By Abir Bassam –
The American attention was drawn towards the Mediterranean Sea as an essential water path for trade off shore in North Africa. Many of the American ships were attacked during the 19th century. The Piracy act forced the Americans to respond in order to protect their trade in the sea: “The relationship between the Ottoman Empire and the United States opened in the eighteenth century with the piracy practiced on American ships by the forces of Ottoman satraps or bays ruling Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli as subordinates to the Sultan in Istanbul.” The United States waged a successful naval war on those pirate states in the first years of the nineteenth century.” (Carrington, 2008)
The strategic position of the Middle East on the Mediterranean, the water paths on the Red Sea and Persian Gulf as a connection between the Far East and the west was well recognized by Europeans and later on by the United States. Hence it was necessary to find ways to protect the trade routes that were controlled by the Ottoman Empire. The main concern back then was not the Arabs by themselves; it was more the Ottoman power in the area. Therefore, Europe that was expanding in the world saw in this Sultanate a source of threat to its interest. In this perspective the paper will discuss the great powers and the United States efforts in particular to fight the Ottomans through supporting the Allis of America during, before, and after the First World War. The second point in this paper is to discuss is the role the missionaries, especially the protestant, in supporting the establishment of Israel, since the early 20th century years. The third point will discuss Zionism and its friend’s role in shaping the American policy towards the Middle East, even during President Wilson era.
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