Sie sind auf Seite 1von 384

956.9^ HBls

956.94 HSls





State in the making


Bookswill be issued onlyon presentationof report proper holderall imperfections is responsible discovered. for all books drawn

books may be retained

finding books marked, de-

expected to

same at

the last borrower will be held

The card

library cards.

tor twoUnlessweeks.labeledBorrowersotherwise,

taced or mutilated are


on this card.

notices.Penalty for over-due books 2c a day plus cost of


cards and change of residence must be re-


Public Library

Kansas City, Mo.



OD01 03bb_51!



s TaT e


Translated from the Hebrew by





published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.



AH rights reserved. No part of this book may be re-

produced in any form without permission in writing

from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may

quote brief passages in a review to be printed

in a magazine or newspaper.

Published simultaneously inCanada. 5y McClelland & Stewart Limited

Manufactiwed in the United States of America




MI observer who looks back at the years 194548, ancy. The history of nations offers few parallels for such

rapid change.

The military campaign for Israel's liberation during

1948 and 1949, as well as tne subsequent economic ef-

forts, was waged with the world's full cognizance, and the doors of inner sanctums, and in elegant drawing- in the collective experience of an evolving drama were

Although the small group of people then concerned

fully revealed.

history, that the.veil may be lifted and the record more

years after the event, when the epoch has moved into

who were active in its prosecution. It is only now, some

the period immediately preceding Israel's emergence into

statehood, cannot help feeling how remote and almost

forgotten are events that took place, by the measure-

ment of history, so recently. It is, indeed, difficult to

realize that only a few years separate us from a time

fraught with so much perplexity, anxiety, and expect-

many among the Jewish people had a hand in both. But

the record of the political struggle from 1945 to 1948

remains still partly undisclosed.

tory The which secrets unfolds of diplomatic in plush-carpeted action that corridors, aspect of behind his-


have been retained in the custody of the few


for redemption and by the innate strength of the cause

and of an indomitable if hard-pressed Palestine Jewry,

there were times when they felt fearfully alone in con-

templating the heavy burden of responsibility. Conse-

quently, while this work represents the subjective ob- This book was put together from hurried notes made

during those urgent days. It is an attempt to weave into

mind, and fighter.

a readable narrative the details of passing events, histori-

cal background, andpurelypersonal experiences. Impres-

sions, daily happenings, analyses, evaluations, and com-

passed away was Zalman Liff, friend, oracle, creative

servations of its author, and is by no means an objective

review of historic occurrences, the parts played by his

associates cannot be too strongly emphasized even in

these brief introductory remarks.

Among those associates one of the noble souls who has

reservation mentaries are should governed be borne by that in yardstick. mind by the Their reader. equation of close collaboration with him.


is in the mood of their time and is not to be envisaged

from the longer historical perspective of today. This

I wrote the book originally in rough, unfinished He-

brew draft. It was given its later Hebrew style by my

son Dan Horowitz, who took the mass of material and

gave it its final form. The work, therefore, is the result

David Horowitz





Chapter 1 Hope Deferred




Old School Ties



Pen and Sword



Friends and Foes



Interlude at Sea



On theShoresofColumbia



TheCommittee Begins Its Work . 3 5


AnEveningwith Grossman



Homeward Bound




Chapter 10

The Local Scene




The Hearings in Jerusalem


12 Sights and Insights

1 3 MoreJourneyings

14 Pros and Cons of the Report

15 Conference in Paris

16 Weighing the Prospects

1 7 Curfew, Arrests, andBombshells








In Terror the CaldronAgain andCounter-Terror

27 The Gulf Widens

22 The Enigma of the British Atti-


23 A Strange Encounter .


3t tfje $ar of tfje


A Ray of Hope



26 A To^r o/ />& Holy Land

27 Public Hearings and the Under-


28 BackmGeneva

29 PolemicandBloodshed

30 IPs a Small World

37 Eleven Solutions

32 Interlude with Grossman and

B^I>nche ,

33 As Mourners at a Gentile Feast

34 Success from Schism

35 Harold Beeley

36 A TalkwithAzzamPasha

37 Lake Success

38 The Key in British Hands

39 In the Scales




146 140



1 66












41 The Frontiers of the State

42 Yvigoslavia's Attitude

43 Between Hope and Despair

44 The Bombshell of the American-


Russian Agreement




45 The Time for Decision


<0n tfje

Chapter46 The Decision Battle Begins and Its Place in His-




48 The Shooting War

49 The Meshes from London

50 Back Home Again


275 291



3 1 2f




5 1 TheDeclarationofIndependence 33 *"







group of us sat clustered around a radio in Je- Millions of people had just gone to the polls in a green

and foreign island far away overseas. Borough by bor-

ough, town after town swelled the tally of votes and

magnified the Labour Party's victory in the first general

election held in Great Britain for many years. The time

was the early summer of 1945.

The score was encouraging. My fellow guests at the

hotel, mostly public men and labor leaders, were over-

tion figures.

excitement to the intermittent announcements of elec-

rusalem. We were listening intently and with mounting

come with joy. A jubilant atmosphere pervaded the

Yishuv, the Jewish population of Palestine. Even those

who had little or no sympathy with the Socialist move-

ment celebrated the triumph of the British Labour Party

because it had promised to revoke the restrictions im-

posed under the 1939 White Paper policy, open the gates Then perturbing rumors began to filter into the coun-

try. The British labor leaders were reported to be evad-

ing their undertaking. Nevertheless, there was still no occupations, it would undoubtedly fulfill its promise hensive. Then came the great shock. It all set out as a

gan to grumble and complain, to be puzzled and appre-

faint and feeble whisper, which quickly assumed sub-

stance and spread like wildfire. Within no time at all the

incredible truth had come out: the British Government

intended to maintain the hated White Paper policy in all

the articles of its repression.

ofthe country, andimplement the 1922 Mandate whole-


Days and weeks passed. The Yishuv awaited the proc-

lamation of the redemption with bated breath. But no

proclamation came.

Everyone was seized by the general feeling of tense

and eager expectation of blessed relief to no avail.

inclination to credit rumor.

The Yishuv tried to understand and to find some ra-

tional explanation. The Labour Government, it was ar-

gued, had only just assumed office, it had numerous pre-

without fail.

But a feeling of suspicion began to grow. People be-

The wave of bitterness swept wider. Disappointment,

anxiety, despair, and restlessness spread through the

Yishuv. A titanic global war had been fought and was

over; the intoxication of victory, the feeling of elation

that "we're still alive in spite of all that has happened"

these had subsided. The curtain hiding the European

Jewish catastrophe had been wrenched off. The millions

ofpeople massacred, the death of great communities, and

the vast ocean of blood held everyone aghast. The de-

spondency, desperation, and rebelliousness became deep-


TheYishuv stood at the crossroads, angryandmutter-

ing, yet restraining itself so long as the tiniest ray of Uneasy doubts and penetrating uncertainties began to

eat away at the vitals. A mood of frustration, despair,

paign for its very right to struggle.

and revolt permeated the youth, and not the youth

alone. Faith in the legal and constitutional methods of

political activity was undermined.

The atmosphere in the countrywas electric and super-

acts of humiliation and insult; of fighting a stern cam-

showing self-control and ignoring a thousand and one

realized the necessity, at a time of bitter struggle, of

hope and possible salvation flickered on the horizon. It

charged, as if in anticipation of some unknown dreadful

outburst. Terror, mass searches, arrests, hidden forces

lurking weapons all of in these abounding the bred night mystery on ready all to sides; and kill menace. the and murky revolt; twilight murderous of

an epoch in transition; furtive shadows flitting in the

darkened alleyways of Jerusalem and along the highways

People pointed to the example of Ireland and re-

called its history. But comparisons, as is their wont, were

equivocal. The conclusions drawn from these compari-

sons were utterly conflicting. Themajoritysawin terror-

ism the symptoms of moral decay. The few regarded

violence as an expression of a national will to live and

the sole path to redemption. The profound chasm divid-

ing the two camps was unbridged and unbridgeable. No to the United States. Moshe Shertok, then the head of

one dared predict the eventual outcome.

And the foul weeds of resentment and belligerence

flourished in a soil fertilized by despair and disillusion-


In October 1945 I was asked to undertake a mission the Jewish Agency on the foremost issues confronting

Before leaving, I had many talks with colleagues at

metropolis to help in lobbying and political negotiation.

cabled inviting me to spend a few weeks in the British

Government of Israel, was in London at the time. He

Moshe Sharett, the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the

the Jewish Agency's Political Department and now, as

us. The international scene overshadowed our local prob-

lems. Some ascribed the adamant attitude of "Whitehall

toward continued Jewish immigration into Palestine and

its insistence on adhering to the Chamberlain Govern-

ment's White Paper to the current Russo-British differ-

ences and the move to placate the Arabs. The gulf be-

tween Jewry and Britain was being widened by the fact

that the White Paper was the only surviving article of

Neville Chamberlain's policy Munich, appeasement of

Hitler and of Fascism to show what at least was demonstrative opposition to

the more pronounced aspects of administrative malevo-

lence and denial of obligations immigration and settle-

ment. Yet it became fairly clear that, technically and

psychologically, it would be difficult to limit the gath-

ering opposition to those objectives.

official line. There was nevertheless a growing tendency

Repudiation of violence continued to be the Yishuv's

spite the extermination of a third of the Jewish people.

and it was being persisted in de-

The Yishuv consequently split into "activists" and ence A of period the terrorists of prolonged might be and strengthened unyielding if struggle, Yishuv

"moderates." The fissure cut across faction and party

lines. The "activists" argued the imperative necessity of

awakening the world's conscience and insisted that it was

essential to dispense with mere vocal protestations. But

the whole moral character of the Zionist movement,

which recoiled from methods of political violence, served

as an effective curb.

marked by grim realities, controversy, confusion, and

contention, was initiated. It was feared that the influ-

institutions confined themselves to lodging verbal pro-

tests. The prevalent frenzy and the mood of "Let my

soul perish with the Philistines" might spread and bring

the Yishuv close to a position bristling with rash ad-

venture and danger.

The conflict of opinion grew more acute. The con-

stantly reiterated British statement that "the Jews are

right but the Arabs are going to make trouble" was

deemed likely to provoke some Jewish groups into mak-

ing trouble themselves in order to get a hearing for their

case, so tliat the capacity for causing "trouble" should

look as if it were going to be exercised by Arabs and

Jews simultaneously.

Just before my departure, one of the commanders

of the Haganah (the Jewish self-defense organization)

asked me to tell our friends in London of a tentative

agreement with the dissidents in the Yishuvwhichwould

place them under central discipline and thus prevent

complete chaos and terrorist dominance in its more dev-

astating forms. The man asserted that he had succeeded

in getting the extremists to accept public authority and

that they would henceforth obey his orders. But he ad-

mitted cording that to him, the it agreement was "an agreement would be observed to take action, only if and it

led to a physical clash with the Mandatory Power. Ac-

not an agreement to prevent it."

During our conversation my informant paced back

and forth in his office like a caged animal, tense and

keyed up. He was convinced that the pact was the only

possible course and tried to imbueme with the same con-

viction, no doubt wishing me to pass it on to our friends

in far-off London.

Those who were pessimistic about the looming devel-

opment pointed out to me the danger of a conflagration paign of limited scope and purpose, a sort of controlled

scribed bounds, something like a civil-disobedience cam-

would be possible to confine the outbreaks within pre-

revolution under planned supervision and leadership.

It was the morning of the 25th of October 1945 when

hand, there were those who cherished the hope that it

in fire and smoke, leaving only the cinders. On the other

that would consume our whole enterprise and send it up

I took the first air trip of my life.

The roar of the motors and the experience of being streamed away below us. Cars crept like small beetles

fields, citrus groves, and tiny, toylike, red-roofed houses

plaguing my mind. As the plane climbed higher, green

air-borne dispelled, for the time being, the anxieties

that along here the shining was a roads; seething the volcano, ocean gleamed that a blue battlefield at the

horizon. The calm and serenity of it all belied the fact tion, risking its very life at the last barricade of all. natural, alien element. Over the next couple of years I

was destined to travel over one hundred thousand miles

strange and weird experience of being held fast in an un-

in scores of different aircraft across four continents,

One's initial impression of the flight itself was the

by fierce suns; savage wilderness, blistered and sere.

barren, russet plain thelandscapeoftheNegevscorched

houses, evidence of culture and toil, dribbled away into

of flying and the verdant green, the groves, and the

What a puny country, indeed! Only a few moments

community, remnant of a massacred and persecuted na-

encompassed the oceans and vast territories and a pygmy

sprawled over this small land between a titan whose sway

from one world center to another. Yet the impression

of this first journey remained unchanged. Mazzeh. Heat, dust, Egyptian officials in red tarbooshes,

porters in long, off-white cotton gowns, shouting, a great

deal of bustle with no apparent results all the panoply

of an Oriental Levantine city. It was not the first time I

had been in Cairo. I had already savored the awful sti-

fling heat, the fascinating wealth of Oriental color, the

brilliant sunlight, the villas and mansions of pashas and

foreigners bathed in foliage and swarming with exotic

I saw through the window a thin silver strip unex-

pectedly slashing the empty sepia expanse of desert like

a rigidly drawn slender ribbon

the Suez Canal. It was

hard to believe this was one of the world's most impor-

tant The highways, plane landed and at at this the moment large Cairo the world's airport of cyno- Al


tropical It is said vegetation, there is no the other shocking city in sight the of world the densely that so

packed, alley-winding slum quarters, sinks of stark pov-

erty and vice.

peak vividly of mirrors splendor the and extremes spacious of living penury and and the wealth, nadir the of

privation and distress. Charles Issawi, a young Egyptian

sociologist and economist, depicted in his book Egypt the

backdrop of life in Cairo and Alexandria, a few yards

from the fashionable Shepheard's and Continental hotels, "Secondly, malnutrition and ill health are preva-

in these words:

"First, the terrible overcrowding and promiscuity

in which the bulk of the Cairene and Alexandrine

populations live make European slums seem almost

palatial by comparison. Description cannot convey

the full horror to those who have not seen the Egyp- the

tian slums cut off from fresh air and light;

inhabitants are, moreover, denied the indispensable

substitutes provided by modern


It is, in fact, a life of grim and grimy realism, far re-

moved from the Sphinx and the Pyramids, a life which clarity the complexity of the tragic Middle Eastern social

luxuries and wealth on the other, typifies with painful national schemes were devised and diplomatic pressures

fications extending throughout the Middle East. Inter-

of embassies and legations of many countries, with rami-

Cairo was not only an Arab center. It was the residence

to change their way of life by reform or rebellion. But

itary illness and debility that they lack the slightest will

so thoroughly submissive and listless as a result of hered-

manipulated in Cairo for a sensitive and controversial

region of the world. At this hub there were also listen-

class, underprivileged, illiterate, and impoverished, are

problems. TheEgyptian fellahin and theurbanworking-

pauperism, and disease on the one hand, and the fabulous

the thousands of American and European tourists to

Egypt rarely or only superficially behold.

Cairo, with its incredible destitution, its filth, vice,

ing-posts The day for I many arrived countries in Cairo which I was focused invited to attention dine with on


a high American official who had once visited my office

in Tel Aviv. He wanted to discuss Middle Eastern affairs.

I knewhim to be a highly placed officer of the American

intelligence service in this corner of the world, and I

couched I explained my statements our attitude, warily. our intense desire for peace

and constructive effort and our inflexible resolve not to

forgo the fundamentals of our future existence and de-

velopment: immigration and settlement. I told him of

theprevailing mood in the Yishuv following the evasive-

ness and tergiversation shown toward our interests and

of the bitter disappointment rife, and I expressed the

conviction that the MandatoryGovernment was flouting

the laws of the land. I hinted at the grave consequences

likely to flow from such a policy.

After the conversation I returned to my hotel, where

E , the Jewish Agency representative, showed me a

British intelligence report on my trip. This atmosphere

ofcloak-and-dagger espionage amusedmesomewhat. My

journey was by no means the dark mystery it was made

out to be. There was no more in it than met the eye

namely, an economic mission mainly to the United States

and a visit to London in order to take part in the infor-

tion mation as an work economic and aboveboard pundit, went political on to activity describe there. very

The report gave a detailed account of my life and career

and, after some complimentary references to my posi-

accurately the objects of my errand. I was surprised also

to learn how efficient our own people were in this field.

I had not expected to read in Cairo, a day after leaving

Palestine, the secret British intelligence report on my

mission abroad. blazing splendor in the heart of the desert. It seemed as

city was a kaleidoscope of glittering lights, an oasis of

Cairo, as we flew over, offered a unique spectacle. The

come through, and I took off by air toward evening.

Meanwhile the priority for my flight to London had

if the star-studded vault above and the sea of dazzling

effulgence beneath were joined into a single bowl of ra-

diance enclosing us completely within its periphery. The

nighttime vista of Cairo from above expels all memory

of the fetid slums, the filth and shocking reality; and

there remain only the fantastic recollections of its Tkou

liness, the indescribable dream-quality which produces a

dizzy sense of intoxication.

The luminant island vanished. We soared over the

Western Desert. El Adem: a solitary desert outpost, now

a Royal Air Force base under military command. Ger-

man prisoners of war, late of Rommel's Afrika Korps,

served our meal in a small hut. It was hard to believe

that these industrious, young, blue-eyed men belonged

to the Nazi cult of assassins engaged in racial extermina-

tion. Theirconductwas deferential and obsequious. They

were supervised by a youthful-looking British army of-

ficer Night who, in it the turned desert out brought in conversation, a keen, piercing was Jewish. cold. Our An

ironic jest of fate.

flight ate up the miles; landings