Holding the Line in the Middle East
The mission to Peking became the forerunner of a long series of assignments in the Middle East aimed at checking the fatal slide toward a renewed Arab-Israeli war.
The area was beset by that whole cluster of turbulences that the postwar world has come to associate with the retreat of empire--a convulsive nationalism intent on driving out the remnants of imperial rule, internal instabilities stemming from governmental inexperience and an acute social problem, intra- Arab feuding and rivalries and the East-West competition for client states.
All of these collisions of interest fed on the most perilous of all--the festering dispute between Israel and the Arab states. In 1948-49 the UN had done only half a job after voting for partition of Palestine and establishing the state of Israel. It stopped the war waged by the Arabs to overthrow that decision. It encouraged the conclusion of formal armistice agree