Pangs of the Messiah: The Troubled Birth of the Jewish State

By Martin Sicker | Go to book overview

9
The United Nations Special Committee

The year 1947 began most inauspiciously, with the British taking stringent steps to improve their position in Palestine. An additional 248 people suspected of underground connections had been detained since the flogging incident of the previous December. Four of the Irgun members involved in that incident had been captured and sentenced, three of them to be hanged, and one, on account of his youth, to life imprisonment. This had no apparent impact on the Irgun, whose attacks continued unabated.

On January 2, Ben-Gurion explained to the new colonial secretary, Arthur Creech-Jones, that the decision of the Zionist Congress disapproving Jewish Agency participation in the London conference did not preclude him or his colleagues in the Jewish Agency from participating informally. Since there was no practical difference between official and unofficial participation, Ben-Gurion had simply ignored the decision of the Zionist Congress that he himself had played a major role in getting adopted. However, there was in fact little to discuss at the London meeting. The course of British policy had already been determined for the most part.

On January 13, Field Marshal Montgomery, chief of the Imperial General Staff, advised Attlee and Bevin that it was "essential to retain the right to station forces in Palestine." 1 Except for the Suez Canal zone, most of Egypt was being evacuated, and there was no other area that could serve as a base for a Middle East reserve force. Such a reserve was regarded as essential for deterring any threat to the canal or to the

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Pangs of the Messiah: The Troubled Birth of the Jewish State
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1 - British Military Government, 1918-1920 1
  • Notes 24
  • 2 - The Jewish High Comissioner 27
  • Notes 51
  • 3 - Internal Developments During the Samuel Regime 53
  • Notes 70
  • 4 - The Passfield White Paper 73
  • Notes 92
  • 5 - Prelude to Open Conflict 93
  • Notes 115
  • 6 - The Arab Revolt, 1936-1939 117
  • Notes 149
  • 7 - Palestine During World War II 151
  • Notes 176
  • 8 - The United Resistance 179
  • Notes 201
  • 9 - The United Nations Special Committee 203
  • Notes 222
  • 10 - The Troubled Birth of the Jewish State 223
  • Notes 240
  • Selected Bibliography 243
  • Index 253
  • About the Author *
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