THE CLIMACTERIC (2)
2. The Zionist State
In those years the little state misnamed "Israel" proved to be something unique in history. It was governed, as it was devised, set up and largely peopled, by non-semitic Jews from Russia, of the Chazar breed. Founded on a tribal tradition of antiquity, with which these folk could have no conceivable tie of blood, it developed a savage chauvinism based on the literal application of the Law of the Levites in ancient Judah. Tiny, it had no true life of its own and from the start lived only by the wealth and weapons its powerful supporters in the great Western countries could extort from these. During these years it outdid the most bellicose warlords of history in warlike words and deeds. Ruled by men of the same stock as those who wielded the terror in Poland and Hungary, it daily threatened the seven neighbouring Semitic peoples with the destruction and enslavement prescribed for them in Deuteronomy of the Levites.
It did this in the open belief that its power in the Western capitals was sufficient to deter the governments there from ever gainsaying its will, and to command their support in any circumstances. It behaved as if America, in particular, was its colony, and that country's deeds conformed with that idea. Within its borders its laws against conversion and intermarriage were those of the much-cited Hitler; beyond its borders lay a destitute horde of Arabs, driven into the wilderness by it, whose numbers rose through childbirth to nearly a million as the eight years went by. These, and their involuntary hosts, were by repeated raid and massacre reminded that the fate of Deir Yasin yet hung over them too: "utterly destroy, man, woman and child , . . leave nothing alive that breatheth". The Western countries, its creators, murmured reproof while they sent it money and the wherewithal of the war which they c1aimed to fear; thus, like Frankenstein, they created the destructive agency which they could not control.
Based on fantasy, the little state had no real existence, only the power to spread unease throughout the world, which from the moment of its creation had no moment's true respite from fear. It began to fulfil the words of the ancient
Promise: "This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven. . . who shall be in anguish because of thee".
Left to its own resources, it would have collapsed, as the "Jewish Homeland" of the inter-war years would have collapsed. The urge to leave it once more began to master the urge to enter it, and this despite the power of chauvinism, which for a time will overcome almost any other impulse in those who yield to it. In 1951, already, departures would have out-numbered arrivals save that the "amazing crack" earlier mentioned (New York Herald-Tribune, April 1953) then opened "in the Iron Curtain" (where cracks do not occur unless they are intended; the Communist-revolutionary state evidently had a calculated purpose in replenishing the Zionist-revolutionary state with inhabitants at that time). Nevertheless, in 1952, 13,000 emigrants left and only 24,470 entered, and in 1953 (the last year for which I have figures) emigration exceeded immigration, according to the Jewish Agency. A Dr. Benjamin Avniel, speaking in Jerusalem, said in June that in the first five months 8,500 immigrants had arrived and 25,000 persons had departed.
This was the natural development, if "Israel" were left alone, for it had nothing to offer but chauvinism. The picture of conditions in the land is given by Jewish authorities. Mr. Moshe Smilanski (of sixty years experience in Pa1estine) wrote in the Jewish Review of February, 1952:
"When the British mandate came to an end the country was well off. Food warehouses, private and governmental, were full and there were good stacks of raw materials. The country had thirty million pounds in the Bank of England, besides British and American securities to a large amount. The currency in circulation was about thirty million pounds, which had the same value as sterling . . . The Mandatory Government left us a valuable legacy, the deep harbour in Haifa, two moles in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, railways, many good roads and government buildings, large equipped military and civil airfields, good army barracks and the Haifa refineries. The Arabs who fled left behind about five million dunams of cultivable land, containing orchards, orange graves, olives, grape vines and fruit trees, about 75,000 dwelling houses in the towns, some of them very elegant, about 75,000 shops and factories and much movable property, furniture, carpets, jewellery, etc. All this is wealth, and if we in Israel are sunk in poverty we blame the excessive bureaucratic centralization, the restriction of private enterprise and the promise of a Socialistic regime in our day".
In April 1953 Mr. Hurwitz of the Revisionist Party in Israel told a Jewish audience in Johannesburg of the "degeneration" of the Zionist state. He said he could not blind himself to the alarming position: "Economically the country is on the verge of bankruptcy. Immigration has diminished and in the past few months more people have left the country than have come in. In addition, there are
50,000 unemployed and thousands more working on short time".
These two quotations (I have many others of similar tenor) by Jewish residents may be compared with the picture of life in Israel which the Western masses received from their politicians. A Mr. Clement Davies (leader of that British Liberal Party which had 40l seats in the 1906 House of Commons and six, under his leadership, in that of 1956) before a Jewish audience in Tel Aviv "hailed the progress being made in the Jewish state, which to him seemed to be a miracle of progress along the road to restoring the country to a land flowing with milk and honey" (printed in the same Jewish newspaper as Mr. Hurwitz's remarks). At the same period, the younger Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt, electioneering in New York (where "the Jewish vote" is held to be decisive) said, "Israel is a pocket of life and hope in the sea of seething Arab peoples. It 'sells freedom' for the free world more successfully than all the propaganda we could send out from the U.S.A.".
Mr. Adlai Stevenson, campaigning for the presidency in 1952, told the Zionist audience that "Israel has welcomed into her midst with open arms and a warm heart all her people seeking refuge from tribulation. . . America would do well to model her own immigration policies after the generosity of the nation of Israel and we must work to that end" (the only conceivable meaning of this is that the American people should be driven from the United States and the North American Indians be restored to their lands). Another presidential aspirant, a Mr. Stuart Symington, said "Israel is an example of how firmness, courage and constructive action can win through for democratic ideals, instead of abandoning the field to Soviet imperialism" (about that time Israeli state scholars were by governmental decree singing the Red Flag on May Day, while the politicians of Washington and London inveighed against "anti-semitism behind the Iron Curtain").
Against this sustained inversion of truth by the frontal politicians of all parties in America and England, only Jewish protests, as in the preceding decades, were heard (for the reason I previously gave, that non-Jewish writers were effectively prevented from publishing any). Mr. William Zukerman wrote:
"The generally accepted theory that the emergence of the state of Israel would serve to unify and cement the Jewish people has turned out to be wrong. On the contrary, the Congress" (the Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, 1951) "has dramatically demonstrated that the creation of a Jewish political state after two thousand years has introduced a new and potent distinction which Jews as a group have not known in centuries and that Israel is likely to separate rather than unite Jews in the future. . . . In some mystical manner Israel is supposed to have a unique jurisdiction over the ten to twelve million Jews who live in every country of the world outside it. . . It must continue to grow by bringing in Jews from all over the world, no matter how happily they live in their present homes. . . Jews who have lived there for generations and centuries, must according to this theory
be 'redeemed' from 'exile' and brought to Israel through a process of mass immigration. . Israeli leaders of all parties, from the extreme Right to the extreme Left, including Premier Ben-Gurion, have begun to demand that American Jews, and particularly Zionists, redeem their pledges to the ancient homeland, leave their American 'exile', and settle in Israel, or at 1east send their children there. . . The Jerusalem Congress marked officially the end of the glory of American Zionism and the ushering in of a period of intense Middle Eastern nationalism. . . fashioned after the pattern of the late Vladimir Jabotinsky, who dreamed of a big Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan to take in all the Jews and to become the largest military power in the Near East."
Mr. Lessing J. Rosenwald similarly protested:
"We declare our unalterable opposition to all programmes designed to transform Jews into a nationalist bloc with special interests in the foreign state of Israel. The policy laid down by Mr. Ben-Gurion for American Zionism encourages Zionists to intensify their efforts to organize American Jews as a separate political pressure-block in the United States. This programme is designed to transform American Jews into a spiritual and cultural dependency of a foreign state . . . We believe that 'Jewish' nationalism is a distortion of our faith, reducing it from universal proportions to the dimensions of a nationalistic cult. "
These Jewish protests, as was natural, were prompted by fear of the divisive effect of Zionism on Jews. That was but a fractional aspect of the matter: The real danger of Zionism lay in its power to divide the nations of the world against each other and to bring them into collision, in which catastrophe the great masses of mankind would be involved in the proportion of a hundred or a thousand to every Jew.
To depict this obvious possibility was heresy in the 1950's, and the non-Jewish protests remained unpublished while the Jewish ones were ineffective. In 1953 the New York Jewish journal, Commentary, thus was able to announce that the foreseeable catastrophe had been brought another step nearer in the following terms: "Israel's survival and strengthening have become a firm element of United States foreign policy and no electoral result or change will affect this".
Here, once more, is the cryptic reference to a power superior to all presidents, prime ministers and parties to which I earlier drew attention. It is what Mr. Leopold Amery, one of the British Ministers responsible for Palestine in the inter-war period, once said: The policy is set and cannot change. The inner secret of the whole affair is contained in these menacing statements, in which the note of authority and superior knowledge is Clear. They are cryptic, but specific and categorical, and express certainty that the West cannot and will not withdraw its hand from the Zionist ambition in any circumstances. Certainty must rest on something firmer than threats, or even the ability, to sway "the Jewish vote" and the public press this way or that. The tone is that of taskmasters who know the
galleyslaves must do their bidding because they are chained and cannot escape. The New York Times, which I judge to speak with authority for "the Jewish power" in the world, has often alluded to this secret compact, or capitulation, or whatever its nature is: for instance, "In essence, the political support the state of Israel has in the United States makes any settlement antagonistic to Israeli interests impossible for a United States administration to contemplate" (1956). If this merely alludes to control of the election-machine, it means that the process of parliamentary government through "free elections" has been completely falsified. In my opinion, that is the case in the West in this century.
This state of affairs in the West alone enabled the new state to survive. It was kept alive by infusions of money from America. Commentary (above quoted) stated that by June 1953 total United States Government assistance to Israel amounted to $293,000,000, with a further $200,000,000 in such forms as Export-Import bank loans. The Jerusalem representative of President Truman's "technical aid" programme stated (October, 1952) that Israel received the largest share of any country in the world, in proportion to its population, and more than all the other Middle East states together. The New York Herald-Tribune (March 12, 1953) said the total amount of United States money, including private gifts and loans, amounted to "more than $1,000,000,000 during the first five years of Israel's existence", which, it added, had thus been "ensured". On top of all this came the German tribute, extorted by the American Government, of 520,000,000 Israeli pounds annually. I have not been able to find official figures for the cumulative total up to 1956; the Syrian delegate to the United Nations, after one of the Zionist attacks during the year, said that "since 1948 a stream of $1,500,000,000 has been flowing from the United States to Israel in the form of contributions, grants in aid, bonds and loans" (even this figure excluded the German payments and other forms of Western tribute).
Nothing like this was ever seen in the world before. A state so financed from abroad can well afford (in the monetary sense) to be belligerent, and the menacing behaviour of the new state was only made possible by this huge inflow of Western, chiefly American money. Assured of this unstinting monetary backing, and of a political support in Washington which could not change, the new state set out on its grandiose ambition: to restore to full force, in the 20th Century of our era, the "New Law" promulgated by the Levites in Deuteronomy in 621 B.C. All that was to come was to be "fulfilment" of it; the Mongolian Chazars were to see that Jehovah kept his compact, as the Levites had published it. And what ensued was in fact an instalment on account of this "fulfilment"; the vision of "the heathen" bringing the treasures of the earth to Jerusalem began to become reality in the form of American money, German tribute and the like.
With a purse thus filled, the little state began to pursue the fantasy of entire and literal "fulfilment", which in the miraculous end is to see all the great ones of the
earth humbled, Zion all-powerfu1 and all the Jews "gathered". It drew up the charter of this "gathering": the "nationality 1aw", which made all Jewish residents in the Zionist state Israelis, and the "law of the return", which c1aimed all Jews anywhere in the world for Israel, in both cases whether they wished or not.*
These were the 1aws which, 1ike ghosts from vanished ghettoes, a1armed Mr. Zukerman and Mr, Rosenwa1d. They express the greatest ambition ever proc1aimed by any state in history, and the Premier, a Mr. Ben-Gurion from Russia, was explicit about it on many occasions, for instance in his message of June 16, 1951 to the Zionists of America: "A rare opportunity has been given to your organization to pave a way for a unifying and united Zionist movement which will stand at the head of American Jewry in the great era opened to the Jewish people with the establishment of the state and beginning of ingathering of exiles". Rabbi Hillel Silver, President Eisenhower's c1ose associate, expressed particular gratification that "Mr. Ben-Gurion now accepts the view that main tasks of the Zionist movement, as heretofore, inc1ude the full and undiminished programme of Zionism", In New York in June, 1952 Mr. Ben-Gurion was more explicit: "The Jewish state is not the fulfilment of Zionism. . ,Zionism embraces all Jews everywhere". Israel's second president, Mr. Ben Zvi, at his inauguration in December 1952, said, "The ingathering of the exiles still remains our central task and we will not retreat . . . Our historic task will not be accomplished without the assistance of the entire nation in the West and East".
The world would have raised a pandemonium of protest if a Kaiser or a Hitler had said such things. The ambition expressed by such words as "the full and undiminished programme of Zionism" is in fact boundless, for it is the political programme contained, in the guise of a compact with Jehovah, in the Torah; world dominion over "the heathen", wielded from an empire stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates. The support of Western governments gave reality to what otherwise would be the most absurd pretension in all history.
That the politicians of the West comprehended this full meaning of what they did seemed impossible until 1953, when a statement was made that implied full understanding. In May, 1953, Mr. Winston Churchill, then British Prime Minister, was in dispute with the Egyptian premier about the Suez Canal and threatened him, not with British but with Jewish retribution. He spoke, in Parliament, of the Israeli army as "the best in the Levant" and said that "nothing we shall do in the supply of aircraft to this part of the world will be allowed to p1ace Israel at a disadvantage". Then he added, in words c1osely akin to those of
* The Law of the Return, 1953, says among other things, "The ingathering of the exiles requires constant efforts from the Jewish nation in dispersion and the state of Israel therefore expects the participation of all Jews, either privately or in organizations, in the upbuilding of the state and in assisting mass immigration and sees the necessity ofall Jewish communities uniting for this purpose". A permanent state of "anti-semitism" in the world is obviously the pre-requisite for the realization of this law, and as the largest single body of Jews in the world is now in America, an "anti-semitic" situation there would evidently have to be declared at some stage in the process.
Mr. Ben-Gurion and Rabbi Hillel Silver, that he "looked forward to the fulfilment of Zionist aspirations".
Here, in an aside, is probably the largest commitment ever undertaken by a head of government on behalf of an unsuspecting nation. The Israeli parliament at once recorded its gratification at "Mr. Churchill's friendly attitude towards the Israeli government now and towards the Zionist movement throughout its existence". The public masses in England read the loaded words uncomprehendingly, if at all. They startled many Jews, among them even Mr. A. Abrahams, who as a veteran Revisionist might logically have been pleased (the Revisionists openly pursue the late Mr. Jabotinsky's ambition for "a big Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan to take in all the Jews and to become the largest military power in the Near East"; Mr. William Zukerman).
Mr. Abrahams asked wonderingly, with an undernote even of alarm, if Mr. Churchill's words could be genuinely intended, saying, "The Prime Minister is an old student of the Bible; he knows very well that the Zionist aspirations remain unfulfilled until Israel is fully restored within the historic boundaries, the land of the Ten Tribes".
This "aspiration", of course, cannot be "fulfilled" without universal war, and that is evidently why Mr. Abrahams was taken aback, and made almost aghast. Mr. Churchill's words, if they were considered and deliberately intended, signified support for the grandiose ambition in all its literalness, and the final price of that could only be the extinction of "the West" as it has always been known.*
The event of October 30, 1956 (though it was ordered by Sir Winston's political heir-designate) seems to show that Mr. Churchill's words of May, 1953, with all they boded for his country, were seriously meant.If the West, as these words implied, was secretly harnessed to the unqualified "fulfilment of Zionist aspirations", that could only mean a greater war than the West had yet endured, in which its armies would play the parts of pawns in a ruinous game, for the purpose of dividing the Christian peoples, crushing the Muslim ones, setting up the Zionist empire, and thereafter acting as its janissaries. In this great gamble, Jews everywhere in the world, on whatever side of the apparent fighting line, would be expected under the "law of the return" to act in the overriding interest of Zion. What that might mean may be seen from an article published in the Johannesburg Jewish Herald of Nov. 10, 1950, about a secret episode of the Second War. It stated that when the production of atomic weapons began "a proposal was put forward to Dr. Weizmann to bring together some of the most noted Jewish scientists in order to establish a team which would bargain with the allies in the interest of Jewry . . . I saw the project as originally outlined and submitted to Dr. Weizmann by a scientist who had himself achieved some renown in the sphere of military invention".
* See footnote on page 517
The threat is plain, in such words. As to "the fulfilment of Zionist aspirations", by these or other means, Dr. Nahum Goldman, leader of the World Zionist Organization, made a significant statement to a Jewish audience at Johannesburg in August, 1950. Describing an interview with Mr. Ernest Bevin, then British Foreign Minister, Dr Goldman said, "This tiny country (Israel) is a very unique country, it is in a unique geographical position. In the days when trying to get the Jewish state with the consent of the British Government, and at one of the private talks I had with Mr. Bevin, he said, 'Do you know what you are asking me to do? You are asking me to deliver the key to one of the most vital and strategic areas in the world.' And I said, 'It is not written in either the New or Old Testament that Great Britain must have this key'."
Mr. Churchill, if his words were fully intended, apparently was ready to hand
* An event of a month earlier, April 1953, had already shown that Mr. Churchill was prepared to go further, in his tributes to Zionism, than any would have thought possible who judged him by his public record and legend. In that month he ostentatiously associated himself with the Zionist canonization of an English officer called Orde Wingate, and in so doing humiliated the English people in general and in particular all those British officials, officers and soldiers who for thirty years loyally did their duty in Palestine. Wingate, an officer of the British intelligence in Palestine during the inter-war years, so far deviated from the honourable impartiality, between Arabs and Jews, which was the pride and duty of his comrades as to become, not simply an enemy of the Arabs but a renegade to his country and calling. His perfidy first became public knowledge on this occasion when Mr. Ben-Gurion, dedicating a children's village on Mount Carmel to Wingate's memory (he was killed during the Second War) said "He was ready to fight with the Jews against his own government" and at the time of the British White Paper in 1939 "he came to me with plans to combat the British policy". One proposal of Wingate's was to blow up a British oil pipeline. Mr. Churchill in his message read at the dedication ceremony described the village named after Wingate as "a monument to the friendship which should always unite Great Britain and Israel", and the British Minister was required to attend in official token of the_British Government's approval. Thus the one Britisher so honoured in the Zionist state was a traitor to his duty and the British Prime Minister of the day joined in honouring him. The significant history of Wingates army service is given in Dr. Chaim Weizmann's book. Dr. Weizmann, who speaks indulgently of Wingate's efforts to ingratiate himself with Zionist settlers by trying to speak Hebrew, says he was "a fanatical Zionist". In fact Wingate was a very similar man to the Prophet Monk in the preceding century, but in the circumstances of this one was able to do much more harm. He copied Monk in trying to look like a Judahite prophet by letting his beard grow, and significantly found his true calling in the land of Judas. He was either demented or hopelessly unstable and was adjudged by the British Army "too unbalanced to command men in a responsible capacity". He then turned to Dr. Weizmann, who asked a leading London physician (Lord Horder, an ardent Zionist sympathizer) to testify to the Army Medical Council "as to Wingate's reliability and sense of responsibility". As a result of this sponsorship Wingate "received an appointment as captain in the Palestine intelligence service", with the foreseeable result above recorded. During the Second War this man, of all men, was singled out for especial honour by Mr. Churchill, being recalled to London at the time of the Quebec Conference to receive promotion to Major General. Dr. Weizmann says his "consuming desire" was to lead a British army into Berlin. The context of Dr. Weizmann's account suggests that this would have been headed by a Jewish brigade, led by Wingate, so that the event would have been given the visible nature of a Talmudic triumph, shorn of pretence of a "British victory". "The generals", Dr. Weizmann concludes, averted this humiliation; their refusal "was final and complete". The episode again throws into relief the uneven and enigmatic nature of Mr. Churchill, who preached honour, duty and loyalty more eloquently than any before him and bluntly asked a nation at bay to give its "blood and sweat, toil and tears" for those eternal principles. He had seen one of his own Ministers murdered and British sergeants symbolically hanged "on a tree" and yet gave especial patronage to this man, alive, and singled him out for honour when he was dead. Mr. Churchill. at an earlier period, once abandoned the task of writing the life of his great ancestor because of a letter which appeared to prove that John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, betrayed an impending attack by the British fleet to its enemy of that day, the French. "The betrayal of the expedition against Brest", he then wrote, "was an obstacle I could not face"; and he refused from shame to write the biography, only reconsidering when he convinced himself that the letter was a forgery. Yet even in that book his conception of loyalty is not clear to follow, for in his preface he accepts as natural and even right Marlborough's first and proved act of treachery, when he rode out from London as King James's commander to meet the invading German and Dutch armies of William of Orange and went over to the enemy, so that the invasion of England succeeded without an English shot fired.
over the key, and after Mr. Bevin died all others in Washington and London seemed equally ready. The effects are already plain to see and foresee, and these effects can no longer be dismissed as chance. Here a great plan is plainly moving to its fulfilment or fiasco, with the great nations of the West acting as its armed escort and themselves assured of humiliation if it succeeds; they are like a man who takes employment under the condition that his wage shall fall as the firm prospers.
At all its ill-omened stages this adventure has been discussed among the initiates as a plan. I earlier quoted the words of Max Nordau at the sixth Zionist Congress in 1903: "Let me show you the rungs ofa ladder leading upward and upward . . . the future world war, the peace conference where, with the help of England, a free and Jewish Palestine will be erected."
Twenty-five years later a leading Zionist in England, Lord Melchett, spoke in the same tone of secret knowledge to Zionists in New York: "If I had stood here in 1913 and said to you 'Come to a conference to discuss the reconstruction of a national home in Palestine', you would have looked upon me as an idle dreamer, even if I had told you in 1913 that the Austrian archduke would be killed and that out of all that followed would come the chance, the opportunity, the occasion for establishing a national home for the Jews in Palestine. Has it ever occurred to you how remarkable it is that out of the welter of world blood there has arisen this opportunity? Do you really believe that we have been led back to Israel by nothing but a fluke?" (Jewish Chronicle, Nov. 9, 1928).
Today the third world war, if it comes, will obviously not be a "fluke"; the sequence of cause leading to consequence, and the identity of the controlling power, has been made visible by the developing fluid of time. Thirty-one years after Lord Melchett's imperial pronouncement I was by chance (February, 1956) in South Carolina, and only by that chance, and the local newspaper, learned of a comment in similar vein, apparently inspired from a similar, Olympian source, about the third war. Mr. Randolph Churchill, Sir Winston's son, was at that time visiting his family's friend Mr. Bernard Baruch, whose residence is the Barony of Little Hobcaw in South Carolina. On emerging from his interview with this authority Mr. Randolph Churchill stated (Associated Press, Feb. 8, 1956) that "the tense Middle East situation could explode into armed conflict at any moment. But I don't think civilization is going to stumble into the next war . . . World War III, if it comes, will be coldly calculated and planned rather than accidental".
Against the background of "fulfilment" (the payment of tribute by the great nations of the world and the declaration that all Jews of the world were its subjects) the new state gave earnest of its intention to restore the "historic frontiers" by word and deed. No Western "warmonger" ever used such words. Mr. Ben-Gurion proclaimed (Johannesburg Jewish Herald, Dec. 24, 1952) that Israel "would not under any conditions permit the return of the Arab emigrants"
(the native inhabitants). As to Jerusalem (partitioned between Zionists and Jordanians pending "internationalization" under United Nations administration), "for us that city' s future is as settled as that of London, despite its ridiculous boundaries; this cannot be an issue for negotiations". The "exiles" abroad were to be "ingathered" at the rate of "four million immigrants in the next ten years" (the Foreign Minister, Mr. Moshe Sharett, June 1952) or "the next ten to fifteen years" (on another occasion).
Two world wars had been needed to set up the "homeland" and "state", successively, and to get some 1,500,000 Jews into it. These intimations meant another world war within fifteen years at the latest, for by no other means could so many Jews be extracted from the countries where they were. As to the cost of their transportation, Mr. Ben-Gurion said this would be between 7,000 and 8,000 million dollars (at present rates, equal to the entire national debt of Italy, and about five times the British national debt in 1914) and he "looked to American Jewry to provide this money". Obviously, even American Jewry could not find such sums; they could only be obtained from the taxpayers of the West.
Everything that was said was thus a plain threat of war to the neighbouring Arabs, and it had an especial meaning when it was said (which was often) by Mr. Menachem Beigin, chief of the "activist", or killer, group which had carried out the massacre at Deir Yasin. Formally disowned at that time, they had been honoured in the new state and formed a major political party, Herut, in its parliament. Therefore the Arabs knew exactly with what they were menaced when Mr. Beigin spoke to them.
I give a typical instance. In May 1953 he threatened the 18-year old King of Jordan, at the moment of his coronation, with death under the Law of Deuteronomy (which governed the deed of Deir Yasin). Speaking to a mass meeting in the Zionist part of Jerusalem, a stone's throw from the Jordan lines, Mr. Beigin said, "At this hour a coronation is taking place of a young Arab as King of Gilead, Bashan, Nablus, Jericho and Jerusalem. This is the proper time to declare in his and his masters' ears: 'We shall be back, and David's city shall be free'. "
The allusion, obscure to Western readers and explicit to any Arab or Jew, is to a verse in the third chapter of Deuteronomy: "The King of Bashan came out against us . . . And the Lord said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land in to thy hand. . . So the Lord our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people and we smote him, until none was left to him remaining . . . And we utterly destroyed them. . . utterly destroying the men, women and children".
These threats had a lethal meaning for the hordes of Arab fugitives huddled beyond the frontiers. According to the report of Mr. Henry R. Labouisse, Director of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine, made in April 1956 there were of these more than 900,000: 499,000 in Jordan, 88,000 in Syria,
103,000 in Lebanon and 21,000 in Egypt (the Gaza area). Mr. Beigin's threats kept them in constant prospect of new flight, or attempted flight, into some deeper, even more inhospitable desert. Then the words were made real by deeds; a long series of symbolic local raids and massacres was perpetrated, to show them that the fate of Deir Yasin hung actually over them.
These began on October 14, 1953 when a strong force suddenly crossed the Jordan frontier, murdered every living soul found in Qibya and destroyed that village, sixty-six victims, most of them women and children, being found slaughtered. The 499,000 Arab refugees in Jordan drew the natural conclusion. The Archbishop of York said the civilized world was "horrified", that "the Jewish vote in New York had a paralyzing effect on the United Nations in dealing with Palestine", and that unless strong action were taken "the Middle East will be ablaze". The Board of Deputies of British Jews called this statement "provocative and one-sided"; the Mayor of New York (a Mr. Robert Wagner) said it "shocked" him, and "the good Archbishop is evidently unfamiliar with the American scene". The United Nations mildly censured Israel.
On February 28, 1955 a strong Israeli force drove into the Gaza area ("awarded" to the Arabs by the United Nations in 1949, and under Egyptian military occupation) where the 215,000 Arab refugees repined "in abject poverty along a narrow strip of barren coastline, two-thirds of it sand-dunes" (Sir Thomas Rapp, The Listener, March 6, 1955). 39 Egyptians were killed and an unspecified number of the Arab refugees, who then in hopeless protest against their lot burned five United Nations relief centres, and therewith their own meagre rations. The Mixed Armistice Commission condemned Israel for "brutal aggression" in "a prearranged and planned attack".*
The case then went to the United Nations Security Council itself, which by unanimous vote of eleven countries censured Israel. The United States delegate said this was the fourth similar case and "the most serious because of its obvious premeditation"; the French delegate said the resolution should serve as "a last warning" to Israel, (an admonition which received a footnote in the shape of French collusion in the Israeli attack on Egypt twenty months later).
On June 8, 1955 the U.N.M.A.C. censured Israel for another "flagrant armistice violation" when Israeli troops crossed into Gaza and killed some Egyptians. The only apparent effect of this censure was that the Israelis promptly arrested six United Nations military observers and three other members of the
* These United Nations Mixed Armistice Commissions, which will henceforth be denoted by U.N.M.A.C. comprized in each case a representative of Israel and of the neighbour Arab state, and a United Nations representative whose finding and vote thus decided the Source of blame. The findings were invariably against Israel until, as in the case of the British administrators between 1917 and 1948, "pressure" began to be put on the home governments of the officials concerned to withdraw any who impartially upheld the Arab case. At least two American officials who found against Israel in such incidents were withdrawn. All these officials, of whatever nationality, of course worked with the memory of Count Bernadotte's fate, and that of many others, ever in their minds. In the general rule they, like the British administrators earlier, proved impossible to intimidate or suborn, and thus the striking contrast between the conduct of the men on the spot and the governments in the distant Western capitals was continued.
staff of the United Nations Truce Supervisor (Major General E.L.M. Burns, of Canada) before they again attacked into Gaza, killing 35 Egyptians (Time, September 1955). In this same month of September 1955 Mr. Ben-Gurion in an interview said that he would attack Egypt "within a year" (the attack came in October, 1956) if the blockade of the Israeli port of Elath on the Gulf of Aqaba were not lifted.
The United Nations Security Council seemed nervous about "censuring" this new attack (the American presidential election campaign was beginning) and merely proposed that the Israelis and Egyptians withdraw 500 metres from each other, leaving a demilitarized zone, a proposal which the Egyptians had already vainly made. Then on October 23, 1955 General Burns "condemned Israel" for a "well planned attack" into Syria, when several Syrians were kidnapped and General Burns's observers were again prevented by detention from observing what happened. On October 27, 1955 Mr. Moshe Sharett, the Israeli Foreign Minister, told newspaper correspondents at Geneva that Israel would wage a "preventive war" against the Arabs if necessary. On November 28, 1955 the Zionist Organization of America announced in leading newspapers (by paid advertisement) that "Britain, too, has joined the camp of Israel's enemies"; Sir Anthony Eden, who within the year was to join in the Israeli attack, at that moment had some idea about minor frontier rectifications.
On December 11, 1955 the Israelis attacked into Syria in strength and killed 56 persons. This produced the strongest United Nations "censure", which is of some historic interest because the presidential-election year had opened and "censure" on any account at all soon became unfashionable. The Syrian delegate pointed out that repeated condemnations "have not deterred Israel from committing the criminal attack we are now considering". The Security Council (Jan. 12, 1956) recalled four earlier resolutions of censure and condemned the attack as "a flagrant violation of. . . the terms of the general armistice agreement between Israel and Syria and of Israel's obligations under the Charter" and undertook "to consider what further measures" it should take if Israel continued so to behave.
The response to this was imperious Israeli demands for more arms. Mr. Ben-Gurion (at Tel Aviv, Mar. 18, 1956) said that only early delivery of arms could prevent "an Arab attack" and added that "the aggressors would be the Egyptian dictator, Nasser" (seven months earlier Mr. Ben-Gurion had undertaken to attack Egypt "within a year") "together with his allies, Syria and Saudi Arabia". On April 5, 1956, as the UN Security Council was about to send its Secretary General, Mr. Dag Hammarskjold, on a "peace mission" to the Middle East, Israeli artillery bombarded the Gaza area, killing 42 and wounding 103 Arab civilians, nearly half of them women and children.
On June 19 Mr. Ben-Gurion dismissed Mr. Sharett from the Foreign Ministry in favour of Mrs. Golda Myerson (now Meier, and also from Russia) and the
New York Times significantly reported that this might denote a change from "moderation" to"activism" (Mr. Sharett, like Dr. Weizmann and Dr. Herzl earlier, having incurred the reproach of moderation). The issue was that which led to Dr. Weizmann's discomfiture at the Zionist Congress of 1946, when "activism" won and Dr. Weizmann saw the resurgence of "the old evil, in a new and even more horrible guise". "Activism" was always, from the old days in Russia, an euphemism for violence in the forms of terror and assassination. From the moment when this word reappeared in the news the student of Zionism knew what to expect before the year's end.
On June 24, 1956 the Israelis opened fire across the Jordan border and the U.N.M.A.C. censured Israel. Thereon Israel pressed for the removal of the UN Member of the Commission, whose casting vote had decided the issue, and General Burns yielded, supplanting him (an American naval officer, Commander Terrill) by a Canadian officer. The UN observers were being put in the same position as the British administrators in the inter-war years; they could not count on support by their home governments. They had a constant reminder before their eyes (the Wingate Village in Israel) that preferment and promotion, in Palestine, were the rewards of treachery, not of duty. Two years earlier another American observer, Commander E.H. Hutchison, had voted against censure of Jordan and been removed when the Israe1is then boycotted the Commission. Returned to America, he wrote a book about this period in the Middle East which is of permanent historical value. Like all good men before him, he reported that the only way out of the tangle was to establish the right of the expelled Arabs to return to their homes, to admit that the armistice lines of 1949 were only temporary (and not "frontiers"), and to internationalize the city of Jerusalem so that it might not become the scene of world battle.
On July 24, 1956 two U.N. military observers and a Jordanian officer of the M.A.C. were blown up by mines on Mount Scopus which, the Zionists blandly explained, were part of "an old Israeli minefield". Two Egyptian colonels, said by the Zionists to belong to the Egyptian intelligence service, were killed by "letter bombs" delivered to them through the post (this method was used a decade earlier against a British officer in England, Captain Roy Farran, who had served in intelligence in Palestine and incurred Zionist enmity; his brother, whose initial was also R., opened the package and was killed). On July 29, 1956 a U.N. truce observer, a Dane, was killed by a mine or bomb near the Gaza strip and two others were wounded by rifle fire. "Activism" was taking its toll by the method of assassination, as in earlier times.
On August 28, 1956 Israel was again censured by the M.A.C. for "a serious breach of the armistice''. The censure was followed by another Israeli attack (Sept.12) when a strong military force drove into Jordan, killed some twenty Jordanians and blew up a police post at Rahaw. General Burns protested that such deeds "have been repeatedly condemned by the U.N. Security Council",
whereon another strong force at once (Sept.14) attacked Jordan, killing between twenty and thirty Jordanians at Gharandai. The British Foreign Office (Britain had an alliance with Jordan) expressed "strong disapproval", whereon the Board of Deputies of British Jews attacked it for this "biased statement". On September 19 the M.A.C. again "condemned" Israel for "hostile and warlike acts" (these two attacks apparently were made with symbolic intent, the moment chosen for them being during the Jewish New Year period), and on September 26 the Commission "censured" Israel specifically for the September 12 attack.
The immediate answer to this particular censure was an official announcement in Jerusalem on the same day (Sept. 26) that the biggest attack up to that time had been made by the Israeli regular army, in strength, on a Jordanian post at Husan, when some 25 Jordanians were killed, among them a child of twelve. The M.A.C. responded (Oct. 4) with its severest "censure", for "planned and unprovoked aggression". The retort was another, larger attack (Oct. 10) with artillery, mortars, bazookas, Bangalore torpedoes and grenades. The U.N. observers afterwards found the bodies of 48 Arabs, including a woman and a child. An armoured battalion and ten jet aeroplanes appear to have taken part in this massacre, which produced a British statement that if Jordan, its ally, were attacked, Britain would fulfil its undertakings. The Israeli Government said it received this warning "with alarm and amazement".*
The September 26 attack was the last of the series which filled the years 1953-1956; the next one was to be full-scale war. I have summarized the list of raids and massacres to give the later reader the true picture of the Middle East in the autumn of 1956, when Mr. Ben-Gurion declared that Israel was "defenceless" and the politicians of Washington and London were competing with each other in the demand that Israel receive arms to ward off "Arab aggression", If the accumulated pile of resolutions which at that time lay on the United Nations table, "condemning" Israel's "unprovoked aggression", "flagrant violation" and the like, had meant anything at all, this last attack, openly announced while it occurred and flung contemptuously in the teeth of the latest "censure", must have produced some action against Israel by the United Nations, or the implicit admission that Israel was its master.
The matter was never tested because, before Jordan's appeal** to the United Nations Security Council had even been considered the attack on Egypt came. It
* From the start of the presidential-election year all leading American newspapers, and many British ones, reported these Israeli attacks as "reprisals" or "retaliations", so that the victims were by the propaganda-machine converted into the aggressors in each case. General Burns, in his report on the last attack, told the U.N. that Israel "paralyzed the investigating machinery" by boycotting the Mixed Armistice Commissions whenever these voted against it, and added: "At present the situation is that one of the parties to the general armistice agreement makes its own investigations, which are not subject to check or confirmation by any disinterested observers, publishes the results of such investigations, draws its own conclusions from them and undertakes actions by its military forces on that basis". The British and American press, by adopting the Israeli word "reprisal" in its reports, throughout this period gave the public masses in the two countries the false picture of what went on which was desired by the Zionists.
** See footnote on page 524.
had been announced, to any who cared to heed, at the very moment of the attack on Jordan, for Mr. Menachem Beigin at Tel Aviv "urged an immediate Israeli attack on Egypt" (Daily Telegraph, Sept. 26, 1956). Mr. Beigin was the voice of "activism" and from the moment he said that all who had watched the developing situation knew what would come next: a full-scale Zionist invasion of Egypt.
The story I have related shows that, at the moment of the Israeli invasion, no attentive observer could hope that the United Nations would do much more than reprobate it. The Zionists obviously had chosen a moment when, they ca1culated, the imminence of the vote in the American presidential election would paralyze all means of effective action against them. I believed I was prepared for Western submission to Zionism once again, in some form or other. What even I would not have believed, until it happened, was that my own country, Britain, would join in the attack. This, the latest and greatest of the series of errors into which the peop1e of England were led by their ru1ers in the sequence to the original involvement in Zionism, in 1903, darkened the prospect for England and the West during the remainder of this century, just when it was brightening; it was like a sudden eclipse of the sun, confounding all the ca1culations of astronomers.
In this event, "irresistible pressure" of "international politics" in the capitals of the West produced a resu1t, the full consequences of which will be ca1culable only when many years have passed. Therefore the last section of this chapter and book must survey again the workings of "irresistible pressure" behind the Western scene, this time in the phase of the approaching climacteric, the years 1952-1956. At the end of this phase revolutionary-Communism and revolutionary-Zionism, the twin destructive forces released from the Talmudic areas of Russia in the last century, were in extremis. By the act of the West, in the autumn of 1956, both were reprieved for further destruction.
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Biografi af Douglas Reed