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

By Martin Sicker | Go to book overview

10
The Troubled Birth of the Jewish State

The U.N. resolution favoring the partition of Palestine gave new immediacy to the expectation of a war between the Jews and the Arab states. Among the latter, it was the state best equipped and prepared for such a war, Transjordan, that had the most to gain or to lose. It was also the only Arab state that had any clear view of what its objectives would be in a general Palestine war. The British had already dissuaded King Abdullah from actively pursuing his dream of a Hashemite Greater Syria, and he made an announcement to that effect on October 14, 1947. He now turned his attention to the more immediate prospect of creating a Greater Transjordan. His success would depend upon the shrewdness with which he exploited the historic opportunity about to be created by the withdrawal of the British from Palestine. According a Palestinian friend of the king, Abdullah explained his position to him on October 1, 1947, before the U.N. vote took place:

The Mufti and Kuwatly want to set up an independent Arab state in Palestine with the Mufti at its head. If that were to happen I would be encircled on almost all sides by enemies. This compels me to take measures to anticipate their plans. My forces will therefore occupy every place evacuated by the British. I will not begin the attack on the Jews, and I will only attack them if they first attack my forces. I will not allow massacres in Palestine. Only after quiet and order have been established will it be possible to reach an understanding with the Jews. 1

Soon afterward, Abdullah held a secret meeting with Golda Meir, head of the political department of the Jewish Agency, at Naharayim in

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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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