason that the Arabs had been massing troops was that the Soviet Union informed the Egyptian government that Israel was planning to invade Syria (it wasn't). By the time the Soviets had a chance to say "whoops, they weren't, our bad," the Israelis had already mobilized and the Arab populations, stirred up by nationalistic propaganda, were itching for war (both the Syrian and Egyptian leaders feared that they'd be overthrown if they backed down). The war was an unqualified Israeli victory: in less than a week, the IDF had taken Jordanian-held Jerusalem, the West Bank--which the Israelis never had any intention of taking and which they literally just stumbled into because they were pursuing the Jordanian defenders--the Golan Heights--which they also had no intention of taking to start with, but Defense Minister Moshe Dayan reversed himself on the fourth day and decided it was worth taking after all--the Gaza Strip, and the Sinai Peninsula. Due to this last seizure, the Suez Canal remained closed for the next eight years. When Arabs don't just call it "the '67 War" or something similar, they call it An-Naksa: The Setback.

    The War of Attrition

    1967-1973: Egypt and Israel trade missiles, artillery bombardments, air raids, ground raids, etc. across the Suez Canal. This amounts to little but random destruction; its biggest impact--besides confirming the bad blood between the countries--is probably an Israeli artillery shell randomly killing one of Egypt's best generals while he happened to be visiting; his participation in the next hot war might have made a difference, given the impact of poor generalship on the Egyptian side.

    The Yom Kippur War

    1973: A joint surprise attack by a coalition of the Arabic states led by Syria and Egypt. Waged during Yom Kippur, a date of great religious significance to the Jewish people; by sheer coincidence, it also happened on the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. So it kinda balances out. Egyptian and Syrian forces crossed ceasefire lines to enter the Israeli-held Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights respectively, which had been captured and occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War. The conflict led to a near-confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, both of whom initiated massive resupply efforts to their allies during the war. The war began with a massive and successful Egyptian crossing of the Suez Canal during the first three days, after which they dug in, settling into a stalemate. The Syrians coordinated their attack on the Golan Heights to coincide with the Egyptian offensive and initially made threatening gains against the greatly outnumbered Israeli forces. Within a week, Israel recovered and launched a four-day counter-offensive, driving deep into Syria. To relieve this pressure, the Egyptians went back on the offensive, but were decisively defeated; the Israelis then counterattacked at the seam between two Egyptian armies, crossed the Suez Canal, and advanced southward and westward in over a week of heavy fighting. An October 22 United Nations-brokered ceasefire quickly unraveled, with each side blaming the other for the breach. By 24 October, the Israelis had improved their positions considerably and completed their encirclement of Egypt's Third Army. This development led to tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union (in the middle of detente at the time). As a result, a second ceasefire was imposed cooperatively on October 25 to end the war. Despite the fact that it was Israel and not the Arab states that achieved their initial war aims, the fact that the war really could have gone either way (if not for some rather foolish generalship on the Egyptian side and the failure of the promised Libyan and Algerian assistance to materialize) meant that Arabs finally felt that they could take pride in their military prowess (something shattered in the wake of '67) and thus gave the Arab peoples and governments confidence to deal with Israel on an equal footing; however, it also convinced the Arab leaders that Israel could not be gotten rid of by military might alone. The war had far reaching effects outside of the Middle East as well, as it moved the United States to new efforts of mediation and peace-keeping. Within Israel, the war had a tremendous psychological impact, shattering the sense of invincibility the Israelis had enjoyed since 1967. So much so that anger began to rise up at the Israeli government by its own people, asking for an inquiry into the first events of the war. This is also referred to as 'the Ramadan War'.

    To make a long story short, the results of the Yom Kippur War forced -- or perhaps allowed (it's possible that Sadat had planned the war as a win-win all along) -- a change in Egyptian policy; with American encouragement, Egypt came to a rapprochement with Israel, culminating in the Camp David Accords of 1978 and the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979. As a result, Egypt recognized the State of Israel, becoming the first Arab country to do so; in return, it got Sinai back in stages over The Eighties and abandoned the Soviet Union to became a major ally of the United States -- with all the cash and high-quality arms that come with that status. To this day, Egypt (as a "major non-NATO ally" of the United States -- a status it shares with Israel) receives annual shipments of (old and surplus) U.S. versions of most American military equipment (rather than the watered-down export versions available to most countries) and billions of dollars in U.S. aid (most of which, the 2011 Revolution discovered,[3] went straight into the pockets of the president and his friends). So... um... yeah.

    After 1979, the character of the conflict changed, shifting emphasis from Israel's Arab neighbors to the Arabs living in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. With Egypt out of the picture, the Arabs in the Occupied Territories realized that no great Arab army would come to rescue them, and they took it upon themselves to get statehood. Hence comes:

    The First Intifada

    1987-1991: Intifadah meaning "shaking-off" or "uprising" in Arabic, it's Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The Palestinians conduct organized resistance against the Israeli occupation forces and authorities; while much if not most of the resistance is nonviolent (protests and strikes -- Israeli industries had grown dependent on Palestinian labor since 1967 -- proved particularly effective), there was also a great deal of guerrilla warfare, primarily with rocks, which the Israeli responded with full gunfire. The sad tactic of suicide bombing is pioneered during this period, but it doesn't see quite as much use as in other conflicts or later on. The harsh Israeli response garnered the attention of the global press, and got the Palestinians the kind of attention and recognition as a people that they had never had before. Several important Palestinian organizations were formed during this period. Most importantly, Hamas came into existence in 1987, forming from an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ironically, the Israelis had previously funded because the Brothers had historically focused on peacefully preaching to Palestinians, encouraging them to become better Muslims. Oops.

      • Hamas came into prominence in Palestinian politics during the First Intifada because the PLO (led by Yasser Arafat) had been exiled to Tunisia by the Israelis in 1982, and thus really only had nominal control over Palestinian territories: a political, economic, and social hole very quickly filled by Hamas, which, as mentioned before, started out as more of a religious social welfare organization. Ordinary Palestinians began referring to Arafat and the PLO as "The Tunisians" and were less than thrilled when the PLO tried to assert its authority from Tunisia by acting as the face of the Intifada.

    The First Intifada is generally deemed to have ended in 1991. Israel engaged in talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a loose organization headed by Yasser Arafat that had served as the face of the Intifada despite not actually being in control of most of it. In the end, the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, granting the Palestinians a measure of self-rule within the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the form of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Palestinian Authority was effectively a state within a state: while it could not engage in foreign relations, maintain an army, or collect its own taxes, it did have the power to set policy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (within certain bounds) and speak for the Palestinians on the international stage (as observers at the United Nations). This was seen as a sellout by many Palestinians - not only extremists who rejected negotiating with Israel, but also by intellectuals, pacifists, and the like (such as Edward Said and Raja Shehadah) who objected to Arafat's deal as essentially buying political power for himself at the cost of furthering the Palestinian cause.

    As a result of the Oslo Accords, Jordan (whose population is at least 50% Palestinian refugees) became the second Arab country to formally recognize Israel (in 1994). Before this time, Jordan had had good relations with Israel under the table; the agreements allowed these relations to become more open.

    The Nineties were a relatively quiet time in the conflict. The Palestinian Authority, although corrupt and fraught with a myriad of problems, functioned fairly well, and despite the occasional bombing, etc., things were as peaceful as anyone could hope for under the circumstances. Israeli-Palestinian trade in particular flourished, with Israeli firms setting up factories in the Palestinian territories, and many Palestinians finding work in Israel.

    However, the failure to make progress on getting an independent Palestinian state led to frustration on the part of the Palestinians. Eventually, things came to a head, leading to:

    The Second Intifada

    2000-2004. Or 2005. Or 2006.: More or less a repeat of the First, but Hamas very often took the lead on this one. They managed to figure out how to make rocket launchers, and used them on Israeli towns. Suicide bombings were also somewhat more frequent than in the First Intifada. Throughout the 2000's, Israel began and continues building a wall around and in the West Bank. It serves the dual purpose of keeping suicide bombers out of Israel, and effectively annexing Palestinian land into Israel; needless to say, it is a major point of contention in the current political [lack of] negotiations.

    The Second Intifada eventually petered out; exactly when is a question for the historians. What matters is that by 2006, some semblance of stability had returned: Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip helped calm heads, and a controversial wall in the West Bank eventually frustrated attackers. However, the Palestinian Authority elections of 2006 returned a resounding majority for the Islamist party/militia Hamas in the Palestinian parliament, mostly because the (nominally-socialist, really just secular) Fatah had gotten itself a (not undeserved) reputation for cronyism and corruption (though foul play on Hamas's side is also suspected). This was unacceptable to Israel, which stopped sending the PA the tax revenues it collected on the PA's behalf; aid from the US and Europe was also reduced. Eventually, the Hamas Prime Minister found himself in an untenable situation, and tensions between Fatah and Hamas broke out into outright civil war in 2007. This war left Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip and Fatah in control of the West Bank, leading to...

    The Siege of Gaza

    2007 - Present. After the dispute between Fatah and Hamas broke out into open violence, Hamas (as noted above) took control of Gaza, claiming to be the legitimate government of the Palestinian Authority. As a result, Israel imposes an economic blockade on the entire territory, to prevent Hamas from arming itself and launching rocket attacks into Israel, only allowing humanitarian equipment into the strip. However, the list of items that the Israelis claim have "military applications" is large, effectively destroying economic activity in Gaza; many around the world are outraged by the sheer humanitarian cost of the siege. The overall result is that while Hamas is weakened militarily, even Israel's allies have gotten extremely frustrated.

    The Gaza War

    December 2008 - January 2009: In December 2008, Israel launched a large military offensive against the Gaza strip over rocket attacks. The attack, while proving successful, also involved the use of tactics and weapons that are at best controversial, and resulted in a large number of dead noncombatants (Israel claims it's due to a combination of Palestinian fighters utilizing human shields, and Gaza being so densely populated that you can't fire off a round without hitting anyone, while the Palestinians claim deliberate targeting of civilians), with Israel going through yet another round of criticism at the United Nations over them. Although rocket attacks have in fact died down, those which continue are generally conducted by tiny groups even more radical than Hamas (and which Hamas is actively trying to destroy for its own reasons). The IDF refers to this war as "Operation Cast Lead."

    That particular bout of nastiness pretty much concluded a few weeks before a new guy took power in Israel's chief weapons supplier.

    The Israel-Hamas war

    Things were fairly quiet -- Israel was keeping a wary eye on someone else, namely Iran. Meanwhile, Hamas is still licking its wounds in a besieged Gaza, while the PA has managed to keep the peace with Israel and start something of an economic boom in the West Bank, building transparent institutions and a professional police force that have managed to create stability and attract serious investment. Terrorism from the West Bank had virtually ceased, but Israeli settlement expansion continues despite a freeze set to end soon.

    In 2023 a war broke out.

    Barriers to Peace

    Internal conflicts on both sides are a problem for peace deals: between Hamas, refusing to recognize Israel, and Fatah, which is open to the peace process, on the Palestinian side, and between those Israelis favoring withdrawal from the West Bank in order to achieve peace, and those insisting Israel must continue expanding settlements and moving more of its population into the occupied territories. In many cases, internal politics frustrates both sides' attempts to get or keep the peace ball rolling: in Israel, religious parties like Shas keep making ridiculous demands on things like Jerusalem not out of any particular position on peace, but because they want more money and entitlements for their poor, large-familied voter base; among the Palestinians... well, let's just say that Hamas taking over Gaza in 2007 is merely the most extreme example of Palestinian We ARE Struggling Together!. Extremist rhetoric and undisguised bigotry also comes from the elected leadership of both, with a rise in power of the extremist nationalistic parties in Israel, and Hamas continuing to call for the destruction of Israel and ethnic cleansing of Jews (the latter of which is uncomfortably similar to the activities of Those Wacky Nazis). While a lot of this is just rhetoric (both Hamas leader Ismail Haniya and Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Lieberman have proven far more level-headed in practice than their speeches might lead you to believe), a lot of it isn't, and optimism about peace tends to be regarded as at least a touch naive.

    On the other hand, 2011 brought a development out of nowhere: the protest movement/revolutionary wave that swept across the Arab world. Though it didn't get that much press, the Palestinians did that as well, chiefly directed at Hamas and Fatah, asking them to give up their petty differences and get done with the independence thing already. Under pressure, the parties have already signed a notional unity pact, which sent Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu into hysterics, as a united Palestinian front is the last thing he wants. This comes ahead of the culmination of Mahmoud Abbas' big Plan B, launched upon the failure of the most recent round of talks (on account of the aforementioned settlement thing): try to get the United Nations to admit Palestine as a member in its upcoming meeting in September 2011. While likely to fail, a large enough number of member states voting "yes" -- or a slightly smaller number, but including France and Britain (who have indicated that they might be persuaded to do it) -- would be a huge embarrassment to the Israelis, who are doing their best to stop it happening. As for the rest of the world, it appears that at least some countries would like Palestine to have a government at least theoretically capable of running its territory in one piece (rather than divided against itself) before considering voting in favor of the motion, which is where the unity pact comes in: if they can get it working (which is not guaranteed), there will be an interim all-Palestine technocratic government within a matter of weeks or months, with a permanent elected government coming within no more than a year.


    Israel's activity in Lebanon is also worth noting -

    • In 1976-77, Palestinian guerillas launch attacks from Lebanon into Israel. In 1978, Israel invades Lebanon and fights against PLO fighters, and the various factions in Lebanon's civil war. A year later, Israel withdraws, but retains control over a 'Security Buffer' in southern Lebanon. They don't leave this "buffer" until 2000.
    • In 1982 Israel heavily bombs Beirut, in violation of a ceasefire with the PLO signed the previous July; over 300 people are killed and a thousand wounded. A group known as the Abu Nidal Organization, headed by a man who had parted ways with the PLO a decade earlier and had since launched attacks on both Israeli and PLO officials, attempts to assassinate the Israeli ambassador to London; in response, Israel heavily bombs the PLO in Lebanon (despite the fact that they were also enemies of the Abu Nidal Organization). Rocket attacks are launched by the PLO and Israel invades Lebanon again. Israeli troops besiege Beirut for a month, inflicting heavy casualties on the PLO and both Palestinian refugees and Lebanese civilians before withdrawing. PLO leadership in Lebanon is exiled for nearly 20 years, but is quickly replaced by various Lebanese Shi'a militias. During the conflict, the Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia massacred up to three thousand Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila; the independent Israeli Kahan Commission finds that the IDF was indirectly responsible for the business, and that then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon had "personal responsibility" for the events; Sharon was forced to resign.
    • The July War (2006): In the aftermath of the Lebanese Civil War, an organization known as Hezbollah, literally the "Party of God", rises to represent Shia interests. In 2006, Hezbollah successfully captures two Israeli soldiers, holding them up for ransom for a list of demands. Israel declares this to be an act of war and invades. The conflict is ultimately inconclusive; Israel was able to dislodge Hezbollah from southern Lebanon, but suffers a (estimated) kill ratio of 1:6, which is pretty extraordinary for a militia force, and considerably less one sided than Israel's wars are usually known for. Politically, it is a major victory for Hezbollah. However, most of Beirut and several other Lebanese cities suffer extreme damage from Israeli airstrikes, more or less undoing most of the progress and economic development since the end of the civil war in 1990. The two kidnapped soldiers are returned to Israel in a prisoner deal which sparks massive controversy in Israel. Not only were both soldiers Dead All Along, the IDF's medical analysts examining the wreckage of the soldier's now ruined transport had known so and reported so from the very beginning; the politicians just didn't care.

    There are also various acts of outright terrorism throughout this debacle, such as the assassination of Israel's athletic team just before the Olympics in Munich 1972.

    Works set in the Arab-Israeli Conflict include:

    Anime and Manga


    • Unsurprisingly this has affected many artists who are victims or otherwise touched by such conflicts in real life, and it shows in their work as NPR reported a few months following the attacks on October 7, 2023.

    Comic Books

    • The infamous Batman story arc A Death In the Family takes place during one of these conflicts. Unfortunate Implications abounded, especially since half the plot revolved around the Joker selling a nuke to Arab terrorists Iran.
    • The graphic novel Palestine by Joe Sacco talks about the daily life in the Palestinian territories. Footnotes In Gaza is a Rashomon-esque account on a single "footnote in history", the killing of 100 Palestinian men in the town of Rafah in 1956.


    • The Last King of Scotland also touches on the Entebbe Incident; Nicholas Garrigan (James MacAvoy's character) uses it as his cover to leave a Uganda he finds increasingly to be a hellhole.
    • Sword of Gideon, and the Spielberg remake Munich.
    • The movie Cast A Giant Shadow.
    • West Bank Story, the 2007 Academy Award winner for Best Live-Action short film, a musical (based on another musical; which one should be obvious to anyone not living under a rock) about a pair of Star-Crossed Lovers and their families' feuding falafel huts keeping them apart. A real-life Crowning Moment of Heartwarming occurred at the Oscars when the delighted filmmaker collected his statuette, and he thanked the Academy and meant it, for once, adding that "Hope is not hopeless."
    • Paradise Now, a 2005 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Film (from "the Palestinian Territories"), told the story of two suicide bombers who are sent on a mission to attack in Israel.
    • The Israeli film Beaufort is about Israeli soldiers about to pull out a base in Lebanon after the 1982 invasion.
    • American and Russian pilots team up to defend Israel in Iron Eagle II from an unnamed Middle Eastern aggressor (probably Iran, though No Middle East Dictatorships We Don't Like Were Harmed).
    • Implausibly, the Left Behind series posits a frankly ridiculous end to the conflict (based on Israel's amazing advances in agriculture, of all things) and (like Warday) leading to the Arab countries (or rather what's left of them, with the Biblical "Nile-to-Euphrates" prophecy requiring Israel to absorb all of Syria and Jordan and good chunks of Egypt and Iraq) becoming Israeli puppets. All this is in preparation for Israel to miraculously survive an out-of-the-blue nuclear attack by Russia and Ethiopia. Yes, we know.
    • The Adam Sandler comedy You Don't Mess With the Zohan was based around this and had plenty of political points made about besides playing it for laughs.
    • All of Eytan Fox's films; most notably The Bubble and Yossi And Jagger.


    • The novels The Hope and The Glory by Herman Wouk cover the conflict from the 1948 to the 1980s.
    • The John Le Carre novel The Little Drummer Girl
    • The Chosen alludes to the 1948 war as seen by Jews in New York. One of Reuven Malter's schoolmates dies there.
    • Looms large in the Backstory of the Tom Clancy novel The Sum of All Fears (the film version substituted Nazis for Arabs).
    • The novel and film of the novel Exodus, by Leon Uris, deals with the events surrounding the 1948 creation of the state of Israel and the invasion by Arab states that immediately followed.
    • Although the book focuses on the United States in the aftermath of a nuclear war, Warday mentions that Israel and the Arabs have fought another war. The details aren't mentioned, but the Arab nations are now apparently Israeli puppet states.
    • The novel Cyborg, which was adapted as The Six Million Dollar Man, has Steve Austin (the astronaut, not the wrestler) stealing a Soviet fighter from Egypt during the War of Attrition.
    • The Barrett Tillman novel Warriors involves a group of Saudi pilots in an Arab-Israeli war using F-20 Tigersharks and trained by a pair of Americans, with the prologue set during the Yom Kippur War.
    • The Odessa File. set in 1963, involves a group of ex-Nazis trying to provide Egypt with rocket guidance technology to deliver bio-weapons against Israel.
    • The first few chapters of Chris Hadfield's novel The Defector are set during the beginning of the Yom Kippur War, presenting the Israeli leadership in a sympathetic light. The story quickly shifts away from the Middle East altogether, though.

    Live-Action TV


    • As the page quote states, a nuclear escalation between Egypt and Israel is implied in the Tom Lehrer song Who's Next?.

    Video Games

    • Conflict Middle East Political Simulator allows you to play as the Israelis, and you have the main goal of destroying Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt. The good news for doves though is that you can choose to please the Americans and the International Community by establishing an Palestinian homeland. Don't expect to win the Nobel Peace Prize though.
    • One of the eBooks scattered in the world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution mentions the formation of a United Arab Front sometime before 2027, followed by a joint Pan-Arab invasion and occupation of Israel. The prequel novel implies that Jaron Namir, one of the enemies in the game, sustained injuries in said conflict and thus became augmented.
    • The Steel Panthers games feature many scenarios from the various wars, usually (but not always) intended to be played from the Israeli side.

    Western Animation

    Other Media

    • Three films and several novels based around the Entebbe Incident (known to Israelis and the IDF as "Operation Thunderbolt" or occasionally as "Operation Yonatan" after its commander, Col. Yonatan Netanyahu[4], KIA), the Israeli commando rescue of over 100 hostages held by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP--the Palestinian communists) and the Revolutionary Cells (of Germany, also communists) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.
    1. Most Muslims fighting for the Axis were actually Indians aligned with Japan and not Germany, as part of the Azad Hind/Indian National Army movement against The Raj, making it (again) a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Iraq did accept German and Italian assistance in fighting their war against Britain, but that, too, was more a question of fighting the local imperialists.
    2. This particular idea was the brainchild of Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson; he received the 1957 Nobel Prize for Peace for this and his diplomatic efforts in ending the war.
    3. to nobody's surprise
    4. Yes that Netanyahu; they were brothers