Chapter Nine

TRUMAN - PART 2;
PALESTINE'S PARTITION, ISRAEL'S STATEHOOD
1947-48

Your will read:
I. The Stratton Bill's Troubled Introduction, April 1947.
II. The Yishuv's Pre-war Expulsion of Arabs, Spring 1947.
III. Britain's Request that the UN Solve the Conflict, 1947.
IV. The Stratton Bill's Gaining of Support, Summer 1947.
V. The UNCSOP Report and Subsequent Maneuvering, Fall 1947.
VI. The UN Vote on Partition, November 1947.
VII. Response to the Partition Vote.
VIII. The Revised Stratton Immigration Bill of March 1948
IX. The Reconsideration of Partition, Spring 1948.
X. The Massacre at Deir Yassin, April 9, 1948.
XII. The Massacre at Kfar Etzion, May 12-13, 1948.
XIII. Arab Expulsion Before Israeli Statehood, Early 1948.
XIV. American Zigzagging at the UN, May 1948.

I. The Stratton Bill's Troubled Introduction, April 1947.

   On April 1 Representative William Stratton of Illinois introduced a bill to admit 400,000 DPs into America over the next four years. The mail response to Congress and the White House was 88 percent against his bill. The postwar housing shortage, lack of jobs, anti-Semitism, fear of Communist infiltration among DPs, and the threat to the "American way of life" were frequently cited motives.  Truman urged Congress to pass some type of bill to help DPs, but he did not endorse the Stratton bill, which he thought unrealistic in asking for 400,000 DPs. He estimated Congress at most would approve only 100,000.

II. The Yishuv's Pre-war Expulsion of Arabs, Spring 1947.

   Father Elias Chacour is a Melkite Rite  Catholic priest born in 1939 in Biram, an Arab farming village in northern Galilee. He relates that in the spring of 1947, when Palestine was still a British mandate, the Hagana told Biram's elders that Jewish soldiers would soon be coming for a few days and would want to live in the villagers' homes. Though apprehensive, villagers provided them with hospitality - free board and room. After a few days the Hagana commander told the elders that Biram was in serious dan-ger; it would be safer for the villagers to leave for a few days. The soldiers would protect their homes and property while they were gone; the villagers should give the keys to their homes to the soldiers living in them, and leave immediately. The villagers knew of fighting between the Hagana and British forces, so the danger sounded believable. All the families - several hundred people - hurriedly left with little more than the clothes on their backs. They slept in an olive grove just below town. They could hear trucks coming and going from the village. After almost two weeks of sleeping on the cold, wet ground, with no word about returning, a few elders went back to talk to the Hagana commander. They found their homes smashed into and ransacked. Their belongings had been trucked off. Furniture that had not been stolen had been smashed. The soldiers told the elders - at gunpoint - that the village was no longer theirs but now belonged to the Jews. The elders must get out. Thus was their hospitality repaid.
   The elders returned to their families in the olive grove; they decided they should all walk to Gish, the next village, and request hospitality until the matter could be resolved. When they arrived in Gish it was deserted except for ten elderly Arabs, who said soldiers had come and immediately, at gunpoint, driven out the rest of the villagers. They did not know where they went but presumed they fled to Lebanon, just a few miles north. The old people said they had heard shooting when this happened. They invited the refugees from Biram to use the deserted houses, whose belongings had been smashed or carried off in the soldiers' trucks. A few days later a refugee discovered a blackened hand sticking out of recently shoveled sand. The refugees dug down and exhumed the bodies of two dozen victims of the gunfire.
   In the following days, stragglers arrived from other Arab villages in Galilee that had suffered similar fates. The refugees were left alone in Gish until the spring of 1949. Then Israeli troops came at night and trucked off all of the men in the village. They took them, without any belongings, to the armistice line between Israel and West Bank, and fired over their heads as the men ran for their lives into West Bank. Elias Chacour's father and three oldest brothers were among the deportees. The family heard nothing of their fate for three months. The four Chacours, nearly starving, walked almost to Damascus, then southwest into Leba-non, then sneaked across the border into Galilee and back to Gish. Several other men made it back. Others died or were reported to be in refugee camps, or simply were never heard from again.
   Israeli authorities sold the Chacour fig orchard to a wealthy Jewish immigrant, with no compensation to the Chacours. Because immigrants from Europe and America lacked farming skills the new owner turned to Arab labor, which was both skilled and, under the circumstances, very cheap. Elias's father, needing work and loving the orchard, arranged that he and his older sons be hired to work the very land that had been stolen from them.

III. Britain's Request that the UN Solve the Conflict, 1947.

   In early 1947 Bevin held separate, futile meetings with Jews and Arabs. Stymied, Britain announced on February 18 that by man-date terms it lacked authority either to give Palestine to Arab or Jew, or to divide it between them. Britain said it thus had no choice but to submit the issue to the UN, which it did. The UN General Assembly (UNGA) opened a special session in late April. America wanted to avoid committing U.S. troops to keeping peace in Palestine. Therefore it did not want whatever policy the UN decided on to appear to be a result of U.S. politicking at UNGA. Thus U.S. strategy was to be quiet in the UN debates and await the emergence of a consensus. On May 13 UNGA formed the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) to study the issue and report by September. No major states were on the eleven-nation committee, which took evidence for more than three months.

IV. The Stratton Bill's Gaining of Support, Summer 1947.

   By mid-1947 Stratton's immigration bill was gaining support among prominent Americans, including religious leaders. With Palestine before the UN, State promoted easing U.S. quotas in order to weaken Zionist arguments for the need for a Jewish state. Assistant Secretary of State John Hildring developed two proposals for Truman to submit to Congress. One provided that 150,000 DPs be admitted to the U.S. as its "fair share." The other would have given DPs all of the 571,000 unused wartime U.S. immigration certificates. Truman did not use either proposal.
   Many DPs had resettled by mid-1947. Of the Jews in camps on December 22, 1945, the date of Truman's DP immigration di-rective, ten thousand remained unresettled. The rest had gone to Palestine, America or elsewhere. Of the Jews in camps in mid-1947, more than 100,000 had fled either from Russia in early 1946 or from Poland. The camps' population by mid-1947 was composed more of postwar, east European refugees than of war refugees. The new total was some 850,000: 250,000 Jews and 600,000 Gentiles, mostly from eastern Europe, with nearly 1,660,000 refugees - many outside camps - eligible for DP status.  In the fall of 1947 the Stratton bill was still far from becoming law. Few Jewish groups testified in its favor - and only briefly.  If the bill had passed at that time it would have weakened Zionists' argument that opening Palestine was necessary to solve the refugee problem. Yet the AJC, which then had not yet fully embraced Zionism, seems to have sincerely tried to open America to more Jewish refugees. Meanwhile, the Fulton Committee, a subcommittee of the House Foreign Relations Committee, agreeing with the Zionist position, stated: "If the Jewish facet of the problem could be cleared up, the solution of the remainder of the problem would be greatly facilitated. The opening up of Palestine to the resettlement of Jewish displaced persons would break the log jam."

V. The UNCSOP Report and Subsequent Maneuvering, Fall 1947.

   On August 31 UNSCOP finished its report, which offered both minority and majority plans. (Australia rejected both plans.) The three-nation minority, India, Iran and Yugoslavia, proposed a federation, with a common citizenship. A federal authority would manage foreign policy, defense, immigration and most economic matters. During a three-year transition, a UN-appointed authority would govern Palestine. This minority plan was similar to one submitted to the joint Anglo-American Committee in early 1946 but rejected. It also resembled the ill-fated Morrison-Grady Plan set forth in July 1946.
   The UNSCOP seven-nation majority consisted of committee members from Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, The Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and Uruguay. It advocated political partition rather than the minority's proposed federation. However, the majority also favored an economic union because it thought that otherwise the Arab state would not be economically viable. The Holy Places were to be accessible to all; Jerusalem was to remain under international trusteeship. The transition period was to be as short as feasible, with both states to be independent by September 1, 1949. The Jewish state was to comprise three geographic areas: upper Galilee and the Jordan and Beisan valleys; the coastal plain from just south of Acre to just north of Isdud, including most of the Valley of Esdraelon and the city of Jaffa; and most of the Negev, that is, the southern desert next to the Sinai. The Arab state was also to comprise three areas, western Galilee, most of the West Bank down to and including Lydda, and the Gaza Strip from the Egyptian border north to a point about twenty miles south of Tel Aviv.
   At this time those against U.S. support for a Jewish state included Defense Secretary James Forrestal, Secretary of State George Marshall, Assistant Secretary of State Dean Acheson, Un-dersecretary of State Robert Lovett, State's Near Eastern Affairs Director Loy Henderson, as well as other State Department per-sonnel. According to Henderson, these included all U.S. legations and consular officials in the Mideast and all State Department officials who had responsibility in the area.  They still thought such support would so anger the Arabs that they might (a) cut their crucial oil supply to western Europe, and (b) become Soviet allies. Washington's oil lobby played on these fears. As noted above, western nations were Arab oil's major market and so there was probably little danger that the oil-producing states would cut off their major income to help Palestinian Arabs. The political danger was probably greater; some Arab states became quite anti-American and moved closer to the Soviets.

   During the UNGA Ad Hoc Committee's debate over partition, a resolution was introduced which recommended that the UN member states absorb the Jewish DPs who were unable to be repatriated. The vote was sixteen to sixteen with twenty-six abstentions. America voted against it and thus supported the Zionist position that Palestine was the only solution. According to Rabbi Silver, one of those who urged this position, the Jewish problem was not just homelessness in the way that DPs experienced homelessness. Rather the Jewish problem was homelessness in the way that all Diaspora Jews experience it: not having a national home. Therefore the solution was not to place Jewish DPs in better living conditions in various host nations, because this would just continue their Diaspora "homelessness." The solution was to establish a national home to which all Jews could come if they so desired; that home could be only Palestine.

   After his October 1946 Yom Kippur eve speech, Truman remained quiet about Palestine until the UNSCOP report and its UN debate reheated the issue. He reportedly felt that Congress, the Democratic Party, the press and the public wanted him to support Zionism. U.S. Zionists strongly pressured him to endorse the UNSCOP majority's partition plan. Three cabinet members encouraged by aides Clark Clifford and David Niles also urged him to endorse it. He did, publicly, on October 9; two days later the U.S. delegation announced this at the UN. Leo Sack, a Zionist public relations professional, told an American Zionist Emergency Council meeting: "We had won a great victory, but" none of us should "believe or think we had won because of the devotion of the American Government to our cause. We had won because of the sheer pressure of political logistics that was applied by the Jewish leadership in the United States."
   The USSR also supported the majority plan. It thus seemed unlikely that the UN would endorse the minority or any other plan. The State Department, through its UN delegation, therefore tried to change the UNSCOP majority plan map of the partition to make it less loathsome to Arabs. State especially tried to shift highly Arab Jaffa and the Bedouin-occupied Negev from the pro-posed Jewish state to the Arab. Virtually no Jews lived in the Negev but some 66,000 Bedouin did. Even the Zionist Encyclopedia of Zionism and Israel states: "This area [the Negev]...had been occupied only by Bedouins...."  Israeli demographer Bachi states that in 1944 the Negev "was inhabited almost exclusively" by Bedouin, and that less than .1 percent of the Jews in Palestine, that is, less than 536 Jews, lived in the Negev, including the town of Beersheba. This changed little by 1948.
   A UN subcommittee was to decide on the Negev during the afternoon of November 19, 1947. Undersecretary of State Lovett told the U.S. delegates working with the group not to submit to Zionist demands for the area. However, Weizmann learned of the situation. Niles got him a secret lunch with Truman on November 19, and Weizmann may have changed Truman's mind - a feat he repeatedly accomplished at especially critical moments during the next year. Weizmann told Truman that the Negev would be strate-gically important to the Jewish state, and thus the border proposed by UNSCOP should not be changed. Shortly after 3:00 that afternoon Truman himself, bypassing State's chain of command, phoned directly to the U.S. delegates, telling them to vote for allotting the Negev to the Jewish state. That evening Truman told Lovett that he had not wished to countermand his directives but only wanted to keep America from being a noticeable minority opposing Zionist demands.

VI. The UN Vote on Partition, November 1947.

   The UNSCOP majority plan was to be voted on in late November. Initially the U.S. delegation was told not to lobby other members to vote for partition. On Tuesday, November 25, UNGA members, sitting as an ad hoc committee on Palestine, voted; twenty-five were for partition and thirteen against; seventeen abstained. With this simple majority, partition passed the committee. In the next step UNGA, sitting as a plenary group, would take the final vote on partition. Now it would need a two-thirds majority to pass. The 25/13 vote it had just received would be one vote short. Even more "yes" votes would be needed if any of the abstainers switched to "no" or if some "yes" nations changed their minds. The Zionists desperately needed time to influence "no" states at least to abstain, and abstaining states to vote "yes." Pro-Zionist members therefore conducted a successful filibuster to avoid a vote on Wednesday. Because the next day was Thanksgiving, the vote was set for Friday. It would be a busy holiday weekend. Silver said later:
 we marshalled our forces. Jewish and non-Jewish opinion, leaders and masses alike, converged on the Government and induced the President to assert the authority of his Administration to overcome the negative attitude of the State Department....The result was that our Government made its intense desire for the adoption of the partition plan known to the wavering governments.
   Michael Comay, head of the Jewish Agency's New York office, later wrote that over Thanksgiving Day "an avalanche descended upon the White House while some newspapers openly accused of-ficials in the State Department of sabotage. The President...threw his personal weight behind the effort to get a decision....we really got the full backing of the United States."
   According to Cohen, during the last forty-eight hours before the final vote, "the crucial influence of Truman himself, and of his White House, was finally brought into play. Presidential aides, ex-secretaries of state, members of Congress, and even Supreme Court justices joined together in an intensive lobby to secure more positive votes."
   These are only three of numerous Jewish sources which attest to the very active role of Truman and his administration in influencing UN members to vote for partition. Actions which were reportedly taken include these:
   Supreme Court justices Felix Frankfurter and Frank Murphy cabled the Philippine president, threatening him with negative consequences to Philippine interests in America if his country did not change its vote from "no" to "yes." Ten U.S. senators sent him a similar threat. Seven bills which would impact the Philippines were then pending in Congress.  On Friday Truman aide Clifford conferred with its ambassador in Washington. Later that day the Philippine UN delegate said he would vote "yes."
   Truman aide Niles orchestrated similar pressure on Liberia, which had abstained Tuesday. Its delegate was told that if he did not vote "yes" former Secretary of State Edward Stettinius had business contacts who could harm Liberia. Stettinius contacted Harvey Firestone, a major buyer of Liberian rubber, who feared that Jews might boycott his products unless he intervened. Firestone reached Liberia's president, warning him to change the vote or he would perhaps revoke his planned expansion there. Liberia voted "yes."
   Niles had Bernard Baruch warn France's government, which feared alienating its Arab colonies in North Africa, that America would terminate its economic aid if France voted "no." Weizmann contacted the French premier. It voted "yes."
   Haiti was promised U.S. economic aid if it changed its vote to "yes," which it did. According to Stevens, Adolph Berle, a former assistant secretary of state, "reportedly" made the promise.
   At UNGA Zionists were given U.S. delegates' passes so that they could talk to delegates on the Assembly floor.
   Later, Truman said he himself had gotten several nations to vote "yes." However, in his Memoirs he states that he did not approve of pressure tactics; he thus implies that he did not use them.  According to staunchly pro-Zionist Sumner Welles, who had been undersecretary of state under Roosevelt:
 By direct order of the White House every form of pressure, direct and indirect, was brought to bear by American officials upon those countries outside of the Moslem world that were known to be either uncertain or opposed to partition. Representatives or intermediaries were employed by the White House to make sure that the necessary majority would at length be secured.
   Dean Rusk, head of the State Department's UN desk in Washington, later wrote, "when President Truman decided to support partition, I worked hard to implement it....The pressure and arm-twisting applied by American and Jewish representatives in capital after capital to get that affirmative vote [on November 29] are hard to describe."  Rusk added: "There likely would never have been a state of Israel had it not been for American support."
   Additional pressure on nations came from non-governmental sources. Cuba's UN delegate maintained that one Latin American nation accepted a bribe of $75,000 to vote "yes." A Central American state reportedly refused a $40,000 bribe, but then voted for partition. Robert Nathan, who had previously worked for the government, told several Latin American delegates that their "yes" votes would make a Pan-American highway construction project more likely. He used the name of the State Department and of President Truman in making these promises - as he later admitted in writing to Dean Acheson. Wives of Latin American delegates reportedly received mink coats. A former president of Costa Rica, Jose Figueres, reportedly received a blank check book.  Para-guay, which had not voted on Tuesday, voted "yes" on Saturday. To increase the number of "no" votes, the Arab nations also lobbied but were not as effective.
   UNGA reconvened on Friday but the Arabs, fearing they would lose and hoping that with time they would gain more votes, got the Assembly to adjourn for a day. It did not work. When UNGA voted on Saturday, November 29, thirty-three states voted for partition, thirteen opposed it, and ten abstained. (Cf. Table One, p. 146.) The necessary two-thirds majority was achieved.  Nine states that on Tuesday had either abstained or not participated in the vote, on Saturday voted for partition. One former "yes" nation, Chile, abstained. Greece, perhaps because of Arab pressure, switched from abstaining to opposing.
   If Greece had not done this, and if Haiti and the Philippines had voted against partition, as they had so indicated before being pressured into voting "yes" by the United States, there would have been fourteen "no" votes. This would have required twenty-eight "yes" votes for partition to pass. If France and Liberia had abstained instead of bowing to U.S. pressure and voting "yes," partition would have carried by twenty-nine to fourteen. But if Liberia had voted against partition, as there is reason to think it might have done had it not been for U.S. pressure, the vote would have been twenty-nine to fifteen and thus partition would have been defeated. Moreover, the alleged threats and bribes may have influenced other nations to vote "yes" when otherwise they would have abstained or voted against partition.
   Whether or not the Zionists would have gotten the two-thirds vote they needed without the alleged strong U.S. threats is speculative. The facts are that the vote change resulted partly from America imposing its will on several states beholden to it. The American action resulted not from U.S. national interests but from extreme domestic pressure by a small but influential part of the population on Congresspersons, on the Democratic Party especially, and above all on Truman. However, this pressure group apparently was not acting against most Americans' sympathies. A November poll showed that 65 percent of those questioned supported partition.  Whether they would have supported the tactics, had they known of them, is another question.
   In trying to reconstruct what took place during those four days one is caught between unproved allegations and a large amount of evidence indicating that the allegations should not be just dismissed. One can say with certainty that before United States officials and former officials began to apply threats and other types of pressure, partition did not have enough votes to pass. After the actions of these people, it did. American threats certainly contributed to its passage; perhaps they were essential to it. Either way, it would seem that America was a party to a grave injustice against the Palestinian Arabs. The reasons for maintaining this are:
   1. The people of Palestine had a clear moral right to self-determination. The fact that Britain had denied them the exercise of this right since the beginning of the mandate did not decrease the moral right itself.
    a. The UN partition plan denied to the 500,000 or so Arabs living in the area allotted to the Jewish state the ability to exercise the right of self-determination.
    b. The plan gravely diminished the exercise of this right to the Palestinian Arabs living in the area allotted to the Arabs because it dismembered their country and took away from them the control of more than half of it.
   2. The plan forcefully split the Palestinian Arabs from each other, against their wishes, into two different political countries (assuming the Palestinian part will become a country).
   3. It forced the Arabs who would be living in the Jewish state to be a minority among a hostile majority. (It would also force the Jews living in the area allotted to the Arabs to be a minority among a hostile majority, but partition was not an Arab idea.)
   4. The partition plan was a form of diplomatic aggression. America was a major collaborator in that diplomatic aggression.
   5. The partition vote does not seem to pass the tests of:
    a. "Was it fair?"
    b. "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Would Americans complain if the UN dismembered the United States and let other nations be formed from parts of it? (Cf. Maps Two and Three.) Yet it would seem that historically the Palestinians have a stronger moral claim to their land than non-Native Americans have to theirs.
   At the time of the partition vote the yishuv owned about 5-6 percent of Palestine. If the partition plan had concerned itself with allotting the Jewish state only this territory or an equivalent amount, it would seem that the morality of the partition would have been greatly different. However, that did not happen. The UN, "the moral conscience of mankind," as it was then sometimes referred to, had spoken. This time it seemingly spoke through a grave miscarriage of justice. The Arab states immediately served notice that they would not be bound by the vote. It would seem that they had a moral right to do this.

   The Zionists now had a UN resolution which not only favored a Jewish state but also called for allotting 5,579 square miles, 53.46 percent of Palestine, to the Jews even though they then occupied only 5-6 percent of its territory. The areas allotted to the Jewish state encompassed 499,000-to-538,000 of the more than 600,000 Jews in Palestine. Most of the remainder lived in Jerusalem, which, according to the resolution, was to be internationalized. Some ten thousand Jews lived in about thirty-five settlements outside the areas allotted to the Jewish state. Some 510,000 Arabs lived in areas assigned to the Jewish state. Thus the Arab population assigned to the Jewish state was about as large as its Jewish population.

                               Table One:  UNGA Partition Votes
Votes in Ad Hoc Committee Nov. 25:
For
Australia
Bolivia
Brazil
Byelorussia
Canada
Costa Rica
Czechoslovak
Denmark
Dominican R
.Ecuador
Guatemala
Iceland
Nicaragua
Norway
Panama
Peru
Poland
Sweden
Ukraine
U. So.Africa
USSRUSA
Uruguay
Venezuela
Changed:
Chile
Total: 25

Against
Afghanistan
EgyptIndia
IranIraq
Lebanon
Pakistan
Saudi Arabia
Syria
Turkey
Yemen
Cuba
Changed:
Siam
Total: 13

Abstain
Argentina
China
Columbia
El Salvador
Ethiopia
Honduras
Mexico
UK (Gr.Br.)
Yugoslavia
Changed:
Greece
Belgium
France
Haiti
Liberia
Luxembourg
Netherlands
New Zealand
Absent:
Paraguay
Philippines
Total: 19

 Votes in plenary meeting Nov. 29:
For
Australia
Bolivia
Brazil
Byelorussia
Canada
Costa Rica
Czechoslovak
Denmark
Dominican R.
Ecuador
GuatemalaI
celand
Nicaragua
Norway
Panama
Peru
Poland
Sweden
Ukraine
U. So.Africa
USSRUSA
Uruguay
Venezuela
Added:
Belgium
France
Haiti
Liberia
Luxembourg
Netherlands
New Zealand
Paraguay
Philippines
Total: 33

Against
Afghanistan
Egypt
India
Iran
Iraq
Lebanon
Pakistan
Saudi Arabia
Syria
Turkey
Yemen
Cuba
Added:
Greece
Total: 13
Abstain
Argentina
China
Columbia
El Salvador
Ethiopia
Honduras
Mexico
UK (Gr.Br.)
Yugoslavia
Added:
Chile
Absent:
Siam
Total: 11

VII. Response to the Partition Vote.

   Because of the intense U.S. lobbying, most nations viewed the partition plan as an American project. This was the very situation that State - and Truman until overwhelmed by political pressure - hoped to avoid. As Britain began to see an end to its tunnel, America blissfully entered it. America's role in Palestine would often be a most time-consuming problem for both the State Department and the White House, and a constant drain on U.S. resources - with no end in sight for either the State Department or the taxpayer.
   The American Jewish Committee opposed partition before the UN vote. Afterward, after extensive debate, the AJC supported partition, and continues to do so. Zionists were profuse in their gratitude to Truman - at least for a few months. On hearing of the vote, Zionists danced in Palestine's streets. On November 30, Palestinian Arabs called a three-day strike and physically attacked Jews. Neighboring Arab states announced that they would invade Palestine as soon as Britain left. Many wealthier Arabs who lived in areas allotted by the UN plan to the Jewish state began to flee to Beirut and other parts of Lebanon, and to other Arab states. The Jews in the thirty-five or so settlements in the areas allotted to the Arab state were ordered by the Jewish Agency not to flee.  They were to keep the settlements as outposts that could be used for both defensive and offensive military operations in establishing the Jewish state.
   On December 11, Britain, as it had said it would, announced that it would end its mandate. Eventually it specified that it would withdraw all its personnel by the end of May 14, 1948. London indicated it would not offend Arabs by cooperating with the UN in implementing the partition. Thus the UN Committee of Five, five nations chosen to oversee the transition to partition, received almost no recognition or help from Britain while British forces remained in Palestine. Britain did nothing, in fact probably could have done nothing, to set up cooperative procedures between Arabs and Jews to make the transition peaceful and smooth. Britain's primary goal between November 29 and May 14 was to ship out its materiel, gradually evacuate its personnel and their families, and avoid loss of British life in the growing warfare and chaos. Usually, if combatants did not shoot the British, the latter did not stop them from shooting each other. However, Britain warned the Arab Legion not to advance into areas allotted by the UN to the Jewish state. The Legion served under Trans-Jordan's Abdullah but was trained by British officers. Britain continued its coastal blockade to intercept immigrants and Zionist arms.
   On November 14, 1947, two weeks before the final UN partition vote, State had imposed an embargo against the sale or shipment of U.S. arms to either the yishuv or the Arab states around it. Because Britain had contracts to sell arms to Arab states, the U.S. embargo worked to the disadvantage of the yishuv. Weizmann in April 1948 begged Truman to lift the embargo. This time his charm did not move Truman, who faced the threat of the Cold War turning into armed conflict with the Soviets. The yishuv therefore bought and smuggled in arms from eastern Europe. Pal-estinian Arabs outnumbered the yishuv but the latter had 50 per-cent more males in the 20-44 age bracket and thus 50 percent more potential soldiers. Each side increased its forces either with non-Palestinian Arab soldiers or with Jewish men from Europe or America infiltrating Palestine.
   In December 1947 Arabs attacked Jewish workers at the Haifa oil refinery, killing thirty-nine of them. In reprisal, two companies of the Hagana attacked the nearby village of Balad el-Sheikh, killing more than sixty villagers, many of them women and children.  On January 5 the Hagana blew up part of the Hotel Semiramis in an Arab part of Jerusalem, killing twenty-six people, fourteen of them civilians. Part of the hotel was used by Arab military.  By the end of January some 15,000 Arabs had fled Jerusalem and Haifa. This was before Begin's Irgun began most of its terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. Arabs responded with terrorism but on a much smaller scale.

VIII. The Revised Stratton Immigration Bill of March 1948.

   In March Stratton introduced a revised immigration bill in the House. Because of the November 29 UN approval of partition, it was widely assumed that most Jewish DPs still in the camps would go to the new Jewish state as soon as it began. The AJC had supported increased Jewish immigration to America both on humanitarian grounds and as a way to deflate Zionist pressure to found a Jewish state. Now that the AJC had ceased its opposition to the state it was forced to reassess its position. The new Stratton bill called for admitting 100,000 DPs into America over two years. However, it would admit only those who had been in the camps prior to December 22, 1945. This was the date Truman had used in his former presidential order. The bill would therefore admit any Jewish DPs who had been in the camps since war's end. However, few of these remained. The bill, reflecting the AJC strategy noted in Chapter Eight, gave priority to farm workers, who were in greater demand in America than people in some other professions. Jewish DPs were apt to be in these other professions but were not apt to be farm workers. Moreover, the bill excluded more than 100,000 Polish and Russian Jews who had entered the camps since December 22, 1945. Many of those helped by the new bill would be Polish and Baltic Gentiles, including many presumed to be anti-Semitic. Despite these drawbacks from a Jewish viewpoint, the AJC supported the Stratton bill because it would admit some Jews and many Gentiles stuck in the camps.
   Truman castigated the bill as discriminating "in callous fashion against displaced persons of the Jewish faith."  His statement, made near the start of the presidential and congressional election campaign of 1948, jabbed at the Republican-controlled House and Senate immigration committees. He ignored the fact that many Democratic lawmakers opposed admitting many Jews.
   The State Department, hoping the UN would reverse its vote calling for a Jewish state, opposed Stratton's bill because it would admit few Jews and thus not deflate pressure for a Jewish state. State's Marshall told Bevin that Congress was "strongly anti-Jewish" and was acting "entirely on anti-Jewish prejudice."  The bill was revised to double the total quota to 200,000, of whom forty thousand - 20 percent - were expected to be Jewish. It passed both houses; Truman, despite his criticisms, signed it into law on July 1, 1948, by which time Israel was a state. Thus the law did not affect the statehood issue.
   The American people's representatives in 1945 had called for the admission of 100,000 Jews into Palestine's 10,435 square miles. Three years later the American Congress could find room for only forty thousand Jews in America's 3.62 million square miles. Not only was America 347 times the size of Palestine, geographically, in 1948 it was also seventy-seven times the size of Palestine in population. Many of the representatives of the American people did not hesitate to impose 100,000 DPs on the then 1,288,000 Palestinian Arabs, yet adamantly refused to let more than 200,000 DPs be absorbed by a U.S. population that was then seventy-seven times as large.

IX. The Reconsideration of Partition, Spring 1948.

   Continued Palestine warfare throughout early 1948 and the chaos expected after Britain's pullout undercut UN and White House hopes for the feasibility of partition without committing a large UN peace-keeping military force. U.S. opinion polls backed Truman's policy of not sending American troops to Palestine. Sentiment was growing within the government to abandon or at least delay partition and settle for at least a temporary UN trusteeship instead. Leaders at State and Defense reminded Truman of the possibility of war with the USSR. They told him he should accept losing the fall presidential election rather than endanger U.S. security by jeopardizing Western bases and oil sources in the Mideast. American Zionists opposed this assessment of national interests. They did not ask for U.S. troops in Palestine but worked to ensure that Truman would not abandon his support for partition. However, some non-Zionist U.S. Jews and prominent Protestant clergy publicly supported a retreat from partition. For instance, the American Council for Judaism supported trusteeship, the only Jewish organization to do so.
   For the moment Truman again let State handle Palestine mat-ters. He approved beforehand a speech which Warren Austin, U.S. ambassador to the UN, made in the UNSC on February 24:
 The Security Council is authorized to take forceful measures with respect to Palestine to remove a threat to international peace. The Charter of the United Nations does not empower the Security Council to enforce a political settlement....The Security Council's action, in other words, is directed to keeping the peace and not to enforcing partition.
   Austin's speech warned that America was not committed to a military imposition of partition, or even to a political enforcement if this would endanger world peace. Zionists tried to counteract the thinking behind the speech.
   On March 19 Austin, acting on prearranged instructions from Truman and Marshall, proposed that the UN set up a trusteeship for Palestine. This would reverse or at least delay the partition which Truman had forced through UNGA on November 29, 1947. Zionists, except Weizmann, were furious; some of them called Truman a traitor. What they did not know, and what Marshall and Austin did not know, was that on the previous day, March 18, Truman had again met secretly with Weizmann and assured him that he would support partition. However, Truman did not know that Austin would be making the prearranged speech favoring trusteeship, on March 19. On learning he had made it, Truman sent Weizmann a message that, regardless of the speech, the policy they had secretly discussed would be carried out.
   On March 24 a meeting was held at the White House to draft a press release to backpeddle from Austin's March 19 speech. That showdown session pitted State's staff, including Marshall, against White House staffers involved in Palestine affairs. State lost. Max Lowenthal, with Clifford and others, drafted a release stressing the temporary nature of the trusteeship the U.S. proposed, with the intent to enact partition as soon as feasible.  The release did little to stop U.S. Zionists' anger with Truman.
   Many at the UN thought trusteeship would be as unenforceable without a major military commitment as partition would be: Both Arabs and Zionists rejected trusteeship. Moreover, U.S. policy regarding Palestine had flipflopped so often during the past few months that other nations doubted America's ability to stick to a policy. Nations did not want to be left holding America's bag.

X. The Massacre at Deir Yassin, April 9, 1948.

   From December 1947 to April Arabs achieved more military successes than did the yishuv. In particular, Arabs cut communications and blockaded roads so that Jews found it difficult and dangerous to travel between settlements. However, the yishuv, having resolved to stay in its settlements, kept all but one of them. Golda Meir went on a very lucrative fundraising trip to U.S. Jews to finance buying arms. By April the yishuv smuggled in enough arms to take the offensive. It especially tried to reopen the blockaded Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road to supply 100,000 Jews isolated in Jerusalem. The small Arab village of Deir Yassin, on Jerusalem's southwest outskirts, was near the canyon through which the road passes. Whenever a yishuv convoy tried to run the blockade, word quickly spread to nearby Arab villages. Their men would run to the road with whatever arms they had to stop it. However, according to Jerusalem's Hagana commander, Deir Yas-sin did not join in these battles; in fact "the village had made a non-aggression pact with the Hagana and had abided by it strict-ly."  On April 9, men and women members of the Irgun and of the Stern Gang attacked the village at 4:30 am. Author Rosemary Sayigh claims that the Hagana's Palmach troops joined in the attack and massacre,  but the British high commissioner ques-tioned this.  The yishuv attackers lined up families - men and women, grandparents and children, even infants - and shot them. They ripped off earrings, sometimes taking part of the ear with them. They loaded villagers onto open trucks, paraded them around the Jewish area of Jerusalem, returned them to Deir Yassin and shot them.
   Jacques de Reynier, the Swiss representative of the International Red Cross, entered Deir Yassin after the fighting stopped but while the massacre continued. That night he wrote in his diary that Jews were still entering houses with guns and knives. He said they seemed half insane. He saw a beautiful young Jewish woman carrying a blood-covered dagger. Explaining screams, a German Jewish Irgun member told Reynier that they were still finishing off the massacre. He saw a young woman stab an old couple at the doorway of their home. The Red Cross agent wrote that the scene reminded him of S.S. troops he had seen in Athens.  He entered some homes and found Arabs still alive. He got some of them to the hospital before the Irgun ordered him to leave. Reynier estimated he had seen two hundred corpses. One was that of a woman who was about eight months pregnant. She had been shot in the abdomen.  Powder burns on her dress indicated, according to Reynier, that she had been shot point blank.
   Eliyahu Arieli, commander of the Gadna, the yishuv youth organization, was one of the first people to enter Deir Yassin after the massacre. He found the scene "absolutely barbaric." "All of the killed, with very few exceptions, were old men, women or children....the dead we found were all unjust victims and none of them had died with a weapon in their (sic) hands."
   Richard Catling, the assistant inspector general of the Criminal Investigation Division of the (British) Palestine government, on April 13, 15, and 16, sent three reports of his investigation of the massacre to that government's chief secretary:
 I interviewed many of the womenfolk in order to glean some information on any atrocities committed in Deir Yasseen but the majority of these women are very shy and reluctant to relate their experiences especially in matters concerning sexual assault....The recording of statements is hampered also by the hysterical state of the women who often break down many times whilst the statement is being recorded. There is, however, no doubt that many sexual atrocities were committed by the attacking Jews. Many young school girls were raped and later slaughtered. Old women were also molested. One story is current concerning a case in which a young girl was literally torn in two. Many infants were also butchered and killed.
   One woman testified that a man shot her nine-month-pregnant sister in the neck. "Then he cut her stomach open with a butcher's knife." She said another woman who saw this happen was killed when she tried to extricate the unborn infant from the dead mother's womb.  According to Sayigh, this atrocity of cutting open the pregnant woman was "particularly calculated to horrify Arab peasants....This was the clearest of messages warning them that the Arab code of war, according to which women, children and old people were protected, no longer held good in Palestine. Men now had to choose: their country or their family."
   Thus the atrocities were not the result of soldiers running amok but were coolly calculated to force peasant militia members who were fighting in the blockaded area at Kastel to return to their villages to protect their families. Kastel fell to the Palmach on April 11, two days after the massacre.
   Sayigh maintains that at least three hundred villagers were killed at Deir Yassin;  author Nafez Nazzal writes that more than 250 died.  According to a member of the Hagana who witnessed part of the massacre, 245 Arabs were killed in the fighting and massacre. It is not clear if this includes some twenty-five young Arabs who were paraded around Jerusalem and then shot in the quarry outside the village.
   Zionist leaders denied responsibility for the massacre. Ben-Gurion, the leader in Palestine of the yishuv, apologized to Emir Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. He blamed "unofficial" terrorist groups. The Irgun and the Stern Gang were such groups. The Hagana was not an "unofficial" terrorist group but part of the official underground military, answerable to the Jewish Agency. Three days after the massacre the Irgun and the Hagana entered into an open alliance.
   The Zionists tried to prevent reports of the massacre from reaching the outside world. Irgun leaders in vain threatened Jacques de Reynier's life to get him to falsify his report to the Red Cross. However, the yishuv eagerly publicized the massacre among Palestinian Arabs. Yishuv radio stations broadcast in Arabic about Deir Yassin. Yishuv forces about to attack Arab villagers reminded them by loudspeakers about Deir Yassin in order to panic them into fleeing rather than staying and fighting.  Arabs also publicized the massacre but later realized this was a mistake because it frightened Arabs into fleeing when yishuv forces approached. Irgun leader Menachem Begin stated that after the massacre Arabs throughout Palestine "started to flee for their lives....Of the about 800,000 Arabs who lived on the present territory of the State of Israel, only some 165,000 are still living there. The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be overestimated."  According to Mideast scholar Seth Tillman, Begin claimed that in effect "the terror associated with Deir Yassin precipitated events that enabled the new state of Israel to rid itself of the bulk of its Arab population and thus to acquire its demographic character as a Jewish state."
   Even if the Palmach did not join the Irgun and the Stern Gang in the Deir Yassin massacre, regular units of the Hagana and its successor after statehood, the Israeli Defense Forces, massacred many civilians. For example, on April 10, 1948, the Hagana attacked the village of Nasr al-Din near Tiberias. It dynamited all of the houses in the village, killing ten civilians trapped inside them.  As will be noted in the next chapter, civilians were also massacred in 'Ain al Zeitouneh, al-Bi'na and Safsaf (all in Palestine), Hula (Lebanon), and elsewhere. Deir Yassin was anything but an isolated aberration or the result of yishuv panic.
   Dr. Benny Morris, an Israeli, studied Palestinians' exodus. He concluded that of the 400,000 who left between November 29, 1947, and June 1, 1948, 70 percent (280,000) left because of Jewish military action: 15 percent from actions of the Irgun and the Stern Gang and 55 percent from actions of the Hagana/IDF. Dr. Morris obtained his figures from a report prepared by the IDF Intelligence Branch in 1948. Thus the Israeli government itself at least partly admitted the roll of the Hagana/IDF in expelling Palestinians.  Before the Arab exodus ended, between 614,000-626,000 (an Israeli's figures) and 840,000 (an Arab's figures) left. (Cf. Table Two, p. 176.)

XI. Ambush on the Mt. Scopus Run, April 13, 1948.

   Arabs also massacred civilians. On three occasions between February and March 1948, bombs were placed in vehicles which entered Jerusalem's Jewish section and blew up. One of them killed fifty-seven people and wounded eighty-eight. Jews set off a bomb in an Arab crowd waiting for a bus, killing seventeen.
   Mt. Scopus is part of a long, high, north-south ridge that forms the east side of the Kedron Valley and the Mount of Olives. Hebrew University was founded on it in 1925. Nearby Hadassa Hospital, the best in Palestine, was started in 1939 by a U.S. women's Zionist group. The Hagana had a military outpost on Mt. Scopus, from which it had attacked Arabs. To supply these three facilities with personnel and materiel, Jews had to drive 2.5 miles from the western, Jewish section of Jerusalem. Much of the route traversed Arab land, including an area called Sheikh Jarrah, north of the Old City of Jerusalem. After the November 29 UN vote, Arabs had attacked vehicles making the run. This limited Jews to weekly convoys under military escort. However, since March Arabs had usually let the convoys through. On April 13, four days after Deir Yassin, a ten-vehicle convoy was making the weekly run to Mt. Scopus. It comprised an armored car in the front and rear; in between were an armored ambulance, two civilian passenger busses, another armored ambulance and four supply trucks, in that order. The second ambulance carried two Irgun members wounded during the battle for Deir Yassin. Many convoy passengers were members of the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine or medical personnel for Hadassa Hospital. This included its director, one of the world's best known ophthalmolo-gists, Chaim Yassky.
   At about 9:30 am, near the east end of the Arab area, a large bomb buried in the road blew up just in front of the lead armored car, which fell into the crater. A score of armed, hidden Arabs attacked the convoy. Soon hundreds of other armed Arabs arrived. The last six vehicles - the rear ambulance, the four trucks, and the armored car - turned around and escaped to western Jerusalem. A British armored car, a truck and a half-track arrived from Mt. Scopus and urged the people in the two trapped busses to run the few feet to the half-track, which would take them to safety. The passengers thought it too risky and decided to wait for help from the Hagana. The British, with their wounded half-track gunner dying, left in frustration to get medical aid. Further British help was not immediately forthcoming. Three Hagana armored cars came from Jerusalem but so many soldiers in two of them were killed or wounded before reaching the convoy that they had to rush to hospitals with their own wounded. The third car helped the trapped convoy hold off some Arabs but many of its own soldiers were killed or wounded. The Arabs, who had been shouting "Deir Yassin," set the two busses on fire. Some people in the ambulance and two busses ran for safety in a nearby mansion that was a British military post. Some were killed before reaching the house. The British came again at about 3:30 pm and rescued the few people still alive in the vehicles. At least seventy-five people, mostly nurses, medical researchers and doctors, had been killed. Humanity had lost one of its best known ophthalmologists.

XII. The Massacre at Kfar Etzion, May 12-13, 1948.

   Zionists picked the site for the farm settlement of Kfar Etzion, south of Bethlehem, for its militarily strategic value. In an otherwise Arab area, it overlooked the Hebron-Jerusalem road. On April 12, three days after Deir Yassin, the Hagana ordered Kfar Etzion's settlers to harass Arab traffic on the road. On April 30 they were told to cut the road to prevent Arabs from moving military reinforcements from Hebron to Jerusalem. The settlers made barricades, cut telephone lines, and ambushed passing vehicles. At dawn on May 4 the British-trained Arab Legion, together with irregular militia from nearby villages, attacked the settlement, reopened the road and then withdrew.  At 4:00 am on May 12 the Arab forces returned to destroy Kfar Etzion and its military usefulness before Israel was to become a state three days later. After almost two days of hard fighting, some fifty surviving yishuv soldiers and civilians, men and women, including wounded, surrendered. They were assembled in a little square surrounded by Arab irregulars shouting "Deir Yassin!" One of the irregulars began machine-gunning prisoners. Some were bayonetted. About six were able to flee.  Four of these hid in a vineyard, where an old Arab discovered two of them. He told them, "Don't be afraid." However, a group of irregulars found them and threw the two Jews against a wall. The old Arab stood in front of them, protecting them with his own body. "You have killed enough," he told the irregulars. They threatened to kill him too. "No," he replied; "they are under my protection." Two Arab Legionaries came and took the two Jews into the safety of Legionary custody as war prisoners.
   Eliza Feuchtwanger, a young Polish Jew, was the radio operator for the Palmach unit helping to defend Kfar Etzion. When it fell she and several others hid in a ditch but were found by the Arab irregulars. While she and her companions were being shot at she screamed. The Arabs pulled her out and began arguing about who would get to rape her. Two of them dragged her away from the others and resumed the argument between themselves. An Arab Legion officer rescued her, told her she was under his protection, gave her bread and took her to the safety of his armored car.
   Of the 152 yishuv soldiers and settlers in Kfar Etzion when the battle began, about ninety-six died in the battle, some fifty-two were massacred after it, and four survived - the female soldier and three settlers.  It was one of the worst military defeats and one of the worst massacres the yishuv suffered in the war. The next day, May 14, Britain finished its pullout from Palestine.

XIII. Arab Expulsion Before Israeli Statehood, Early 1948.

   Meanwhile, Arabs were being either driven from their homes or frightened into leaving. The three major, largely Arab, coastal cities, Acre, Haifa and Jaffa, had been "de-Arabized" well before the British left on May 14. The two principal Arab cities of eastern Galilee, Safed and Tiberias, fell to yishuv troops in late April and early May. In these two areas, that is, along the coast and in eastern Galilee, that left only the villages which had not already fallen. Most of them had enough ammunition for their ancient guns for only a few hours of resistance. They could not turn to the cities for help. Many of these villages fell either at the approach of yishuv troops or after a brief battle. Thus, by the time Britain withdrew on May 14 large areas of the coastal plain, eastern Galilee, some of western Galilee, and all of the cities except Gaza, Old Jerusalem, and those of the West Bank "had already been 'cleaned' of most of their Arab inhabitants."  Unlike Kfar Etzion, the militarily strategic Jewish settlement on the Hebron-Jerusalem highway that the Arabs destroyed, most, but not all, of the de-Arabized villages had little strategic military value - aside from being inhabited by a virtually unarmed populace that was unhappy to be included within the Jewish state.
   While the British were making their final withdrawal, the yishuv were still "encouraging" Arab villagers to flee. Survivors described what happened in al-Bassa, about eleven miles north of Acre, after it was occupied by the Hagana on May 14:
 The day the village fell, Jewish soldiers ordered all those who remained in the village to gather in the church. They took a few young people - including Salim Darawes and his sister Ellen - outside the church and shot them dead. Soon after, they ordered us to bury them. During the following day, we were transferred to al-Mazra'a....There we met other elderly people gathered from the surrounding villages.
   This is one of many eyewitness accounts of yishuv atrocities committed before statehood and therefore before Truman recognized Israel as a state.
   By May 14, when Truman recognized Israel as the de facto government of the areas allotted to it by the UN, most Arabs within those areas had either been driven from their homes or fled. In either case, according to the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907, they had a right to return home in this sense: "It is especially forbidden to destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war" (Article 23g; cf. Appendix Two).  Moreover, the Fourth Hague Convention stipulates that "private property...must be respected" (Article 46),  "pillage is formally forbidden" (Article 47),  and the property of municipalities, that of institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, even when State property, shall be treated as private property (Article 56).  Many who fled fully expected to return within a few days or weeks. Most of them have never been allowed by Israel to return. Truman urged the Jews to allow them to but he did not fully use his influence first over the yishuv and then over Israel to gain the refugees' return. Israel did offer that as part of a peace treaty it would allow 100,000 Arabs to return, a fraction of those who had a right to. The Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979 was not a comprehensive treaty which included the other Arab states with which Israel was technically still at war. The 100,000 refugees were not allowed to return.

XIV. American Zigzagging at the UN, May 1948.

   On April 23 Truman secretly informed Weizmann that if UNGA did not change the partition plan, and if the yishuv declared a Jewish state, he would recognize it. On May 11 Niles told Truman that a poll showed that 80 percent of the U.S. press favored recognition if statehood were declared. Moreover, added Niles, most Democrats and Republicans in Congress and most governors supported recognition. Did this support stem from politicians' personal conviction or from election year realities? According to Cohen, Truman "was deluged by appeals for recognition from prominent Jewish figures."  Lowenthal, with Clifford, had prepared a brief given to Truman on May 9. It asserted that as soon as the yishuv declared a state there would be great domestic pressure, including Republican pressure, for quick recognition. Lowenthal argued that recognition was in the best national interest. Eleanor Roosevelt, a member of America's UN delegation, wrote to Truman that she personally believed in a Jewish state. Zionists had told her that the Soviets planned to recognize Israel as soon as it was declared. She urged Truman to beat them to the punch. State, still trying to isolate policy making from domestic politics, hotly opposed recognition.  This clash between White House aides and Truman on one side and State on the other sharpened during the final two days before Israel was due to be declared. Zionist pressure also greatly increased.
   On Friday, May 14, at 4:00 pm in Tel Aviv (10:00 am, EDT), Ben-Gurion proclaimed that the State of Israel would begin at midnight (6:00 pm, EDT). He did not say what its geographic boundaries would be. However, the Israeli Proclamation of Independence promised that its leaders would be "ready to cooperate with the organs and representatives of the United Nations in the implementation of the Resolution of the Assembly of November 29, 1947."  That resolution called for establishing an Arab state in part of Palestine. Thus Israel promised to be ready to cooperate with the UN in establishing an Arab state in part of Palestine.
   After a day of wrangling between Clifford and State's Lovett over when Truman would announce recognition, Clifford, at 5:45 pm, EDT, phoned Dean Rusk, head of State's UN desk in Wash-ington, that Truman would make his announcement shortly after 6:00 pm - in just a few minutes. Rusk objected that this would conflict with the U.S. delegation's efforts going on at that very moment at the UN to arrange a truce in Palestine, and that these efforts had most nations' support. Clifford responded that Truman would go ahead anyway. Rusk phoned Ambassador Austin at the UN to warn him. Austin did not go to the UNGA meeting room to inform the U.S. delegation. Instead he let its members manifest their surprise before the rest of the UN delegates so that they would know that the American delegates were not privy to Truman's decision.  At 6:11 pm Truman publicly announced U.S. recognition of the State of Israel as the de facto government of the area allotted to it by the UN declaration of November 29, 1947. Within a few minutes the U.S. delegation learned that the announcement was on the UN teletype. Reportedly a copy was retrieved from a waste basket in the office of UN Secretary General Trygve Lie. It was given to Phillip Jessup, a U.S. delegation member, who called Washington for confirmation and then publicly read Truman's statement from the retrieved piece of scrap paper.
   Cuba's delegate (pre-Castro Cuba, then friendly with America) tried to go to the rostrum to announce his country's withdrawal from the UN in protest against U.S. duplicity. However, a U.S. delegation staff member physically kept him from leaving his seat. Marshall sent Rusk to New York to keep his delegation from resigning en masse. Marshall reportedly stated privately that America "had hit its all-time low before the UN."  Four days later Austin wired Marshall that Truman's action "has deeply undermined the confidence of other delegations in our integrity." Austin pointed out that in the view of many delegations:
 although the Jews had not accepted the truce they disregarded the admonitions of the SC, violated spirit of truce effort, and prevented conclusion of formal truce. US immediately not only condoned but endorsed these violations, thus striking heavy blow at prospect of concluding any truce and equally heavy blow at prestige and effectiveness of SC and UN generally.
   Austin said that delegations believe that the "US...violated the terms of the SC truce resolution." He added that "other delegations, such as those of Canada, [pre-communist] China, and a number of Latin American states," frankly feel "double-crossed."  Several delegations told Eleanor Roosevelt, a member of the U.S. delegation, that they would certainly be reluctant to back American projects again "because the United States changed so often without any consultation."

   As author Richard Stevens notes, citing Arthur Koestler, thus there was "brought into existence a state which, by Zionist admission, constitutes an 'historic injustice' from the viewpoint of national sovereignty and self-determination."