In the period 1946 - 1951 the Anglo countries and South Africa displayed a most ambiguous response to the emerging Jewish state, with top leadership professing support, but vital government agencies in vigorous opposition.
An Ambiguous Relationship
In his book (left) Chanan Reich introduced the term ambiguous relationship for the initial Australian diplomatic relationship between Australia and Israel, but the term well covers broader aspects of the support offered by the Anglo countries to Israel. Evatt, the UNSCOP chair who is disputably described as a Zionist, not invariably taking a position that would facilitate the establishment of the Jewish state. Key Australian Government departments were in active opposition to the establishment of Israel, and to the offering of any support after its establishment.
Of special interest is the extent to which material support, such as war-surplus arms, especially aircraft were permitted to be acquired by Israel during its early years.
Anglo Saxon Jews who fought in Israel's War of Independence
Country Number USA ~1500 UK ~1000 South Africa 832 Machal video Canada ? Australia ~20 Australian Government threatened to revoke passports. Total 3,500 All countries 1500 were killed
Aircraft acquisition from Anglo countries On 29 May 1948, two weeks after five Arab states had declared war and invaded Israel, a UN embargo on arms shipments to the Middle East was imposed. Despite this embargo, a limited number of aircraft were acquired by Israel in its earliest days.
Aircraft from Australia to Israel 1948+.: Chanan Reich reported in his classic book that during the first crucial two years, 1948-9, 6 aircraft arrived in Israel from Australia. Suzanne Rutland has reported that these six comprised five US manufactured aircraft, viz., one DC5, one Lodestar, 3 Lockheed Hudson, and an Australian built plane ( referred to by Rutland as a "VHA RR." )
The one DC-5 in the Israeli AirFoce was one of only 12 DC-5 aircraft ever manufactured. After a chequered history, it flew as a US military aircraft in the Pacific War, before being acquired by civilian operators in support of the US military in the South Pacific. The DC-5 flown to Israel on May 26, 1948 had the markings of New Holland airlines, a precursor to Ansett Airways. and registration number VH-CXC (correct was VH-ARD).
In his book (left) Chanan Reich presented the term vague relationship for the starting Australian strategic relationship in the middle of Australia and Israel, yet the term well covers more extensive parts of the backing offered by the Old English nations to Israel. Evatt, the UNSCOP seat who is debatably depicted as a Zionist, not constantly taking a position that would encourage the foundation of the Jewish state.
Key Australian Government divisions were in dynamic resistance to the foundation of Israel, and to the offering of any backing after its foundation. Of extraordinary hobby is the degree to which material backing, for example, war-surplus arms, particularly flying machine were allowed to be obtained by Israel amid its initial years.
Another 80 war-surplus planes from the Pacific Theater were gathered in Australia yet hindered from fare to Israel even in 1950.
It is deserving of note that the six planes from Australia procured by Israel were truth be told all obtained in Australia amid a period that the UK government communicated backing on a basic level for a ban on arms shipment to the center east, and hindered any such fares to Israel, however felt 'they had [to] "honor contractual commitments" to the Middle Easterner states', obliging the UK to speedily ship arms to the Middle Easterner nations looking to annihilate Israel.
These markings were painted over and it was crudely labelled Yankee Pasha - The Bagel Lancer about a Star of David. Used by Israel during the 1948 War ferrying troops and supplies into the Negev, it was also reputedly also used as a clumsy bomber lacking bombracks.
Another 80 war-surplus planes from the Pacific Theatre were collected in Australia but blocked from export to Israel even in 1950. It is worthy of note that the six planes from Australia acquired by Israel were in fact all purchased in Australia during a period that the UK government expressed support in principle for an embargo on arms shipment to the middle east, and blocked any such exports to Israel, but felt 'they had [to] "honour contractual obligations" to the Arab states', obliging the UK to expeditiously ship arms to the Arab countries seeking to destroy Israel.
Adelman, Howard, Australia and the Birth of Israel: Midwife or Abortionist?, Australian Journal of Politics and Hstory, vol 38, no 3, pp 354-374. Suzanne D. Rutland, Seeking "Treasure Island": Manpower and Arms from Australia and the South Pacific to Israel, 1948-1950, Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal, Vol 20, (2011) Part 2, pp307-321.
Suzanne D. Rutland, 1948 and the Creation of the State of Israel: a watershed period for Australian Zionism, Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol. XIX, 2004 Chanan Reich, Australia and Israel: An Ambiguous Relationship, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2002.
One of the very few published stories of the acquisition of planes in 1948-9 can be found in a dubious newspaper story in the Daily Express (London) Monday September 20 1948 recounting how UK manufactured "Beaufighters, Mosquitos and Halifaxes" acquired in the UK were spirited to Israel. Israel finally achieved air superiority in the two months before the final cease-fire of January, 1949, following the purchase in October 1948 of 50 WW2 Spitfires from Czechoslavakia, most of which reached Israel intact before the January 1949 cease-fire.