Jews against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, 1942-1948

By Thomas A. Kolsky | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
The Emergence of Israel

The Palestine Question Before the United Nations

On 18 February 1947, Ernest Bevin officially informed the House of Commons of the British cabinet's decision to refer the Palestine question to the United Nations. This decision ushered in the final phase of the struggle for Palestine, fifteen months of dramatic political, diplomatic, and military developments that culminated in the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948. For the Council, it was a time of unusually frantic activities, a frenzy signifying the last leg of its desperate campaign to prevent the creation of a Jewish state. 1

Immediately after learning about the shift in Britain's policy, the Council began to plot its own new strategy. As early as 21 February, Berger urged the ACJ to prepare its case against the Jewish Agency and submit it to the proper UN authorities. In its presentation to the United Nations, the ACJ would have to explain that the Jewish Agency could speak only for Zionists and should be known as a "Zionist Agency." 2

At the same time, George Levison rushed to Washington, D.C., to learn more about State Department thinking on the Palestine question. He stayed there from 20 to 24 February and discussed the Palestine situation with Dean Acheson, Loy Henderson, Kermit Roosevelt, and William Eddy. They not only expressed respect for the Council's work but also gave him the impression that constructive suggestions from the ACJ would receive sympathetic consideration. From this visit, Levison also learned about the general feeling in the State Department that the British were "through" in the Middle East. The real question was whether the United States or Russia would take control over the region. He was told that the American government would attempt to persuade Britain to stay in Palestine as a UN instrument, but it did not seem likely the British would accept such a task. As far as the "Jewish National Home" was concerned, it was a "fait accompli, which must be preserved, and which the Arabs must

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