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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Fifty Years War
Fifty Years War - Israel and the Arabs television documentary archive
Level of description
Collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
25 boxes (0.25m3)


Name of creator(s)

Brian Lapping Associates

Administrative / Biographical history

Fifty Years War - Israel and the Arabs is a six part television documentary produced by Brian Lapping Associates, a London based television production company, for BBC in association with WGBH. The Executive Producer of the documentary was Brian Lapping, with Norma Percy, Series Producer, and David Ash, Dai Richards, Michael Simkin and Charlie Smith, Producers and Directors.

Archival history

Notes within files indicate that material relating to 'off the record' research interviews had been removed from the research files while in the custody of Brook Lapping Associates.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presented to the Centre by David Alter, Brian Lapping Associates, 15 July 1999.

Content & structure

Scope and content

The collection includes 147 transcripts of interviews, mostly uncut (questions are sometimes omitted), recorded in the making of a six part television documentary ' The Fifty Years War - Israel and the Arabs ' which examines the conflict and peace initiatives arising from Israel's relations with her Arab neighbours and the Palestinians, May 1948 -1998. It also contains video cassettes of the completed documentary, as well as files, video and audio cassettes, press cuttings, and published works gathered in the research and production of the documentary. Interviews were conducted with eyewitnesses from Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, USSR, USA and the former British Mandated Territory of Palestine, recount their memories and describe their involvement in events including the partition of Palestine (1947), Israel's declaration of independence (1948), the Suez crisis (1956), the Six Day War (1967), the Yom Kippur War (1973), the Camp David talks between Israel and Egypt (1978), the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon (1976, 1982), and the Oslo Agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) (1993-1995). Interviewees include political, military, diplomatic, academic and civilian persons, notably Miriam Eshkol, widow of Levi Eshkol, Israeli Prime Minister 1963-1969; Maj Gen Ehud Barak, Israeli Defence Force (IDF), Israeli Chief of General Staff 1991-1995, Minister for the Interior 1995, and Minister for Foreign Affairs 1995-1996; Yair Hirschfeld, Israeli academic at Haifa University; Shimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister 1977, 1984-1986, 1995-1996, Foreign Minister 1986-1988, 1992-1995, and Minister of Defence 1974-1977; Maj Gen. Ariel Sharon (IDF), Israeli Minister of Defense 1981-1983, Industry and Trade1984-1990, and Construction 1990-1992; Gideon Rafael, Israeli diplomat and representative to the UN, and Foreign Ministry official 1958-1978; Maj Gen Ezer Weizman (IDF), Chief of Operations of the General Staff 1967, Deputy Chief of Staff 1967, and Minister of Defence 1977-1980; George Habash, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala), economic assistant to Yasir Arafat and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Minister of Finance; Hanan Ashwari, Palestinian academic and campaigner for Palestinian rights; Saeb Erekat, Palestinian negotiator; Faisal Husseini, Jerusalem PLO representative; Walid Moualem, Syrian Ambassador to the US 1990- ; Farouk Al-Shar'a, Syrian Foreign Minister 1984-; Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egyptian President 1954-1970; Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs 1978; Shams el-din Badran, Egyptian War Minister 1967; General Muhammed Fawzi, Egyptian Chief of Staff 1967 and Defence Minister 1968-1971; Mohammad Jafaar al Numeiri, President of The Sudan 1969-1971, 1971-1985; Jihan Sadat, widow of Anwar al Sadat, President of Egypt 1970-1981; Hussein, King of Jordan 1952-1999; Zeid Al Rifai, Jordan Prime Minister 1973-1976; Josef Abu Khalil, Maronite Phalange party, and adviser to Bashir Gemayel; Shafiq Al Wazzan, Lebanon Prime Minister and Minister for the Interior 1980-1984; Terje Rød Larsen, Norwegian Socialist; Intissar al-Wazir (Umm Jihad), widow of Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), PLO official; James Addison Baker, US Secretary of State 1989-1992; James Earl (Jimmy) Carter, US President 1977-1981; Warren Christopher, US Secretary of State 1993-1997; Dennis Ross, Director of Policy Planning Staff, US Department of State 1989-1992, Special Middle East Coordinator, US State Department 1994-; and Anatoly Dobrynin, Soviet Ambassador to the US 1962-1986.

System of arrangement

The collection is arranged in sections as outlined above, with the interview transcripts arranged in alphabetical order by country of residence.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Language/scripts of material

Predominantly English with a small amount of material in Hebrew, Arabic, Rumanian.

Finding aids

Summary guide entry online and due to be published in hard copy. Detailed catalogue available online and in hard copy in the College Archives reading room.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals
King's College London College Archives

Description control

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Alison Field

Rules or conventions

National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997; ISAD(G), Second Edition, 2000.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

November 2001


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Detailed catalogue

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  • Arab-Israeli War (1967)
  • Arab-Israeli War (1973)
  • International conflicts
  • Suez Crisis (1956)
  • War
  • Wars (events)
  • Wars (events)
  • Wars (events)

Personal names

  • Baker, James Addison, b 1930, US Secretary of State
  • Barak, Ehud, b 1942, Prime Minister of Israel
  • Christopher, Warren, b 1925, US Secretary of State
  • Dobrynin, Anatoly Fedorovich, b 1919, Soviet diplomat and statesman
  • Eshkol, Levi, 1895-1969, Prime Minister of Israel
  • Eshkol, Miriam, fl 1998, wife of Levi Eshkol
  • Ghali, Boutros Boutros-, b 1922, Secretary-General, United Nations
  • Hirshfeld, Yair, fl 1998, academic at Haifa University
  • Hussein bin Talal, 1935-1999, King of Jordan
  • Nasser, Gamal Abdel, b 1918, President of Egypt
  • Peres, Shimon, b 1923, Prime Minister of Israel
  • Qurei, Ahmed (Abu Ala), b 1937, Palestinian politician
  • Sadat, Mohamed Anwar, 1918-1981, President of Egypt
  • Sharon, Ariel, b 1928, Prime Minster of Israel
  • Weizman, Ezer, b 1924, President of Israel

Corporate names

  • PL0, Palestinian Liberation Organisation


  • Israel, Middle East
  • Jordan, Middle East
  • Lebanon, Middle East
  • Palestine, Middle East
  • Syrian AR, Middle East
  • USA, North America
  • USSR, Eastern Europe

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