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50 Years Ago: Palestine and its Problems

Within a few hours of the proclamation of the new Jewish State by its self-appointed provisional Government, President Truman startled the world by publicly stating that America would recognise it. Commentators on Truman's action attributed it to a late attempt to capture the Jewish vote in the forthcoming presidential election. This is too thin. While in fact it may have this result there is far more behind the action than electioneering propaganda. Jews and Arabs in Palestine, like the Greeks, the Italians and the Jugo-slavs, are pawns in a much greater game which involves oil and the struggle between Russia and the Western Powers for economic domination . . .

There are two oil pipe lines from Iraq to the Mediterranean; one through Syria to the Coast, and the other through Transjordan to Haifa. Thus it is necessary to placate or force the ruling groups in each of these territories to favour the production and transport of oil on behalf of Western capitalists . . .

The Palestine episode is thus another move in the strategical line-up of the two major imperialistic powers—America and Russia. Russia originally backed the Arabs—then they changed over to support of the Jews. Truman's quick response to the establishment of the Jewish State was obviously aimed at getting in first and forestalling Russia.

(From front page article by Gilmac, Socialist Standard, June 1948)