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In 1948, the Left-wing Nation magazine exposed British support for and instigation of Arab violence aimed at crushing Israel in cradle. This entirely contradicts the widespread belief that Israel was the creation of European colonialism.

The British Record on Partition
(First part of the article)
Reprinted from The Nation, May 8, 1948
Comments by Jared Israel
[Posted 9 March 2004]

- Note Posted 11 October 2005 -
Below is the introduction to The Nation's memorandum with comments by Jared Israel. For the full text of the memorandum, go to


[ ]

The largely unchallenged belief of most of the Left and of the anti-Jewish Right and much of the media is that Israel was conceived as an outpost of European colonialism. But articles we found when reading bound volumes of the left-wing Nation magazine from the crucial years 1947-1949 - when Arab League forces tried to crush embryonic Israel - tell the opposite story. It is notable that some of these articles have apparently been censored from the online archives of today's Nation magazine.

We have started transcribing one such article from the May 8, 1948 Nation: "The British Record on Partition." The first part is posted below. This article is based on a Memorandum that the Nation submitted to the UN. Using UK intelligence documents, it exposes British collusion with and indeed leadership of the Arab attempt to crush Israel in the cradle.

Today The Nation, a leading Left publication, is vehemently anti-Israel. The Nation's articles from 1947-1949, exposing US State Department support for - and British Foreign Office sponsorship of - the Arab side, including British importation of Nazi Generals to 'advise' the Arab armies, are an embarrassment for The Nation. Is that why "The British Record on Partition" and some similar articles are seemingly not included in The Nation's online digital archives? [1]

We would not even know these articles exist except that a researcher discovered them while reading bound volumes of The Nation. After we get this material transcribed and online, perhaps Victor Navasky, the current publisher of The Nation, will feel some shame and have the online archives restored.

In the 1940s, Nation articles were written by intellectuals of stature. For example, one such author, Julio Alvarez del Vayo, had been foreign secretary of the Spanish Republic. It was del Vayo who had appealed, in vain, to Neville Chamberlain to defend the Spanish Republic against the final onslaught of the fascist leader, General Franco. A decade later, del Vayo wrote about the "reactionary role" of the Arab states in the UN. He also prophetically warned the Soviet Union, which was then pro-Israel, that if it were to change its stance and:

"…[play] ball with the Arab states, it will come off no better than it did in Peron's Argentina. Fascists remain fascists, and nothing can change them."
-- Nation, January 11, 1947

He knew wherein he spoke.

"The British Record on Partition" is 30 pages long. I typed the 3 page Introduction from jpeg files scanned from the bound volumes. This Introduction describes what the article covers, but includes none of the evidence.

If you are a good typist your help is needed to type the rest of this article and other Nation articles from the same period so that they can be easily read and sent around the Internet.

If you can help please write to

[Note added 2010: The full text is now transcribed at ]

This exposť from the 1948 Nation radically contradicts the picture of the 1947-9 Arab-Jewish war as put forward by the Left (and others!) today.

According to the now-common conception, Israel was founded by Jews who were supposedly sponsored by Britain and the US and who supposedly emulated Hitler's tactics in fighting Arabs who were supposedly only trying to protect their land.

But according to this Nation exposť, the Arab side was mobilized and aided every step of the way by British colonialism. And the British were fully aware that Nazi troops - e.g., specialists from the Bosnian Waffen SS and high-ranking Nazi officers - as well as British officers were helping lead the Arab side.

By typing up text files of these documents you will be helping silenced voices from the past to be heard.

Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes

To help with typing please write to


The British Record on Partition
as revealed in
British Military Intelligence And Other Official Sources

A Memorandum Submitted to the Special Session
of The General Assembly of the United Nations

April 1948

Published by
The Nation Associates
20 Vesey Street
New York 7, N.Y.

Volume 166   New York * Saturday * May 8, 1948  No. 19, Part II


The pages which follows present in condensed form a memorandum which was submitted by The Nation Associates to the General Assembly of the United Nations on April 30, [1948] covering the British record in Palestine since November 29, 1947. Deletions made in this version merely eliminate the less pertinent parts of certain documents and a section comprising photostat reproductions of documentary texts.

Additional copies of this supplement may be obtained from The nation, 20 Versey Street, New York 7, N.Y., at the rate of twenty-five cents apiece.


The General Assembly of the United Nations, for the third time in twelve months, is meeting to discuss "the future government of Palestine."  Discussions are taking place in an atmosphere of violence which may touch off an explosion far beyond the boundaries of the Holy Land. 

The question which the General Assembly must face, and world opinion as well, is this: was an inherent injustice in the November 29 resolution of the General Assembly responsible for the current explosion? 

The Nation Associates presents the facts in this memorandum as essential to a wise and just decision.  An examination of the facts will show that the present violence in Palestine results from: 

1) British sabotage of Partition  --  This British sabotage was deliberately undertaken in order to insure British base rights in Palestine in perpetuity, as well as to safeguard British oil and trade and military interests in the Middle East.   

2) British Alliance with Arab League -- To achieve these ends, the British have embarked on an alliance with the Arab League, composed of the governments of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Transjordan, and Yemen.  The Arab League, and not the Arab Higher Committee, controls the military and political developments among the Arabs of Palestine.  Representatives of the British government were present at the meetings of the Arab League where the revolt was planned and organized and are in continuous connection with it.  Within a month after the November 29th resolution, the Arabs were encouraged to believe partition would be substituted by a Federal State, and arms shipments continued to the Arab States despite their known use for Palestine warfare.  On April 28 [1948] Foreign Minister Bevin was still refusing to halt them. 

The facts will show, moreover, that: 

The British have allowed 10,000 foreign invaders to enter Palestine, offering the feeble excuse that the British armed forces, consisting, at the outset, of over 80,000 men, could not adequately protect the border. 

Although since December 11, 1947 the British have been promising to return to Transjordan the contingents of the Arab Legion brought to Palestine for police duty they have allowed the members of that force to remain in Palestine and to attack Jewish communities.  The only conclusion to be drawn is that the Arab Legion constitutes a major part of the effort to coerce the Jews into accepting less than the Jewish State granted by the United Nations. 

At no time has the British government, in spite of its alleged impotence, requested any help from the United Nations; in fact, as the record shows, the British have continued to deprecate the situation, refused to identify the invaders, and have consistently denied that the Arab states as such are involved. 

Through their action they have admitted into Palestine Arabs of known Nazi allegiance in command of the invading forces, and have even admitted escaped Nazi prisoners of war, now to be found in command of Arab detachments.  From secret British intelligence reports, which are quoted extensively in this record, it is clear that the British know and have always known of every single Arab troop movement in Palestine, and that their relations with the Arabs are such that they could ask Arab leaders to request the invading forces to remain unobtrusive. 

British sabotage has resulted in turning Jerusalem into an armed camp, has permitted the Arabs to seize the Old City and to hold as hostages some 2000 Jews. 

The British have failed to take any action to insure that Haifa should remain an open city even though they were fully aware of the desire to local Arabs to achieve this and that the Jews wanted only to be safe from attack. 

Their prejudice against the Jews has been clearly indicated in their refusal to allow the Jews to arm for defense against Arab attack, and their blowing up of Jewish defense posts; in their turning over to the Arabs - and to certain death - members of the Haganah; in their confiscation of Haganah arms; in their treatment of Jewish defense personnel as criminals. The British have connived at the starving of the Jewish population of Jerusalem by their failure to keep the highways open.  They have refused armed escorts to the Jews.  

Their attitude to the Arab community is quite different.  By British admission, the Arab community has been armed by the British.  Arab train robberies, which have been frequent, have been met with shooting over the heads of the robbers.  Arab desertions from the police, for the purpose of joining the attackers, accompanied by the stealing of arms, have never been prevented, and Arab violators of the peace go unpunished. 

To this record can be added the detailed facts concerning the fashion in which the British have destroyed central authority, and, under the guise of establishing greater local authority, turned over in largest part to the Arabs the various services of the Palestine government created and maintained chiefly by taxation of the Jewish community.  Simultaneously, assets have been dissipated and vital communications disposed of to foreign agencies.  The effect of this has been to seal the Jewish community in a limited area, cut off its access to the outside world by land and sea, and surround it by Arabs in order to create such a state of siege as would cause the Jews to send up a white flag. 

By arrangement with the Arab League, if partition is shelved through any one of several schemes to assure Arab dominance in Palestine, the British are to receive base rights in Haifa, the Negev and Galilee. 

But the British are not depending on Arab promises alone.  They have already taken the necessary steps to assure the permanent rights in Palestine to air bases and land and sea communications.  To be able to carry out this program, the Mandatory has required a free hand.  That is why it has kept the United Nations Commission out of Palestine and refused it cooperation. 

The facts contained in this document come for the most part from the confidential reports of British Intelligence.

So intent are the British upon destroying partition that they have shown themselves oblivious to the fact that with it they may destroy the authority of the United Nations, and even the peace of the world.

Freda Kirchwey, President
The Nation Associates

[Footnotes and Further Reading Follows the Fundraising Appeal]


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Footnotes and Further Reading


For articles on the Arab-Israeli conflict, please see

[1] In order to search The Nation's digital online archives from the 1940s one must pay a fee. We did so, and then searched for the articles which we had found in bound volumes of The Nation, articles which powerfully refute widespread anti-Israel views about what happened from 1947-1949. Some were missing. For example, you can find the cover of the May 8, 1948 Nation in the digital archives, and the cover lists what's inside, including "The British Record on Partition." Yet the article itself is not in the archives. Given that this and other missing documents contradict the Arabs-as-David, Jews-as-Goliath view put forward by Nation writers today, and given the unwillingness of The Nation and other Left publications to allow real discussion of who is at fault in the Middle East (and also Yugoslavia!) I don't believe these articles were excluded by mistake. I think it's a case of, "If you can't beat 'em, make sure nobody reads 'em."
-- Jared Israel, EC

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