Born in Deception

By William A. Cook

As Israel attempts today to gloss over the reality of its birth 62 years ago with a sweeping public relations campaign extolling the miraculous “resurrection” of ancient Zion in contemporary times, a new nation seeking only peace with its neighbors, it might be enlightening and valuable to examine the truth.

On May 14, 1948 President Harry S. Truman received a letter from the Jewish Agency for Palestine announcing the impending proclamation of the independent republic of Israel (Harry S. Truman Library, document filed August 22, 1949). That date marks not only the beginning of the State of Israel but, sub missa voce, the assumption by the State of Israel of the calculated, systematic and determined ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population of the land of Palestine that had been the business of “The Consultancy” and its agents before May 14, as identified by Dr. Ilan Pappe in his monumental The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.
The letter notes that the republic has been established within “frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law.” The letter was signed by Eliahu Epstein, Agent, Provisional Government of Israel.
The letter is notable not for what it announces, but for what it does not reveal. Truth requires revelation of all the facts, not concealment by omission of that which would prejudice an understanding. During the six months between the adoption of UN Resolution 181 and the date of this letter, and in subsequent months, the prospective state of Israel launched a massive military incursion into territory designated by that same Resolution for the Palestinian people, creating in its wake “three quarters of a million Palestinian refugees,” the destruction of “hundreds of entire villages … not only depopulated but obliterated …and houses blown up or bulldozed” (Walid Khalidi, All That Remains, xv). Khalidi’s massive study focuses on 418 villages, once the homes of Palestinians, 292 completely destroyed, 90 others “largely destroyed,” the remainder re-inhabited by Jews called Israeli settlers.
In blunt terms, the Jewish Agency for Palestine lied to the American President that it had established a provisional government that “has been charged to assume the rights and duties … for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel … and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law.”
The Agency’s deception made no reference either to the President or the international community that it had created the “Catastrophe,” or as the Palestinians termed it, the Nakba, the days of infamy that created what has become the largest Diaspora of refugees in the world and a time of remembrance for those killed in a series of massacres, estimated at 24 by Benny Morris, Israel’s preeminent Historian of that period. Indeed, the Agency had acted against international law in invading Palestinian land as designated by the very Resolution that had given them the right to a state of Israel even as it lied without remorse to the international community that it would live in accordance with their laws.    
This letter, coupled with an earlier one to the President, dated May 10, 1948, will serve as a microcosm of political deceit characteristic of the Zionist led forces that controlled the nascent state of Israel. This second letter from The Nation Associates, notified the President that:

“Tomorrow morning the Washington Post will carry, in the form of a full-age (sic) advertisement, the text of an open letter to you requesting the implementation of the November 29 resolution on Palestine…I have been requested to send you the enclosed text of this open letter by the signators …It is our hope that in the week which remains before the end of the British Mandate, action will be taken by you to insure the recognition of the Jewish state as a means of maintaining the prestige of this country, the authority of the United Nations, and peace in the Middle East (Signed by Freda Kirchwey, President; document available at the Truman Library).”
The Nation Associates supported the establishment of the State of Israel and used its publishing arm to further that goal. The “Open Letter” referred to above argued against the moves by “the British and our own State Department” to “sabotage” the partition resolution despite the President’s determined effort to support Israel. Indeed, the Associates went so far as to publish “The British Record on Partition” published in The Nation, America’s Leading Liberal Weekly, on May 8, 1948 detailing their selected reading of “British Military Intelligence Sources.” This document was simultaneously submitted to the Special Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Open letter published in the Washington Post amounted to a synopsis of this larger document including its primary argument that “there was no reason why the Jewish state could not be set up (if the Arabs resisted partition) and the Arab area turned over to the Trusteeship Council.” Note that this argument is being made even as the Jewish Agency and its affiliates have driven hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and villages and massacred untold thousands in the area designated for the Palestinians recommended to be turned over to the Trusteeship Council.
The open letter cited an amendment to the resolution inserted by Truman’s representative, Herschel Johnson, “the Security Council should determine as a threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, in accordance with Article 29 of the Charter,  any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by this resolution.” Yet no mention is made here of the invasion by the Jewish forces of the towns and villages in the area designated for the Palestinians. Rather, the Associates allege that it is the British Mandate government that has supported the Arab League against Israel since 1945, “under the direction of Foreign Minister Bevin, {who} (has) resisted every American proposal for a decent settlement of the Palestinian question.” “This was true,” the letter continues, “in 1946 when he refused to accept the proposal of the Anglo-American Committee and your own, for the admission into Palestine of 100,000 Jews.” What is left unsaid by the Associates is the British promise to the Arabs in the Balfour Declaration that they would maintain a strict ratio of Jews entering Palestine to the indigenous population, the second of the Balfour Declaration promises never referenced as the companion piece to the establishment of a home for the Jews in Palestine.

So now we see the strategy of the Zionists as they manipulate the President: (a) advance publication of a major document detailing British subterfuge in eroding the possibility of establishing a Jewish state sent to the United Nations, thereby placing blame for the deterioration of conditions in Palestine on the British; (b) a subsequent letter to the President informing him that a public “open letter” will be published in the Washington Post detailing subversion of the Jewish people, placing him in the unenviable position of not aiding the “victims” of this subversion or carrying through with recognition of the Jewish state “as a means of maintaining the prestige of this country”; (c) and, finally, another letter, this from the Jewish Agency for Palestine, on the 14th, seeking his recognition by “welcoming Israel into the community of nations” with no reference to the breaching of international law by the very Agency seeking his support.
Control and manipulation of the events coming out of Palestine has been and continues to be the modus operandi of the Zionist leaders of the state of Israel. The above letters to President Truman offer insight into this manipulation. Moreover, Truman was acting on behalf of the American people in recognizing the State of Israel on the 15th of May 1948. What the American people knew was the suffering of the Jews under Hitler and the apparent logic of the United Nations partition plan to provide a state for the two peoples residing in Palestine. What they did not know was the Zionist entity that had different goals and the will to deceive the citizens of America to achieve them. But the American people were not alone in being deceived. More importantly is the deception kept from the British people about these “disappeared years,” as Robert Fisk terms them. What’s missing is the perspective of the Palestinians and the British Mandate government.

The United Kingdom had mandatory authority from the League of Nations to govern the area with the establishment of the Palestine Mandate in 1922, an action that imposed a western colonial and national mindset on an area familiar with tribal and imperial authority. Prior to the official implementation of the Mandate, the British Government had enunciated a “declaration” concerning the desirability of His Majesty’s Government in the “establishment of a national home for the Jewish people,” called the Balfour Declaration.  

Discussions that resulted in the final text of the Balfour Declaration clarify the intention of its wording. The use of "national home" was used intentionally instead of "state.” Additionally, the first draft of the declaration referred to the principle "that Palestine should be reconstituted as the National Home of the Jewish people." In the final text, the word that was replaced with in to avoid committing all of Palestine to the Jews only.

Between 1939 and 1947, the mandate Government found it more and more difficult to maintain its position as the responsible governing force servicing the Arab population and the growing Jewish population, determining by 1947 that these two populations could not coexist. As a result, the British Government placed the resolution of the problem in the hands of the United Nations. That in turn resulted in a partition plan of the land of Palestine, proposed in November of 1947 to the General Assembly, to be implemented in May of 1948, sixty two years ago this May.
British authority in Palestine continued under the United Nations until the implementation of the Partition Plan in May 1948. Consequently, the mandate government had to abide by the Charter of the UN and its Conventions. Ironically, as the Zionist forces, estimated by the Jewish Agency personnel in documents seized by the Mandate Police at 20 to 60 thousand (see top secret file of Sir Richard C. Catling, The Plight of the Palestinians), continued their massacres of Palestinians into 1948, the UN debated the adoption of a Convention defining “genocide” based on Nuremberg principles, a definition approved that same year.
In 1944 the term “genocide” appeared in Raphael Lemkin’s Axis Rule in Occupied Europe created out of the conditions that allowed for the Nazi action against those suffering in their concentration camps. Therefore once the State of Israel was created by the Jewish leaders of the area by declaration May 14, 1948, and, subsequently, was recognized for membership in the UN in 1949, it was expected to abide by the UN Conventions. The United Nations does not appropriate to itself the authority to create states. The United Nations only authorizes itself to recognize states for membership, states that are formed or proclaimed by the people of said state.

What should be obvious now, after the carefully researched and scholarly work of Dr. Ilan Pappe in his Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and the equally well-researched work of Dr. Benny Morris in his Righteous Victims, both based on recently released evidence from the Israeli archives and those of the Israel Defense Forces Archives, complemented now with the materials preserved by Sir Richard C. Catling, to be made available in The Plight of the Palestinians from Palgrave Macmillan in June, is the truth about the creation of the state of Israel: acceptance of UN Resolution 181 by the Jewish Agency Provisional Government as the designated Jewish state was not done with intent to abide by the goal of the UN General Assembly, to provide a state for two peoples in the land of Palestine, but rather to use it as a means of subterfuge to gain eventual control of all the land and cleanse that land of its indigenous people to whatever extent possible. Put bluntly, what was true then is true today; the current government in Israel continues the practices of past Israeli governments, cleanse the land of its rightful inhabitants to make that land part of the Jewish state. This is what is termed, “slow motion genocide,” not, one would hope, a civilized policy to be extolled either by the Israelis or the international community.

-William A. Cook is a Professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. He writes frequently for Internet publications including The Palestine Chronicle, MWC News, Atlantic Free Press, Pacific Free Press, Countercurrent, Counterpunch, World Prout Assembly, Dissident Voice, and Information Clearing House among others. His books include Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East policy, The Rape of Palestine, The Chronicles of Nefaria, a novella, and the forthcoming The Plight of the Palestinians. He contributed this article to Contact him at: or

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