THUCYDIDES AND THE ARAB LEAGUE: FOR WANT OF A LESSON The struggle for Palestine is both one of the most contentious and one of the longestlasting conflicts of the modern era. The initial battle to settle ownership between the Jewsand the Arabs living in the region, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, is an event that has been the backdrop of Middle Eastern relations within its own boundaries as well as within theinternational community. Rogan and Shlaim (2001) consider the outcome of this war to bethe “defining moment for the region as a whole” (1). However, the outcome, the near devastation of the Arab armies at the hands of the Israelis, was avoidable had only the Arableadership learned the lessons taught by Thucydides (1954) in his “History of thePeloponnesian War.” Indeed, Nye and Welch state that “Thucydides’ account of Sparta andAthens fighting the Peloponnesian War 2,500 years ago reveals eerie resemblances to theArab-Israeli conflict” (2010, 2).
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