Israeli soldiers in 1948
Photo: GPO

1948 British report: Arabs will lose war

The Guardian publishes declassified documents shedding light on struggle for State of Israel. 'The Jewish public in Israel supports terrorism,' 1946 document says

Even prior to withdrawing its troops from Israel in 1948, the British government realized the partition of the country and the establishment of the State of Israel would result in a war - that the Arabs would lose, according to declassified UK government documents published Friday by The Guardian.


Another document from 1946 states that "the Jewish public in Israel supports terrorism, in light of British policy."


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According to the British newspaper, various Colonial Office reports paint a picture of increasing "terrorist acts" by the Jews, and the external pressure from the US, the UN and the Zionist movement to divide the country. In addition, the documents criticize British Mandate officials who were concerned with "how to allocate between them two Rolls-Royces and a Daimler" during the tense times.


Colonial Secretary George Hall was told "The Jewish public … endorsed the attitude of its leaders that terrorism is a natural consequence of the general policy of His Majesty's Government." This included the illegal infiltration of Jews into Palestine.


Another document quoted a British official who, in a report to London in October 1946, more than a year before the UN vote over the partition plan, said that "Arab leaders appear to be still disposed to defer active opposition so long as a chance of a political decision acceptable to Arab interests exists."

שורה של ניצחונות יהודיים. מבצע חירם במלחמת השחרור (צילום: לע"מ)

Jewish victories. Operation Hiram in War of Independence (Photo: GPO) 


"There is a real danger lest any further Jewish provocation may result in isolated acts of retaliation spreading inevitably to wider Arab-Jewish clashes," the report read.


Papers also reveal that moderate Jewish leaders were afraid to be seen as "Quislings," after the Norwegian Nazi-collaborating leader whose name became synonymous with treason. Pressure by the Zionist lobby in America is cited as another instigating factor for the Jews.

"הערבים בורחים מהאזור באלפיהם" (צילום: AFP)

Arab Legion soldier. 'Arabs fleeing by the dozens' (Photo: AFP)


A report written in early 1948, as the war for Israel broke out, read "Jewish victories … have reduced Arab morale to zero and, following the cowardly example of their inept leaders, they are fleeing from the mixed areas in their thousands. It is now obvious that the only hope of regaining their position lies in the regular armies of the Arab states."


The Guardian described the papers a having "a remarkable contemporary resonance." Thus, according to the British newspaper, a wartime report intended for British intelligence officials said Arab nationalism had a "double nature … a rational constructive movement receptive of western influence and help and an emotional movement of revolt against the west."


The report concluded by saying "The conflict between these two tendencies will be decided in the present generation. The first aim of the policy of the western powers must be to prevent the triumph of the second tendency."



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פרסום ראשון: 04.26.13, 11:06
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