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A local terrorist made good: the Callaghan government and the Arab-Israeli peace process, 1977-79

Ashton, Nigel J. (2017) A local terrorist made good: the Callaghan government and the Arab-Israeli peace process, 1977-79. Contemporary British History, 31 (1). pp. 114-135. ISSN 1361-9462

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13619462.2016.1244010


The British government had played an important role during the 1950s and 1960s as a mediator in the Arab-Israeli conflict, most notably through the development of Project Alpha between 1954 and 1956, and through the negotiation of United Nations Security Council resolution 242 in 1967. Between 1977 and 1979, British Prime Minister James Callaghan played a supporting role to US President Jimmy Carter as he negotiated the Camp David Accords of 1978. Callaghan adopted a pro-Israeli stance, cultivating close relations with the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and defending Begin’s position over key issues, particularly his reluctance to remove settlements from the occupied territories. In this respect Callaghan’s government departed from established British policy, even abstaining over United Nations Security Council resolution 446 in March 1979 which condemned continuing Israeli settlement activity. This resulted in damage to Britain’s relations with moderate Arab states such as Egypt and Jordan.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: International History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2016 14:17
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 01:10

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