‘The British Mandate in Palestine is now ended and the Jewish State of Israel has been proclaimed … this news will be acclaimed by friends of peace and progress the world over’. With these words, the British communist party – formed 100 years ago on 31 July 1920 – hailed the Jews as anti-colonialists and lambasted the efforts of the ‘imperialist’ British Labour government and their ‘reactionary’ Arab allies to sabotage the creation of the Jewish state. The Arab war against Israel was denounced by The Daily Worker as ‘a reactionary war conducted by the chieftains of the Arab League under British control [and] entirely against the interests of the Arab masses’. It is enough to make a Corbynista’s head swim. John Strawson tells the little-known history of communist support for the Jewish state.
In 1948 the British communist Daily Worker advocated the creation and defense of the Jewish State. It campaigned for the implementation of the United Nations Partition Plan. When Arab states and militias began to attack Jewish communities in Palestine the Daily Worker came to the defense of the Jews, When the State of Israel was created in May 1948, it celebrated its independence, which it said should be championed by all progressive forces. When the combined Arab forces attacked the new state, the paper denounced this as Imperialist aggression. It constantly reminded its readers of the role of the British Labour Government in financing and aiding this aggression. This show of support for the creation and defense of the Jewish state stood in stark contrast to the policy of the Labour Government.
The Labour Party in its 1944 paper International Post-War Policy had advocated a Jewish majority in Palestine and also suggested that ‘the Arabs should be encouraged to move out as the Jews move in.’ Ben-Gurion opposed the last part of the policy and made it clear that the assertion of Jewish rights should not be at the expense of the Arabs. Despite this extreme version of Zionist politics, once in government the policy was quite different. Far from supporting Jewish immigration to Palestine, the Labour government used the Royal Navy to enforce the terms of the 1939 White paper, which limited Jewish immigration to 1,500 per month. This new policy meant that Holocaust survivors languishing in Displaced Peoples Camps were forcibly denied entry. Some who tried to reach Palestine were sent back to the port from whence they came, and others were detained in camps. This policy had been vigorously followed by the war-time coalition government, but as Wistrich argues, this ‘inhuman policy reached its climax with the advent of the Labour government.’
In negotiating with Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, the Labour government essentially kept to the provisions of the White Paper, which sought the creation of an independent unitary Palestinian state by 1949. In response to this prospect, Zionist organisations in Palestine increased armed activity against British targets and organised illegal immigration on a grand scale. Despite the deployment of 100,000 troops the British could not quell the rebellion and in February 1947 handed the issue of Palestine to the newly created United Nations Organisation. Or rather it appeared to hand the issue to the UN. In November 1947 the General Assembly adopted the majority recommendations of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, which recommended the partition of the country. This would take the form of Jewish and Arab states and internationally administered zone to include Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The two sovereign states and the international area would form an economic union. It was a sophisticated plan. However, partition did not suit British interests in the region and the Labour government set out to wreck it. The United Nations Palestine Commission charged with its implementation was not permitted entry. The government continued to supply arms to Transjordan, Egypt and Iraq during the increased tensions in the Middle East following the partition vote. In many accounts of British-Israel relations this episode is glossed over. This is equally the case when it comes to the Labour Party’s relationship the British Jewish community, Zionism and Israel. Even today’s Jewish Labour Movement, a socialist society affiliated to the British Labour party, formally known as Pole Zion, cannot bring itself to assess this history. In its pamphlet surveying 99 years of affiliation to the party, it simply overlooks British Labour government policy on Palestine and Israel between 1945-1951.
The Soviet Union backs the creation of Israel
The Daily Worker’s stance was in concert with the Soviet Union’s position which had been outlined by Andrei Gromyko, its ambassador to the United Nations, in May 1947 when he argued that ‘it is essential to bear in mind the indisputable fact that the population of Palestine consists of two peoples, the Arabs and the Jews. Both have historical roots in Palestine. Palestine has become the homeland of both peoples.’ For the Soviet Union ‘an equitable solution can be reached only if sufficient consideration is given to the legitimate interests of both peoples.’
These fine words were a new development in Soviet policy towards Palestine and Zionism. According to Gabriel Gorodetsky, Stalin’s policy in Spring 1947 had been to advocate ‘a single, independent Palestine.’ Historically, communist ideology had been hostile to Zionism. This is ironic as Arab opponents of Zionism had frequently linked the movement to Bolshevism and had portrayed Jewish immigrants to Palestine as communist infiltrators. This was a feature of Arab discourse in the 1920’s and was quite explicit in the United Nations debates throughout 1947 and 1948.
From May 1947, the Soviet Union’s changed its attitude toward the idea of a Jewish state and suspended propaganda against Zionism. This move was motivated not so much by an ideological shift as the Soviet Union seizing the opportunity to weaken the position of the old Imperial Powers in the Middle East. While this was motivated by pragmatism the shift in language and imagery was highly significant. Dave Rich argues that Gromyko ‘spoke only of the ‘Jewish People’ or the Jewish population of Palestine, thereby observing a careful distinction between the national rights of the Jews living in Palestine and Zionism as an ideology and political movement.’ This is not quite accurate as the Soviet Union was to make the case for a Jewish state in much wider context. In May 1947 Gromyko put the case thus,
The fact that no western European state has been able to come to ensure the defense of the elementary rights of the Jewish people, and to safeguard it against the violence of the fascist executioners, explains the aspirations of the Jews to establish their own state. It would be unjust not to take this into consideration and to deny this right to realise this aspiration. It would be unjustifiable to deny this right to the Jewish people, particularly in view of all that it has undergone during the Second World War.
In the debate on the partition resolution he commented that ‘the Jewish people has been closely linked to Palestine for a considerable period of history.’ Such statements are difficult to distinguish from Zionist positions. It should be pointed out that contacts between the Zionist movement and the Soviet Union had been established during World War Two. In January 1941 Chaim Weizmann met the Soviet Ambassador to Britain, Ivan Maisky. The following year a Soviet delegation visited Palestine and met the Yishuv leadership. Other meetings took place in London, Washington and Jerusalem as the war progressed. These contacts did mean that the Soviet leadership was well appraised of the development of Jewish institutions and economy in Palestine. It is possible that this knowledge meant that it had more confidence in the ability of the Jewish community to create and defend a Jewish state than existed in other quarters. Thus, when the shift toward partition took place, there was an established network of connections and a several Soviet officials who were impressed with the advances that the Palestinian Jewish community had made. This context meant that while the turn was mostly dictated by strategic interests, Soviet representatives such as Gromyko had useful resources to draw on. The positive way in which the Jewish state was advanced informed the way in which the communist parties around the world saw the issue and in turn reported it in their press.
British Communist send their ‘warmest greetings to the new Jewish State of Israel’
Over the next few months the Soviet Union became the most consistent backer for partition and after the adoption of the UN Partition Plan in November 1947, communist parties around the world took the same position. In 1948, at a critical moment in the Israeli War of Independence, the Soviet Union authorised Czechoslovakia to supply weapons to the fledging Jewish State. For the Soviet Union and the communist movement more generally, the issue was understood as a struggle between British Imperial power in the Middle East and progressive forces.
British colonialism arrived in the Middle East quite late with the occupation of Egypt in 1882 but after the First World War expanded its influence first through conquest of Ottoman Iraq, Palestine and Jordan and then through the League of Nations mandates for these territories. Despite formal independence the British were still the dominant force in Egypt. The British were firmly entrenched in Jordan (not yet independent in 1947-48) supplying the chief of staff of the Arab Legion, John Glubb and dozens of British senior officers and NCOs. Iraq had gained its independence in 1937 but remained dependent on Britain for strategic support, especially for armaments. At the height of the first phase of the international war, the Daily Worker informed its readers that ‘Baghdad radio admitted yesterday that 20 British tanks and some British aircraft had just arrived for the use of the Iraqi aggression army.’ The British had helped create the Arab League in March 1945, which comprised Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia – with Yemen joining soon after. As Judith Latkin observed in the late 1940’s, ‘Britain retains a dominating position within the many Arab states, but holds a position of primary importance in the Arab League.’ She also noted that ‘Britain’s attitude all along has been to reconcile Arab nationalism (in its broadest sense) with British strategic interests.’
The proposed partition of Palestine did not align with this objective.
When the partition plan was adopted, the Daily Worker welcomed the vote. A few weeks later William Gallacher the Communist MP for West Fife in an article entitled ‘The Road to peace in Palestine,’ outlined the CPGB position,
Next year Palestine will be partitioned and a Jewish State will be set up in the midst of largely hostile Arab world.
This is the best immediate solution in view of the desperate situation created by British and America policy in recent years and by the impact of Hitlerism on the Jewish communities in Europe. Jewish immigration will now be facilitated and the economic development of Palestine will be speeded up.
The Jewish minority have made a great, and they can make a still greater contribution to the prosperity of Palestine. The Arab masses can be won for progress. They were being won until trouble started in 1929. They and not the imperialists can become strong allies of the Jewish people.
Jews and Arabs united … would bring prosperity to a land that would, it is developing economy provide a home secure and safe for the many thousands of displaced Jews of Europe.
The argument is striking in many ways. It focuses on the creation of a Jewish State as the purpose of partition. It does not shy away from the hostility that will be faced from the Arab world. Most importantly, perhaps, it emphasises the importance of immigration and highlights the idea that the Jewish state will be ‘a home secure and safe’ for the Holocaust survivors. Like Gromyko in the United Nations, Gallacher links the justification for the creation of the Jewish state to the fate of the Jews in the Second World War. It has become commonplace to suggest that western guilt for the Holocaust lead to the creation of Israel. Such a view is without foundation. It was only the Soviet Union which made this point in the UN debates and the Daily Worker reflected this position. It can also be seen that Gallacher’s views on Jewish-Arab unity is dependent on the Arab world being ‘won for progress.’ This reflects the Soviet line the Jewish cause represented progress and that the Jewish State can be catalyst in overthrowing the reactionary pro-British Middle Eastern regimes.
As we know as soon as the partition vote was adopted there was an upsurge in intercommunal violence in Palestine, initiated by local and regionally supported Arab militias. The Daily Worker was alive to this issue, reporting in February 1948 that 7,000 Arab guerillas ‘invade Palestine.’ While the Mandate Authorities did little to prevent such incursions it did prevent the United Nations Palestine Commission tasked with facilitating partition from entering the country. As the situation became more acute the communist paper warned its readers that the ‘Security Council will have to take necessary measures to secure the implementation of its own decision and put a decisive end to the sabotage that is being freely practiced by the British Government.’ It was a forlorn plea given that Britain’s veto on the Security Council could prevent any such action. In April it returned to this question,
Responsibility for the bloody situation in Palestine and the agonising prospects before the Jewish community rest squarely on the shoulders of the British government.
Every possible obstacle has been put in the way of the UN Palestine Commission, which had been entrusted with the task of supervising the transfer of power. Now the UN proposals on Palestine are in ruins.
This inability of the Palestine Commission to operate undoubtedly made the situation worse. The paper was quite right to draw attention to British obstruction. The commission with Karel Lisicky (Czechoslovakia) in the Chair first met in January 1948. It was tasked with the orderly transfer of power from the Mandatory authorities to Provisional Councils representing the two potential states. It also would ensure the demarcation of the borders of the states and the international zone, while taking steps to create the economic union. It is difficult to know what impact the commission would have had on the ground. However, an early intervention could have at least assured both sides that their right to self-determination and statehood was the policy of the international community. Perhaps more importantly it could have disseminated the details of the plan, which provided that no individual would have to leave their home. From the outset the commission recognised that the opposition of the Arab Higher Committee (the Palestinian leadership) made their task difficult. However, the British refusal to allow entry until two weeks before the end of the Mandate meant that the commission was unable to reach out to the Arab community at all. In the long term this policy might also have contributed to the intractability of the conflict. While Britain had merely abstained on the partition vote, its actions appeared to indicate that it was implacably opposed to it.
It is also important to note how the Daily Worker continually castes the Jewish community as being the victims of British policy and the Arab military attacks. The Jews are not just defending themselves but also the United Nations. As the same article noted,
As the Jews accepted partition they are clearly defending themselves against attack, not fighting against the UN decision. The offensive is being waged by the Arabs who are using armaments supplied by the British for that purpose. 
The paper thus contrasted the legitimacy of the Jewish position against the perfidy of British policy. It continued,
There is ample evidence in support of this charge. Operating chiefly from Transjordan, rule by the reactionary King Abdullah, British agents directed by General Clayton, organised Arab forces for the invasion of Palestine, and supported the Arabs with arms, guns and motor vehicles. This is the explanation of the ample supplies in the hands of the Arab forces.
Communists against the ‘imperialists’ Bevin and Atlee and the ‘reactionary’ Arab League
The British Foreign Office was undoubtedly determined to do everything possible to remain on good terms with the Arab states for strategic reasons which included the continued supply of oil – a vital resource, especially in the dire energy conditions that confronted Britain after the war. However, the British government had to act with a high degree of caution given the pro-partition position of the Truman Administration. Nevertheless, there is evidence that after the UN partition plan vote the British did extend military support to Jordan significantly. In addition, in talks with the Transjordan delegation in London in January and February 1948, the Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin did explore how to deal with any Jewish state that might emerge. It was suggested that Arab Legion intervention could create a ‘corridor’ through the northern Negev to the Mediterranean Sea which would deprive the Jewish state access to the Red Sea. Interestingly, Bevin saw such a move as combating ‘communist influence.’ The British Labour Foreign Secretary saw the emergence of a Jewish state as in the interests of communist expansion. If it could not be prevented, it had to be contained.
With the last weeks of the Mandate approaching the United States began to tout the idea of the United Nations Trusteeship for Palestine. In essence, Trusteeship was the United Nations version of the League of Nations Mandate. The Daily Worker, however, saw the proposal as ‘a new American plan to complete the sell-out of the Palestinian Jews to the oil interests.’ It is interesting how the left has continuously seen western Middle East policy dictated by oil, it was a familiar refrain in debates about the Kuwait Crisis 1990-1991 and in the Iraq War of 2003. In those later conflicts the Arab populations were seen as pawns in the hands of the oil interests. For the communists of the 1940’s, it was the Jews.
At the end of April, the Daily Worker was warning of an ‘Arab Invasion of Palestine’. Two days later, in a front-page comment, it renewed its linkage between the ‘Arab invasion’ from Transjordan and Britain.
There is little doubt that this action of Abdulla is the equivalent to a British declaration of war against the Jews, for this king is a British puppet, his forces led by British officers and he receives their up keep of £2 million a year from the Treasury.
Let the people everywhere call for the ending of this despicable intrigue, let them stand by the decision of the UN and for the setting up independent Jewish and Arab states as the only basis of ending the war which imperialism has let lose in Palestine.
Despite the upsurge in fighting in Palestine and the attempts of the State Department to de-rail partition, Ben-Gurion skillfully led the Jewish Community toward the Declaration of Independence and the creation of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948. For the Daily Worker this an important historical moment.
The British Mandate in Palestine is now ended and the Jewish State of Israel has been proclaimed: it has also been reported that the withdrawal of 84,000 British troops have commenced.
This news will be acclaimed by friends of peace and progress the world over…it will be greeted by all those who sympathise with the Jewish People to establish their own national home.
The view that the creation of Israel as a Jewish State would be ‘acclaimed by friends of progress’ will no doubt shock current readers of the paper’s successor, the Morning Star. For want of doubt of the position of British communists it is worth referring to the statement issued by the Communist Party of Great Britain on May 21, 1948. It begins by attacking the failure of the Labour conference serious to debate what it calls ‘the British sponsored war in Palestine.’ It continues,
We send our warmest greetings to the new Jewish State of Israel whose foundation is a big step forward towards the fulfillment of self-determination for the peoples of Palestine. We are confident that the establishment and co-operation of free and independent Jewish and Arab states in Palestine in accordance with the decision of the United Nations is the only path to the solution of the problems of the peoples of Palestine corresponding to the interests of democracy and peace
The present military conflict in Palestine is the direct consequence of Imperialist policy. Both American and British policy bear responsibility for sabotaging the United Nations decision for the establishment of independent Jewish and Arab States, and seeking to carry forward imperialist domination in new forms for the protection of oil and strategic interests of imperialism.
The heaviest responsibility for the present military operations rests with the British Labour Government, which has armed, equipped, subsidised and officered the armies of reactionary Princes and puppets of the Arab League which operates under British control. Britain has so far refused to recognise the new Jewish State. The British representative at the United Nations Security Council has blocked a proposal to recognise the war as in Palestine as threat to peace.
The statement then turns to the politics and role of the Arab League states.
This reactionary war is conducted by the chieftains of the Arab League under British control is entirely against the interests of the Arab masses who in all the countries of the Middle East are striving for freedom as seen in the popular movements of revolt in Iraq and Egypt. The interests of the Arab peoples lies in cooperation with the new Jewish State against imperialism for freedom and peace throughout the Middle East.
The statement ends with a series of slogans,
- Immediate recognition of the Jewish State of Israel
- Cessation of all supply of arms and subsidies to Arab states
- Speeding up complete British military withdrawal
- Full support for the United Nations Security Council measures, in accordance with the American-Soviet resolution to bring about the immediate suspension of hostilities
- Full support for the United Nations decision for the establishment and recognition of sovereign and independent Jewish and Arab states in Palestine.
The statement makes quite clear that the Daily Worker’s coverage of the events is in accordance with the policy of the CPGB and underlines several important ideas. The opposition to British Imperialism, and imperialism in general, is not perhaps surprising. What is more significant is the way in which the creation of Israel is portrayed and described. The constant repetition that it is the ‘Jewish’ State of Israel gives the lie to those on the left today who claim that the creation of a ‘Jewish’ state is contrary to progressive thinking. The CPGB simply recognised that Jews were a people with the right to self-determination and that included the right to create to Jewish state to exercise it. Indeed Willie Gallacher, the communist MP was keen to underline the historical significance of the event, ‘After more than 2,000 years of dispersal and unspeakable suffering the Jewish people in Palestine has proclaimed the existence of a Jewish State.’
Current left-wing anti-Zionists should note that Marxists of the 1940’s did not see Israel as an ‘ethno-nationalist’ or ‘exclusivist’ state. At the same time as can be seen from this statement and the Daily Worker’s content there is no suggestion that Israel is a colonial project. Quite the reverse in fact, Israel’s Declaration of Independence is seen as blow against colonialism. What is also striking there is no coverage or discussion of Palestinian Arab displacement, a process that began in early 1948 and continued during the international war. The sub-text of this silence is that the Arab suffering was a result of the pro-Imperialist Arab leadership. For the Soviet Union and the communist parties, the world was divided into Imperialism on one side and the forces of progress on the other. Israel is firmly placed in the latter camp. As a consequence, the suffering of the Palestinian Arabs is not the consequence of the creation of the Jewish state but the result of those opposing it.
Britain’s policy toward Israel after the success of the War of Independence remained very cool. It abstained in the Security Council on Israel’s application to become a member of the United Nations in December 1948. At the meeting Israel could only muster five votes which was insufficient for a recommendation to the General Assembly. In January 1949 the UK recognised the existence of Israel de facto and exchanged low level representatives. However, in March 1949 she abstained again at the Security Council on Israel’s second attempt at membership. This time the recommendation of the Security Council was obtained. When the vote took place in the General Assembly on 11 May 1949, Britain continued to abstained although Israel was elected. It was on 28 April 1950 that Britain finally recognised Israel de jure and opened full diplomatic relations,  something that the USSR had done on 17 May 1948. When the Daily Worker had celebrated Soviet recognition it drew attention to Britain’s continued support for the Arab side, ‘Bevin is subsidising the Arab war mongers, despite the fact that the decision of the Soviet Union and the US to recognise Israel means that he will in the end have to call off his private war.’ While by the end of 1948 the guns fell silent, Britain’s diplomatic skirmishes evidently continued.
Lessons for Today
The purpose of this brief visit to 1948 is to highlight how left-wing ideological assumptions about Israel and Zionism need to be tempered with what Edward Said called the ‘gravity of history.’ Anti-Zionism is not an inevitable characteristic of the left. In the circles around Jeremy Corbyn and indeed the Morning Star, Israel is constructed as a ‘colonial’ project. Zionism is seen as reactionary and racist ideology. These positions are rooted within a political outlook which divides the world into the imperialist and the anti-imperialist camps. Israel is irredeemably in the former. Such a view is often embellished with references to Marxist theory. It is instructive therefore to consider a period when the communist left looked at Israel from quite the opposite perspective.
It is also a cautionary tale as it reminds us that we have to be careful of assuming the right position is always adopted by our ideological soulmates and the wrong one by our ideological foes. The complexity of politics requires us to make the intellectual and moral effort to judge issues outside of pre-determined ideological attachments. As we have seen, a repressive Stalinist regime and its supporters took the right decision to support the creation of Israel. A reformist Labour government, on the other hand, took the wrong decision to oppose its existence.
We know that communist politics dramatically changed its line on the Jewish state, and we saw the rise of a visceral antisemitic anti-Zionism after 1967. This development included the ‘Zionism is racism’ resolution at the United Nations. This has had a malign influence on the left, which in Britain led to the Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis.
In 1948 it was the Soviet Union and the communist parties that played a critical role politically, diplomatically and militarily to ensure the creation of the Jewish state. British communists played a particularly important part in this given that Britain was the mandatory power in Palestine. In June 1948 the Daily Worker reported, ‘as the British-armed Arab aggressors intensified their attack on the young State of Israel’ Willie Gallacher MP asked Prime Minister Attlee for assurance, ‘that the government would take no action and give no support to any action that would prejudice the new Jewish State.’ The paper noted that ‘in face of this straightforward question Mr. Attlee maintained a silence that can only be considered as sinister.’ This is a reminder that it was not just the Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, who played a key role in trying to prevent the creation of Israel but it was also Attlee.
Many of those in the Labour Party who opposed Jeremy Corbyn leadership lionised Attlee. Corbyn has sided with Israel’s military opponents such as Hamas and Hezbollah and oversaw Labour antisemitism that caused Jewish members of the Labour Party great discomfort and discrimination while poisoning political discourse. However, he was never in a position to prevent Holocaust survivors from reaching safety, to arm states waging war against the Jewish state, or to refuse to support Israel’s UN membership. That was the role that Clement Attlee played. The record of the left’s relationship with Israel is a tangled one and remembering that Communists once stood up for the Jewish state is instructive.
 I would like to thank the Marx Memorial Library and its librarians for making available the relevant copies of the Daily Worker. The paper was founded in 1930 as the organ of the Communist Party of Great Britain. In 1945 its ownership was transferred to a reader’s co-operative, but its editorial line remained aligned to the party. In the period in question the circulation was at its peak of between 100,000 -122,000, see: John Tomlinson, Left, Right: The March of Political Extremism in Britain (London: John Calder, New York: Riverrun, 1981), 91. Membership of the Communist Party of Britain was 42,123 in April 1946, see: Andrew Thorpe, ‘The Membership of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 1920-1945’, The Historical Journal, Vol.43, No.3 (2000), 777-800,781.
 Quoted in Cecil Bloom, ‘The British Labour Party and Palestine 1917-1948’, Jewish Historical Studies, Vl. 36 (1999-2001), 141-171, 146.
 Ibid, 147.
 According to statistics supplied to the United Nations by the Mandate authorities, between 1939–1945 a total of 55,486 Jews had been permitted to immigrate to Palestine. This was about half the number envisaged by the White Paper, see: Supplement to the Survey of Palestine: Notes Compiled for the Information of UNSCOP (Jerusalem: Government Printer, June 1947), 15.
 By the summer of 1947 nearly 53,000 ‘illegal’ Jewish immigrants were detained in British camps, some in Cyprus, See: UNGA A/364 (September 3, 1947), United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, Report to the General Assembly, Chapter II, paragraph 117.
 Robert S Wistrich, From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, The Jews and Israel (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2012), 540.
 UNGA resolution 181 (II) November 29, 1947.
 For a discussion of the details see: John Strawson, Partitioning Palestine: Legal Fundamentalism in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (London and New York: Pluto Press, 2010), 71-102.
 The Labour Government saw its energy needs and strategic position in the region as reliant of good relations with the Arab World. Pro-British governments were in place in Iraq, Transjordan and Egypt and in latter Britain and France had military installations along the Suez Canal zone.
 See: Derek Taylor, Solidarity and Discord: a brief history of the 99 years of affiliation to the Labour Party (London: Jewish Labour Movement, 2019), 14.
 UNGA A/2/PV.77 (May 14, 1947).
 See: Gabriel Gorodetsky, The Maisky Diaries: Red Ambassador to the Court of St James (New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 2015), 543.
 See: Strawson (2010), 112-113.
 The argument is that Soviets and Zionists had common interests in defeating British influence in the Middle East: see: Gyoo-Hyong Kahng, ‘Zionism, Israel and the Soviet Union: A study of the rise and fall of Soviet-Israel Friendship, 1945-1953’, Global Economic Review, Vol. 27, Issue 4 (1998), 95-107.
 Dave Rich, The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism (London: Biteback Books, 2018), 4.
 UNGA A/2/PV.77 (May 14, 1947).
 UNGA A/PV.125 (November 26, 1947).
 See: Gabriel Gorodestky, ‘The Soviet Union’s role in the creation of the State of Israel’, Journal of Israel History: Politics, Society, Culture, Vol. 22, Issue 1 (2003), 4-20.
 The CIA , for example, predicted that a Jewish State would only survive for 2 years before being overwhelmed by neighboring Arab states, as a result it did not recommend that the US support the creation of a Jewish State, see: CIA, The Consequences of the Partition of Palestine (ORE), November 28, 1947, at: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000256628.pdf (accessed July 16, 2020).
 For a useful résumé of Soviet-Israel relations 1947-1953, see: Yosef-Govrin, Israeli-Soviet Relations, 1953-1967: From Confrontation to Disruption (London and Portland: Frank Cass, 1998), xx-xxxv,
 See: Uri Bialer, ‘The Czech-Israeli Arms Deal Revisited’, Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 8, Issue 3 (1985), 307-315.
 Known as Glubb Pasha, he harbored antisemitic views and was one of the first people to compare Zionism or what he called Zionist practices with Nazism, see: Robert Wistrich (2015), 541-2.
 Estimates of the number of British officers vary from 37 to 45, see: Benny Morris, The Road to Jerusalem: Glubb Pasha, Palestine and the Jews (London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2002), 122.
 Daily Worker, June 2, 1948.
 Judith Latkin, Britain’s Influence in the Arab League, Columbia Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 3, No 2 (1949), 102-104, 103.
 Daily Worker, December 22, 1947.
 See: Strawson (2010), 92, 118.
 Daily Worker, February 13, 1948.
 Daily Worker, February 18, 1948
 Daily Worker, April 3, 1948.
 See: Palestine Commission, second draft of the first report to the UN Security Council, A/AC.21/R/4 (February 9, 1948, at: https://www.un.org/unispal/document/auto-insert-211970/ (accessed July 23, 2020).
 Daily Worker, April 3, 1948.
 Ibid. The rank of Clayton was in fact brigadier. He played a key role in establishing the Arab League and was rewarded in the New Year Honors in 1949 with a knighthood.
 See: Morris (2002), 113.
 The United States State Department was wary of the partition plan as endangering US relations with the Arab World and there was a major split in policy between the State Department and the White House on the issue: see: Allis Radosh and Ronald Radosh, A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel (New York: Harper, 2009), 277-309.
 Daily Worker, April 9, 1948.
 Daily Worker, April 26, 1948.
 Daily Worker, April 28, 1948.
 Daily Worker, May 15, 1948.
 Communist Party of Great Britain, Communist Policy to Meet the Crisis, Report of the 21st National Congress of the Communist Party, Supplement (London, 1949), 30-31.
 The Labour Party conference took place May 17-21, 1948. It was chaired by the pro-Zionist MP Emmanuel Shinwell, an irony that would not have been lost on the CPGB. In his leader’s speech Attlee does not mention the war in the Middle East, see: http://www.britishpoliticalspeech.org/speech-archive.htm?speech=158 (accessed July 21 2020).
 Daily Worker, May 27, 1948.
 For a discussion of this issue see: John Strawson, ‘Colonialism’, Israel Studies, Vol. 24, No. 2 (2019), 33-44.
 Membership of the UN is gained through a vote of the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council (United Nations Charter, article 4(2)).
 UN Security Council resolution 69 (1949).
 UN General Assembly Resolution 273 (III).
 For an incisive account of this episode see: W. Keith Pattison, ‘The Delayed British Recognition of Israel’, Middle East Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3 (1983), 412-428.
 Daily Worker, May 19, 1948.
 Edward W Said, Culture and Imperialism (London: Vintage, 1994), 366-367.
 While I have focused on the CPGB and the Daily Worker other left-wing organisations had similar positions, see for example: James Vaughan, ‘Keep Left for Israel: Tribune, Israel and the Middle East’, Contemporary British History, Vol. 27, No. 1 (2013), 1-21.
 For an interesting account of how this involved both communist parties and the western left, see: Jeffrey Herf, Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left 1967-1989 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016).
 UNGA resolution 3379 (XXX), November 10, 1975, it was revoked by the General Assembly by resolution 46/86, December 16, 1991
 See: David Hirsh, Contemporary Left Antisemitism (London and New York: Routledge, 2017).
 In a review of my book Partitioning Palestine in the Morning Star the reviewer seems far too embarrassed to mention the role of the CPGB and the Daily Worker in promoting the Soviet view of Israel in 1948, see: Karl Dallas, ‘Partitioning Palestine’, Morning Star, June 18, 2010.
 June 1, 1948.