Monday, November 30, 2009

3. Military Consequences

a. The Arab Forces.

(1) Character.

The bulk of the Arab forces fighting the Zionists will be semi-trained guerrilla groups and loosely organized tribesmen. There are three main sources from which the Arabs can raise men to light in Palestine; (1) Arab quasi-military organizations led by ex-army officers, which will form the core of the guerrillas; (2) soldiers volunteering from the official armies of the Arab states to participate in action against the Jews; and (3) tribesmen, who will probably be the largest source.

(2) Strength.

It is estimated that the largest number of Arabs actively engaged against the Zionists at any one time will be between 100,000 and 200,000, including Palestine Arabs, volunteers, Beduin, and quasi-military organizations from the other Arab states. The armed strength of the Arabs in Palestine itself is estimated at 33,000, most of wham are members of such quasi-military organizations as the Futuwwa. the Najjada, the Arab Youth Organization, and the Ikhwan (Moslem Brotherhood). Moreover, the Ikhwan will send contingents from its Egyptian and Syrian branches, which number 15,000 and 10,000, respectively.

The largest Arab group of potential fighting men is the tribesmen (Beduin) of whom some 30,000 are in the area immediately adjacent to Palestine.

They are expected to come to the aid of the Palestinian Arabs as soon as hostilities break out, and additional rising may be expected to swell the total Arab force as time goes on. Their service will probably be sporadic; but other tribesmen will replace any who drop out of the fighting so that the total Arab strength will undoubtedly be maintained.

The ground forces of the Arab League states (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan, and Yemen) total about 223,000 men, Including gendarmes, security troops, and police forces. Besides these ground forces, Egypt has a small navy, and several of the states have infant air forces and commercial planes, Although the Arab armies are not expected to be officially committed to the fighting, they will supply leadership to the fighters. These armies may also be asked by the new Arab state to enter Arab Palestine to maintain order.

(3) Materiel.

The Arab governments may be expected covertly to furnish arms and ammunition as well as trained military leadership to the guerrillas. Even before World War II, the Arab states had adequate supplies of weapons suitable for guerrilla fighting, These have been supplemented with arms taken from both Axis and Anglo-American dumps following the campaigns in the Near East and North Africa, and with purchase of materiel and equipment from US and UK surplus stocks, Negotiations for the purchase of Czech arms have been reported, The Arabs will, for the most part, rely on small arms rather than the elaborate materiel of modern warfare, though they may be expected to make use of armored trucks and tractors for attacking Jewish settlements. It is also probable that some light tanks and a few planes which can be used for strafing and bombing will find their way into Arab hands.

Supply constitutes no serious problem for the Arabs. Each fighter will carry his own equipment and will be supplied with funds for buying food from sympathetic villagers. The tribesmen, in particular, are hardy and well accustomed to bare subsistence rations and life in the open. Since they will be moving toward Palestine through Arab territory, they will have no difficulty gaining access to the water holes.

(4) Incentive.

The chief incentive to many of the leaders of this struggle will be opportunism, coupled with nationalist aspirations and religious fervor. The leaders, in turn, will appeal to the newly awakened nationalism as a strong incentive to many Arabs, particularly the better educated townsmen. Volunteers deserting from the armies of the Arab states probably will not incur the disfavor of their governments, and many will even receive secret encouragement from them. The proclamation of a Jihad will also be employed to secure volunteers although such a proclamation is not expected to kindle a mass uprising. The current drought in the northeastern Arabian desert will make the tribesmen restless, and the promise of loot from Jewish settlements will be attractive to many.

(5) Organization.

The Arab forces are expected to vary from relatively well-controlled quasi-military bands to the loose tribal organization of the Beduin, led by their sheikhs. Singleness of purpose wall be the main unifying force. Extensive guerrilla warfare in Palestine will give great power to opportunistic. aggressive, extreme nationalist leaders.who (in some instances) may even take over the governments of their countries, It has recently been reported that a unified command for all Arab guerrilla forces has been established.

(6) Course of Action.

Arab action will be directed not only against the Jews but also against any police force attempting to maintain order in Palestine. Guerrilla action is not anticipated until the final UN decision Is made known. The manner and timing of the British withdrawal will be an important factor in the fighting, which Is expected to increase steadily in intensity after the British withdrawal, eventually taking the form of an undeclared war of attrition against the Jews.

The Arab is a good guerrilla fighter while relatively few Jewish soldiers have had experience in guerrilla tactics. Furthermore, the terrain of Palestine is well suited to the Arab's traditional method of fighting. The quasi-military groups, composed of ex-army men and townspeople, will specialize in direct assaults on Zionist colonies, demolition of bridges and railroads. and other sabotage. The tribesmen will engage in activities not requiring technical training or extensive coordination such as attacks on isolated villages, assassination, continual sniping to prevent cultivation of the fields, and attacks on transportation, communications, and supply lines_ Persistent harassing attacks can be expected in time to wear the Zionist economy to the breaking point.

The Arab intelligence system has always been quick and accurate. The traditional "grapevine" can be supplemented by telecommunications and some aerial reconnaissance. Positions in the highlands will provide good observation posts. Also, since nearly hall the population of the Jewish state proposed by UNSCOP will be Arab, the Arabs will have a ready-made "Fifth Column" in enemy territory.

(7) Sources of Support.

The bulk of support for the Arab cause will come from the member states of the Arab League. Responsibility for financial support for the Arab cause will devolve primarily upon Egypt, and to a lesser extent upon the states receiving oil royalties, particularly Saudi Arabia. Support in the form of arms and men will come from all the Arab countries, but its extent will be conditioned by availability of transportation, particularly from such countries as Yemen and the more distant parts of Saudi Arabia. Aid from other Moslem areas, such as Pakistan and North Africa, is expected to be limited in quantity and to consist chiefly of money and moral support. Although the USSR has advocated the adoption of the majority report of UNSCOP with certain modifications, the Soviets will probably give covert aid to the Arabs as well as to the Jews in an effort to create chaos in the Near East. The Arabs will, of course, appeal to world opinion, but more for non-interference or for diplomatic support than for armed assistance.

b. The Jewish Forces.

(1) Character and Composition.

Although it has been estimated that Jewish and Arab forces will be almost equal numerically, the Arabs will have large numbers of replacements while

the Jews will have no reinforcements -unless they can facilitate additional emigration from Europe or obtain volunteers from the United States. The Jews will be well equipped, but It is doubtful whether the amount of ammunition they have on hand will be sufficient for a long campaign.

The Jewish forces in Palestine are composed of three organizations: (1) Hagana, the Zionist army; (2) Irgun Zvai Leumi (IZL) ; and (3) the Stem Gang. The three groups differ in their tactics and in the degree of ruthlessness employed in their operations, Hagana being the most sensitive to world opinion- IZL and the Stern Gang are illegal terrorist groups engaging In sabotage and assassination.

Hagana is sponsored by the Jewish Agency. The original and largest group, it is left of center in political sympathy. Because of its defensive work, its restraint, and its non-extremist intentions, Hagana is supported by a majority of the Jewish community of Palestine and by most Zionists. It has become primarily an instrument for the advancement of Zionism and would be a ready-made army for a Jewish state in Palestine.

It is estimated that in the event of hostilities Hagana could mobilize about 200,000 men and women with some combat or supply experience. At present Hagana is believed to have approximately 70,000 to 90,000 members organized into territorial commands under a central headquarters and consisting of three branches: (1) the static force; (2) the field army; and (3) the Palmach or storm trooper unit, The static force consists of settlers and townspeople based at Jewish settlements as a sort of home guard. The field army consists of about 16,000 troops trained in mobile operations. The Palmach is composed of approximately 5,000 permanently mobilized troops trained in commando tactics and supplied with, their own transportation. It includes a smaller group known as Palyam or Palteck, a kind of coast guard trained especially to assist Illegal immigrants arriving by ship.

Social and economic pressure has, in effect, made it compulsory for all able-bodied Jewish men and women in Palestine to serve one year in some armed organization. Thus, a year's term of enlistment is prerequisite to enrollment in Hebrew University. Hagana is well financed by a semilegal tax imposed upon the settlements by the Jewish Agency, by subscriptions, and by contributions from Jews in other countries. The organization also has European branches.

It has been estimated that enough modern weapons are available to arm up to 200,000 members of Hagana. There are also sufficient automatic weapons for each squad of Palmach, as well as some mortars. Hagana has been procuring arms over a period of years, many from the residue of the campaigns in the Near East and others smuggled in from abroad.

The effectiveness and timing of Hagana's diversionary attacks designed to aid illegal immigration are proof that it possesses an excellent intelligence system and that it maintains a high standard of security. "The Voice of Israel," a clandestine radio, is one of its chief mediums for disseminating propaganda,

The Irgun Zvai Leumi is estimated to have a strength of from 6,000 to 8.000 members. It is organized on a regional basis similar to that of Hagana but is cellular in character. It employs sabotage and terrorism as the "only effective" means of attaining its ultimate objective of an independent state in Palestine and Transjordan.

IZL, is rightist in political sympathy. It has foreign branches and in-creases its Palestinian membership with illegal immigrants, apparently being more interested in securing new recruits with military abilities than in funding a home for less fortunate "displaced" Jews. IZL members are well armed and trained in sabotage, particularly in the use of explosives. It has been reported, but not confirmed, that IZL and the Stern Gang have sufficient armor plate for transforming 500 to 600 tractors into improvised light tanks and for converting an unestimated number of automobiles into armored cars. IZL is believed to cooperate closely with the Stern Gang. and the two organizations are known to have conducted operations jointly. The infrequency of tactical errors in IZL's operations indicates that the organization has an excellent intelligence system with very tight security. It has its own clandestine radio station known as the "Voice of Fighting Zion."

The Stern Gang consists of from 400 to 500 extreme fanatics. They do not hesitate to assassinate government officials and police officers or to obtain funds by acts of violence against Jews as well as others_ Like IZL, they are well supplied with small arms, and the security of the group is excellent as its organization is limited to cells of three.

The founders of the Stern Gang were formerly members of IZL_ How-ever, when IZL restrained its activities against the British during the early days of World War II, the most extreme section of its membership formed a more terroristic body called FFI (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel) but more commonly known as the Stern Gang. The political connections of the organization are paradoxical and appear to be the result of opportunism born of necessity. Recent reports confirm the fact that the Stem Gang has connections with the USSR, which is furnishing it with money. The organization has stated that it considers a turn towards Soviet Russia necessary because of the present world situation. It explains that the USSR and the Stern Gang both desire the creation of a "strong and independent Palestine" which would constitute a rampart against British "imperialist designs" but would "not be hostile" to the Soviet Union.

(2) Course of Action.

In the face of an Arab attack, the three Jewish armed groups will be forced to unite. Members of IZL and the Stern Gang will probably be assimilated into Iiagana, which is already established along military tines and could readily absorb the other two groups into its commando units. Initially, the Jews will gain marked success over the Arabs because of superior organization and equipment, but the Jews will be unable to stand up under the long war of attrition which will develop. ,

The Jewish sections of a Palestine partitioned in accordance with the UNSCGP majority report will be vulnerable to attack by the Arabs. The northeast sector is entirely surrounded by Arabs: Palestinian on the south and west, Lebanese and Syrian on the north, and Transjordanian on the east. The central Jewish sector is flanged on the east by the central Arab sector, while the southern Jewish sector is surrounded by Palestinian Arabs on the west and north, Transjordanian on the east, and Egyptian on the south The Arab sectors contain the strategic highlands of Galilee and those surrounding the proposed international zone of Jerusalem.

Two major difficulties facing the Jews will be the large numbers of Arabs within Jewish territory (in the northeast Jewish sector, for instance, there are some 72,700 Arabs as opposed to 44,700 Jews) and the extreme vulnerability of outlying Jewish settlements and supply routes to Arab attack. The Jews will be forced to expend a large proportion of their forces in static defense of isolated villages and colonies, or organize many mobile units in key locations so that settlements under attack can be aided quickly, furthermore, many units will have to be used to convoy supply caravans. The establishment of strong defensive positions, within which normal economic life can be maintained, and the protection of transportation routes will be the main strategy of the Jewish forces. The Zionist colonies are estimated to have sufficient stores of food for a month's supply. Owing to the fact that many agricultural laborers will be engaged in combat and that Arab attacks will prevent cultivation of the fields, the Jews will have difficulty in producing food. Moreover, mobilization over a long period of time will so strain the manpower of the Jewish community that its economy will collapse unless large numbers of immigrants and substantial material assistance are supplied from abroad,

The Jews may be expected to employ small-scale, commando-type offensive operations against Arab concentrations if they are able to locate them, or attempts may be made to pursue retreating Arab raiders. Large-scale Jewish efforts to penetrate territory adjoining the contemplated Jewish state are unlikely because such actions would necessitate over-extending the already vulnerable supply lines and would entail the risk of combined rear, frontal, and flanking attacks by Arabs.

It is a distinct strategic advantage to the Jews that the important port of Haifa and the smaller port of Tel Aviv are included In the Jewish sectors, since any assistance to the Jews in the event of open conflict will come from the west.* It is expected, however, that, all cities will be centers of heavy fighting.

c. European Support for Jewish Forces.

There is already In existence a well organized system for transporting Jewish DP's from Eastern Europe southward, particularly through the Balkans, to Palestine. In the event of an Arab-Jewish conflict, this system would be employed to furnish man-power to the Jewish forces in Palestine.

Jewish immigrants from Poland, the Soviet Zone of Germany, Hungary, and the Balkans are gathered together in Austria, Italy, and Germany for transportation to Palestine. It has been estimated that about 1,800 Jews cross into Austria every month, In Italy, Hagana is reportedly operating a secret immigration service for the estimated 30,000 Jewish refugees registered there- Both the Rumanian and Bulgarian Govern-merits are helping Jews reach Black Sea ports in order to board ships which attempt to run the blockade into Palestine.

There has been some evidence that European agents of IZI, and the Stern Gang have been trained and are assisted by the USSR, The Jews will doubtless continue to solicit aid from the-USSR, but in the event of a Jewish-Arab war, it is unlikely that either side would receive overt material aid from the USSR or its satellites, with the


9 The predominantly Arab port of Jaffa, although allocated to the Arab state by UNSCOP. is cut off from the Arab hinterland and thus will not be immediately useful to the Arab forces in the event of war.

exception of Czechoslovakia. France and Belgium, as well as Czechoslovakia, are thought to be likely sources of arms and ammunition for the Jewish forces. There have been unconfirmed reports of smuggling from France, Belgium, and Luxembourg for Jewish terrorist groups in Palestine. The Czechs are reported willing to sell arms to the Arabs; they would also be willing to supply arms to the Jews. if the transaction were financially advantageous. No estimate can be made of the amount and types of weapons which would be supplied.

d. Support Obtainable in the US.

No information is available upon which to base an estimate of the specific number of volunteers or the amount of funds and supplies to be made available to Jewish armed forces from US sources.

The Zionist movement is very strong in the US, but every organization claiming to represent all American Jewry does not in fact do so, and many Zionist organizations, while supporting the objectives of a National Home for Jews, do not advocate an independent Jewish nation in Palestine. The American Jewish Conference, the Jewish Congress, the New Zionist Organization, and the American League for a Free Palestine are among the leading groups Interested In the political aspects of Zionism which may be expected to support Jewish forces, The principal non-Jewish bodies espousing the Zionist cause are the American Palestine Committee, headed by Senator Robert F. Wagner of New York, the Christian Council on Palestine, and the Political Action Committee for Palestine, Inc. The last-named organization has recently expended approximately $80,000 for purely military supplies. Because it is illegal to supply arms from the US to Jewish groups in Palestine, figures arc difficult to obtain, although part of most Zionist funds collected is probably allotted to the purchase of military supplies.

While no authentic figures are available, it is estimated that support of Jewish armed forces by US private organizations will be on the order of, or somewhat greater than, similar support by US citizens of Government forces in the Spanish Civil War.

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