1948 UN Report Explodes PLO's Liberation Myth

A transcript of The Nation magazine's 1948 memorandum on Britain's role in the Arab attempt to kill Israel in the cradle was based on British intelligence documents and written for the United Nations. The Nation shows that Britain incited, micro-managed and did public relations work for a campaign of Arab troop infiltration and terror.

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Jared Israel,

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Emperor's Clothes here makes available, for the first time on the internet, Nation Magazine's 1948 U.N. memorandum on British instigation of anti-Jewish terror. The memorandum is posted in full, in text form, following comments below, and also as a PDF file, scanned from the original, at http://emperor.vwh.net/history/pdf.htm

Taught to use the language of National Liberation politics at Soviet bloc schools in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, today's Palestinian Arab leaders employ the rhetoric of Third World anti-colonial struggle. This has given us the spectacle of Cuba, which was the passion of leftist intellectuals in the 1960s and '70s, teaching Arabs to blow up Israeli Kibbutzim, which were the passion of leftist intellectuals in the 1950s.

The 1948 Arab-Israeli war plays a key part in the Arab National Liberation tale. The Israeli victory in that war is presented as the defining event, the "nakba" or catastrophe. In order to claim that the PLO and Fatah are fighting for National Liberation in 2005, their promoters argue that British imperialism, using Jewish proxies, crushed Palestinian Liberation in 1948. The corollary: if the Jews will just grant Arabs the National Liberation they were denied in '48, Arab leaders will deliver on peace with Israel.

Of course, if this story is false, if in 1948 the Arab armies fought for genocide, not National Liberation, and if it was the Arab leaders and not the Jews who were agents of imperial Britain, then it certainly suggests that their proteges are not fighting for National Liberation today.

Below is our text transcription of The Nation magazine's 1948 memorandum on Britain's role in the Arab attempt to kill Israel in the cradle. Based on British intelligence documents and written for the United Nations, the memorandum is significant today because it contradicts widely held views about the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including those put forward in today's Nation magazine.

Just for starters, the memorandum proves the falsity of the common perception that the creation of Israel was a project of Western colonialism. The Nation shows that during the half year prior to the all-out Arab invasion on May 15, when Britain was responsible for security in its Palestine Mandate territory, it incited, micro-managed and did public relations work for a campaign of Arab troop infiltration and terror.

The intelligence documents cited below show that before the Arab invasion, British intelligence knew that the Arabs terrorizing the future Israel were being led in part by Nazi advisers. These included Bosnian Muslims from the infamous Handzar Division of the Waffen SS. According to a French intelligence document published by The Nation seven months later, the British sent thousands of Nazi prisoners of war, including top war criminals, to assist the Arab attack. This was after the Arab invasion. [1]

Consistent with British tolerance for and apparent employment of Nazi war criminals against new-born Israel, the Nation memorandum shows that the British adopted a propaganda line reminiscent of the Nazis' "Jewish-Bolshevik plot" motif. The British accused Jewish Holocaust survivors trying to get to Palestine of being Soviet Communist infiltrators. A 1948 article in the London Times shows that Arab leaders were saying the same thing:



"Zionist Danger to Lebanon"
From our Correspondent

Beirut, May 7

M. Chamoun, Minister for Home Affairs and Health, addressing a Press conference to-day, emphasized the Zionist danger to Lebanon if the Jews succeeded in forming a Jewish Stated intended, he said, to include Lebanon, Syria, and Transjordan at a later date.

He revealed that the Foreign Ministers of the Arab League decided on April 26 to invade Palestine, but he blamed the Arab States for their military unpreparedness and the Palestinians for the lack of organization. The Arabs, he added, were now defending the world against Communism, which was being introduced to the Middle East under the cover of Zionism.

London Times, 8 May 1948 [Text of London Times article ends here.]

An Emperor's Clothes researcher found the Nation memorandum, "The British Record on Partition," in a bound volume of The Nation for 1948, while researching the Israeli War of Independence. It's a good thing we looked there rather than The Nation's online digital archives because the memorandum isn't in the archives, which supposedly includes the full contents of every issue of The Nation. The Nation, today controlled by a Left of a different color, has reversed its position on the Arab-Israeli conflict, more or less adopting the Arab line. Could that be why this memorandum, which so powerfully attacks Arab myths about 1948, is not in the archives?

The Nation's about-face on the Middle East is typical of current writers on the Left. They describe the Middle East conflict as an Arab struggle for National Liberation, and to make this view credible, they accept (or invent) fables about what happened in 1948, thus obscuring politics then and now.

The politics of Arab leaders was the subject of a December 7, 1946 Nation column by Julio Alvarez del Vayo, a socialist who had been Foreign Minister of the Spanish Republic before it was overthrown by Francisco Franco's thugs and who knew fascism first hand. He did not view Arab leaders such as Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former Mufti of Jerusalem, as heroes of National Liberation. That perspective was imposed after the fact, starting in the 1960s, when young leftists adopted a starry-eyed view of anything that smacked of Third World revolution. Rather, he saw them as fascists, experts in anti-Semitism and murder who offered their expertise to Big Power patrons. Observing that the British were utilizing notorious Nazi operatives such as Haj Amin al-Husseini in their divide-and-conquer strategy, del Vayo wrote that the Fascists did not then have a significant political base:

[Excerpt from Julio Alvarez del Vayo's Nation column, "The People's Front"]

But in general the strength of the [Arab] league is based on the suppression of all progressive movements and civil rights at home. Only last week an eminent Moslem liberal, Fawzi al Husseini, cousin and opponent of the Mufti [i.e., Haj Amin al-Husseini], was assassinated because he advocated friendly relations with the Jews.

The so-called irreconcilable conflict between Arabs and Jews is another bluff invented out of whole cloth by the big powers to serve their special interests. I remember the day at Geneva, in the early twenties, when at a private dinner Feisal [Emir Feisal, son of the leader of the Arab revolt against the Turks [2]] openly expressed himself in support of the Zionist cause. At that time the other Arab countries were much less concerned about Palestine. The "war" between Jews and Arabs started later, as a result of the work done by [Anglican] Bishop [Rennie] Macinnes, a notorious anti-Semite who was sent by the British to Jerusalem, and by Cardinal Barlassina, the Vatican representative. With the aid of General Storrs, who was then governor of Jerusalem, they brought the Mufti's family to power, supplying funds and other forms of help in an effort to delay the logical solution of the Palestine problem.

To suggest that the Arab League is a British invention designed solely to combat Zionism would be to narrow the issue and ignore the great dangers involved. After all, the Palestine problem will sooner or later be solved. But there will remain the Arab states, which today, because of Anglo-Soviet rivalry in the Middle East, are playing an international role out of all proportion to their importance. Ultimately they may prove a nuisance to both the major powers. The present pro-British orientation of the Arabs is, to say the least, ephemeral; replying to the charge that the Arab League "speaks Arabic with a British accent," Secretary General Accam [Azzam] Pasha said: "This suit is made of British cloth, but I am wearing it." As for Russia, if it plays ball with the Arab states, it will come off no better than it did in Peron's Argentina. Fascists remain fascists, and nothing can change them. --DEL VAYO [3]

[Excerpt from Julio Alvarez del Vayo's 7 December 1946 Nation column, The People's Front, ends here]

Prophetic words. The Soviets did indeed reverse themselves; the Soviet bloc played ball with Arab fascists, and it did not come off well. It is worth recalling that the Arab fascists had no hesitation slaughtering Middle East Communists, just as they have been murdering independent-minded Arabs for more than 80 years. And they had no hesitation in providing money and manpower for a Holy War against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s, a war which played a part in the demise of the Soviet Union. A lesson for leftists in Israel and around the world: the PLO and other Muslim extremists will accept any and all help, and they will repay that help, but not with kindness.

To read the text of The Nation memorandum in text form, please go to
http://emperor.vwh.net/history/br.htm#start.To read the memorandum in pdf form, go to http://www.tenc.net/history/pdf.htm.

Footnotes:
[1] http://emperor.vwh.net/history/pris.htm

[2] Emir Feisal famously signed an agreement in 1919 with Chaim Weizmann, leader of the Zionist movement. To read the text of that agreement, go to http://www.mideastweb.org/feisweiz.htm.