September 2011 and May 1948: The Great Fear Now and Then

font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"”>"We acted as we did because we doubted whether Marshall was willing to utilize the forces he represented to prevent the establishment of the State of Israel. The State was set up in opposition to Marshall, and the American Army was not used against us. Had it been, the State would have been destroyed at once. However, the very opposite happened; the United States immediately accorded de facto recognition to the State of Israel…."[7]

Ben-Gurion's assessment was echoed by others who similarly believed that Washington would not publicly buck the Jewish Agency's position. The impact of the Second World War and the Holocaust could not be forgotten; nor could the extent of support for the Jewish state in the U.S. But there were other considerations that carried weight in policy-making circles as the reassessment of the Palestine question in 1948 revealed. Those who had previously opposed or, at the least, been skeptical of the effects of partition on U.S. policy, now reconsidered and determined that the new state could be useful in the protection of U.S. interests, unlike the backward and militarily inferior Arab states.

font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"”>"Furthermore, Israeli authorities have followed a systematic program of destroying Arab houses in such cities as Haifa and in village communities in order to rebuild modern habitations for the influx of Jewish immigrants from DP camps in Europe. There are, thus, in many instances, literally no houses for the refugees to return to. In other cases incoming Jewish immigrants have occupied Arab dwellings and will most certainly not relinquish them in favor of the refugees. Accordingly, it seems certain that the majority of these unfortunate people will soon be confronted with the fact that they will not be able to return home. Unless some alternative is prepared and some hope offered them of an improved life in the future, it is certain that the political, to say nothing of the social, repercussions of this discovery will be very great."[11]

          The resulting package is not about 'delegitimizing' the state of Israel but confronting an early part of the record of U.S. policy and its connection with the history that has led to the UN in September 2011.



mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>1.    See Irene Gendzier, "What the U.S. Knew and Chose to Forget in 1948 and Why it Matters in 2009," ZNet, Jan.22, 2009; Gendzier, "Past Tense, Present Sense: Considering U.S. Oil Interests and the Connection with Israel/Palestine, 1945-1949," May 20, 2009; Gendzier, "U.S. Policy in Israel/Palestine, 1948: The Forgotten History," Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, Spring 2001.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>2.    Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, Pantheon Books, New York, 1987, p. 95.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>3.    Ibid., p. 92.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>4.    Feb.9, 1948, The Consul General at Jerusalem (Macatee) to the Secretary of State, in U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Relations of the United States [hereafter FRUS] 1948, vol. V, part 2, p. 606.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>5.    Ibid., p. 607.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>6.    May 4, 1948, Memorandum of Conversation by the Secretary of State, FRUS 1948, V, part 2, p. 902.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>7.    David Ben-Gurion, mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>8.    April 5, 1949, Memorandum of Conversation by the Secretary of State, FRUS 1949, VI, p. 891.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>9.    December 29, 1948, The Acting Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic and Consular Offices, FRUS 1948, V, part 2, p. 1696. In later references, such as the State Department Policy Paper of March 15, 1949, the number of refugees was higher in certain areas, as in Palestine North and South, where they were described as having reached 230,000 and 225,000 respectively, in "areas under Egyptian, Iraqi, and Transjordanian military occupation." See FRUS 1949, Vl, p. 829.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>10. June 12, 1949, From Etheridge. US Del at Lausanne commenting separately on Israel note, included in The Ambassador in France (Bruce) to the Secretary of State, FRUS 1949, Vl, p. 1125.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>11. March 15, 1949, Policy Paper Prepared in the Department of State, FRUS 1949, Vl, p. 837.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>12. Idem.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>13. Statement by the President, released by the White House on March 24, 1949 and reproduced in FRUS 1949, Vl, p. 862.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>14. March 24, 1949, Memorandum by the Secretary of State, Conversation with the President, FRUS 1949, VI, p. 863.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>15. May 28, 1949, The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Israel, in FRUS 1949, VI, pp. 1073-74.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>16. May 16, 1949, Minister in Switzerland (Vincent) to the Secretary of State, in FRUS 1949, VI, p. 1014.

mso-fareast-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana”>17. July 6, 1949, The Consul at Jerusalem (Burdett) to the Secretary of State, FRUS 1949, VI, p. 1204.

18      18. Ibid., p. 1205.


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