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During 1948 War: Mapam-affiliated Israeli Commanders secretly meet Abdel-Nasser, provide medical aid to troops commanded by Abdel-Nasser, enter Egypt to destroy the British terror-planes based in Suez

  

 

During a series of secret meetings in November 1948, Rabin, Allon, and Cohen – three Israeli military commanders affiliated with the Soviet espionage front ‘Mapam’ – provided Egyptian forces led by Gamal Abdel-Nasser with fruits, foods, and medicine. “we were well-treated,” Abdel-Nasser recalled in his memoirs. The Mapam-affiliated commanders expressed hope that Israeli and Arab freedom forces ally in the war on British colonialism. Abdel-Nasser agreed. In the discourse of the Mapam and Abdel-Nasser, ‘fighting British imperialism’ included a struggle against the Farouk and Ben-Gurion regimes in Egypt and Israel.

Subsequent to the meeting, the Mapam-affiliated commanders entered the Sinai and shot down British Empire’s warplanes based in British-occupied Suez Canal.

  

 

The History of the USSR & the Peoples’ Democracies

Chapter 16, Section 6 (C16S6) 

  

Saed Teymuri

 

A collage of pictures of menDescription automatically generated

 

 

Allon, Rabin, and other Palmach generals were forced by the Ben-Gurion faction to head southwards and to engage in a fratricidal war with the Egyptian forces. Yet even in the southern front, they spared no chance to assist their Arab comrades.

In November 1948, there were a series of secret meetings between Gamal Abdel-Nasser and Mapam-Palmach generals from Israel, three of whom were Yigal Allon, Yitzhak Rabin, and Yeruham Cohen. Sa’id Aburish, the CIA spy affiliated with the ‘Radio Free Europe’ (RFE), wrote:

The second truce, in August 1948, left Nasser and his brigade surrounded by Israeli forces. But Nasser refused to surrender. When the Israelis and Egyptians negotiated for the Egyptians to withdraw and cede to Israel the areas they still occupied, Faluga and Iraq al-Manshia, Nasser had his one chance to directly assess the enemy. He met with two Israeli officers, future chief of staff Yigal Allon and a junior officer by the name of [Yeruham] Cohen. Years later both men were to praise the young Egyptian officer they had met and to speak of his curiosity about their organization and the methods they used. Both spoke of Nasser's bravery and dignity. (Nasser: The Last Arab, Sa’id Aburish) (IMG)

A CIA document leaked by the students who captured the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979, noted the meeting of Rabin and Abdel-Nasser:

During the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, Rabin commanded the brigade that secured the road to Jerusalem. He was also executive staff officer to Alon, then head of Palmach. At one point during the war in the Negev, Rabin and the late Egyptian President Jamal 'Abd al-Nasir, then an army officer, met, discussed the military situation and shared a bowl of fruit. (‘BIOGRAPHIC REPORT: Yitzhak RABIN, Prime Minister of Israel’, CIA, June 1974, p. 4) (IMG)

In his 1948 War Diaries, which were published by Abdel-Nasser’s daughter Hoda bint Gamal, Gamal Abdel-Nasser recorded the events:

November 11, 1948

I met with the Jewish officer at hour 10:00 and was informed that the [Egyptian] commander agreed to meet with the Jewish leader between hours 15:00 and 16:00. He said that he regrets that we did not agree on the place, and that this place between the lines in the sun is not suitable. His commander would like us to have a cup of tea together. He asked us to pick between Gat and Beit Jibrin for the place of meeting. We agreed to meet at Gat. He will meet us at hour 15:15.

We – Al-Sayyid Bey Taha, Rizqellah El-Fasakhani, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ibrahim Baghdadi and Khalil Ibrahim – went to Gat, and we were well-treated. There was a vast difference between Gat and Iraq al-Manshiyyeh. One feels that one is among civilized people – mechanized agricultural means, hygiene, and the women in bright clothes wearing shorts.

And we met with the Jews. And the Jewish commander [probably Allon] spoke and said that he desires to prevent bloodshed, and that our position is hopeless. He asked us to surrender. The Egyptian commander objected and requested the withdrawal to Gaza or Rafah. The Jews objected and said: They agree, on the condition that the Egyptian army out of all of Palestine. We demanded that the wounded be evacuated to Gaza, but they refused that and said that they are ready to give us whatever medicine we want. Finally, we went out, and they offered us orange juice, oranges, sandwiches, chocolate, canapes, petit fours and biscuits.

The head told us that a convoy would attend. The password is HSAN [Arabic for HORSE]. At hour 11:00, I learned that His Majesty the King sent a telegram in which he thanked and encouraged everyone. Mr. Taha was promoted to Amiralay with his Bey rank.

(Gamal Abdel-Nasser Special Papers: Vol. 1: Gamal Abdel-Nasser as a Student and as an Officer, Collected by: Hoda Gamal Abdel-Nasser, 2015, p. 178) (IMG)

In one meeting, Rabin argued that the Arabs and the Israelis should be fighting not each other but rather the British Empire. Without naming Rabin, Abdel-Nasser wrote in his memoirs:

November 14, 1948

The enemy continued firing its artillery and mortars throughout the night. At hour 11:00, a chariot with a white flag arrived. We were informed by the Jewish officer that he was ready to give us medicine and take the wounded to their hospitals, to be prisoners of war.

The commander agreed to take the medicines, but he said that he is determined to evacuate the wounded, by means of the Red Cross, to our lines, and we have agreed to communicate at hour 16:00 by radio with the Jews, to receive their response after they received the list of medicines.

The rain is continuous. I met the Jewish officer in the rain. We talked about general topics. He said that he hopes that we will not be tired in the rain. He asked: does it rain like this in Egypt right now? And he said that he wished that peace would prevail, and that we [Egyptian forces] would be able to return safe and sound. And he spoke and said: ‘It was Britain that forced us to achieve its goals.’ He added that they might be able to expel the British from Palestine, and they hope that we will expel them as well, and that we would cooperate together.

(Gamal Abdel-Nasser Special Papers: Vol. 1: Gamal Abdel-Nasser as a Student and as an Officer, Collected by: Hoda Gamal Abdel-Nasser, 2015, p. 181) (IMG)

 

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Above is an image of Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s notebook, recording the November 11th meeting.

The more clearly visible version of the text can be found in the ‘Screenshots’ section, recording a screenshot of the 1948 War Diaries.

 

Gamal Abdel-Nasser agreed with Yitzhak Rabin regarding the Arab alliance with the Mapamite/Palmachnik Israelis against the Anglo-American imperialist forces in the Middle East. Years later, Yitzhak Rabin recalled his conversation with Abdel-Nasser:

The details emerge in a 1994 interview with Rabin, then prime minister, that is the centerpiece of “Shalom Rabin,” director Amos Gitai’s new film about Rabin’s bid for peace with the Palestinians. (…). Rabin says Israeli officers invited their Egyptian counterparts after surrounding their brigade at the Faluja enclave. Rabin was a leader of the elite Palmach fighting force.

“He (Nasser) was a major. I was a lieutenant-colonel,” Rabin says. “We offered them to come and have lunch at (Israel’s) Kibbutz Gat and they came.”

The Israelis gave their word the Egyptians would return to their brigade safely.

“Nasser was sitting next to me. He looked at the emblem of the Palmach and asked me what it meant and I explained. Then he told me the war we are fighting is the wrong war against the wrong enemy at the wrong time. And I remembered that, because he didn’t say it in private.”

“And I believe at that time that we were very close to peace,” Rabin says.

“And what happened, and he went the opposite direction. I guess the road is much longer than we would have wished,” Rabin says.

(‘When Towering Rivals Rabin and Nasser Met for Lunch - in Rabin’s Own Words’, Ha’aretz. Original article from: Reuters, February 2, 2017) (IMG)

Michael Oren, an Israeli government official with ties to Yitzhak Rabin, wrote:

Rabin was aware of the situation's delicacy, and exceedingly wary of Nasser. He had actually met the man once, at the end of the 1948 war when Rabin helped negotiate the withdrawal of besieged Egyptian soldiers from the Negev. The future Egyptian president had told him, "Our main enemy is the British... We should be fighting the colonial power rather than you," and had impressed the young Israeli officer. (Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, Michael Oren, p. 62) (IMG)

In his 1955 book ‘The Philosophy of the Revolution’, Abdel-Nasser recalled that while he was fighting in Palestine, he desired to fight in Egypt against the British agents that dominated his homeland, and that while the bullets of the Egyptian troops were being directed against the Israeli forces, his thoughts were for the expulsion of the British from Egypt:

May 16, 1944 … marked the start of my life in the Palestine War. As I trace the details of our experience in Palestine I feel a strange sensation. We were fighting in Palestine but our dreams were in Egypt. Our bullets were aimed at the enemy lurking in the trenches in front of us, but our hearts were hovering round our distant Mother Country, which was then a prey to the wolves that ravaged it. In Palestine [Free] Officers’ cells were meeting in trenches and posts, studying and searching. (…). As I reached that stage in my thinking my feelings would suddenly jump across the battlefront, across frontiers, to Egypt. I found myself saying, “there is our Mother Country, a far, far bigger Falouga. What is happening in Palestine is but a miniature picture of what is happening in Egypt. (…).” (The Philosophy of the Revolution, Book I, Gamal Abdel-Nasser, 1955, pp. 12-13) (IMG)

the enemy also played his part in reminding us of our homeland and its difficulties. A few months ago I read some articles written about me by a Jewish officer named Yerdan Cohen. These were published in the Jewish Observer. In those articles he related how he met me during the contacts and discussions of the Armistice. “The subject that Gamal Abdel Nasser discussed with me,” he stated, “was Israel’s struggle against the English, how we succeeded in mobilizing world public opinion against them.” (The Philosophy of the Revolution, Book I, Gamal Abdel-Nasser, 1955, pp. 13-14) (IMG)

Cohen, a Yemenite Israeli ‘Jew’, was another of the Mapamite Palmach commanders with whom Abdel-Nasser spoke. Abdel-Nasser was not implying that he did not wish to struggle against the Israeli regime. Rather, Abdel-Nasser was implying his desire for strategic cooperation with Palmach freedom-fighters against the CIA-MI6 comprador regime of Israel, against the MI6 presence in Egypt, against the British colonial forces throughout the entire region. The Palmach freedom-fighters had been forced against their will by the MI6-backed fascists of the Israeli regime into a fratricidal war against the Arab freedom-fighters. After the 1948 War, Abdel-Nasser retained secret contacts with the Soviet-backed Mapam-Palmach faction in Israel. Upon ascending to the position of the President (Al-Ra’is) of Egypt in 1954, Abdel-Nasser retained contacts with the faction of Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin, via the Palmach officer and Allon aide, Yeruham Cohen. This fact is well-documented. The prominent journalist Eric Rouleau for one wrote:

The friendship between Nasser and Cohen lasted well after the war. Having ascended to the presidency of the republic, the Rais invited Cohen more than once to visit him in Cairo, something the Israeli was unable to do because the Israeli government refused permission. The two men corresponded with each other and exchanged gifts for their respective birthdays. Besides Cohen, Yigal Allon, commander of the forces besieging al-Faluja and later a leader of the Labor Party, also had courteous conversations with Nasser and excellent memories of their encounters, according to the statements he made to the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. (‘Truths and Lies in the Middle East: Memoirs of a Veteran Journalist, 1952-2012’, Eric Rouleau, 2019) (IMG)

The anti-Arab terrorism of the Israeli regime emanates from Israel's strategic alliance with Anglo-American imperialism. An Israel opposed to Anglo-American imperialism and allied with the USSR … against the Anglo-American imperialists would cease its anti-Arab terror activities. Armed struggle against the Israeli regime must have been directed not towards the overthrow of Israel as a country but rather towards the strategic realignment of Israel with the USSR and the Peoples' Democracies against the Anglo-American imperialists. Most people do not understand this very important point. The Soviets, the Peoples' Democracies, and the Mapamites understood this point. Long before adopting the UNSCR242 as his official program, Gamal Abdel-Nasser demonstrated an understanding of this important point. The other ... to recognize this point was Hafez Al-Assad and his team. This is why Hafez Al-Assad called for a lasting democratic peace with Israel while also waging bloody wars against the Israeli military. There is neither hypocrisy nor a self-contradiction here. Waging wars against the Israeli regime would inflict financial costs upon the fascist tendency, the dominant tendency, in the staff of the Israeli armed forces, thus reducing the lobbying power of this fascist tendency, while increasing the leverage of the Mapamite dissidents in the staff of the Israeli armed forces. This would result in the elevation of the Mapamite dissident elements within the Israeli armed forces, so that eventually, a leap from quantity to quality occurs and Israel's means of violence would be firmly under Mapamite control. This would cause Israel to transition into becoming an anti-imperialist socialist-oriented state willing to ally with the progressive Arab states and hostile to the reactionary CIA-backed regimes in the Arab world. And the military alliance of the new Israel with the progressive Arab states would yield a democratic peace with the Arab people of Palestine. 

By contrast, the Israel that has historically allied with the Anglo-American imperialists has established peace with some Arab states – but what type of peace with which kinds of Arab states? It established a peace and an alliance with the reactionary Arab regimes, such as the murderous regime of the Nazi agent Anwar Sadat, with the Hashemite Jordan, and with the PLO terrorists, etc. The Mapam faction in Israel - headed by Rabin and Allon - spared no chance to sabotage the fascist ‘peace’ with the Sadatist faction in Egypt, the Hashemite monarcho-fascists in Jordan, and the PLO terrorists. Throughout their lifetimes, they strived to overthrow the Hashemite monarchy and install a pro-Nasserist state in Jordan, and maximized efforts towards undermining the murderous Saudi regime. The issue of Rabin’s role in the Oslo Accords and the deal with the Arafat faction is more complicated than what the mainstream media presents it as.

Anyways, as can be seen with the evidence presented above, even in the case of being forced against their will into the fratricidal campaign against the Egyptian Arab freedom-fighters, the Mapamite Palmach freedom-fighters led by Allon and Rabin ensured that the Egyptian Arab forces would be provided with proper medicine and food. Obviously the campaign against the Arab forces was not for freedom, but the many of the generals and special forces who had been forced to participate in this campaign tried to at least minimize the damage on the Arab freedom forces, while seeking to divert the struggle away from the anti-Arab struggle onto fighting the British Empire. Indeed, insofar as the Egyptians were to be fought, it was necessary to fight the MI6 elements among the Egyptians. One must note that at the superficial level, Israel and Britain continued to be ‘enemies’ even though behind the scenes, Israel’s regime and the MI6 regime were allied. Nonetheless, the superficial contradiction between Britain and Israel’s regime could and should have been exploited. In the 1947 UN voting, the balance was in favor of Britain and ‘against’ Israel’s regime and so the Israelis were to be supported against the British in this superficial conflict. By the latter stages of the war, the regime of Israel had established much of control over Palestine. By the time of the latter stages of the war, the balance had shifted in favor of Israel and ‘against’ Britain. In that case, it was necessary to ‘support’ British imperialists against Israel in this superficial conflict in order to maximize damage both to Israel’s regime and the British imperialists. To this end, Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin decided to get the British involved in the war and get the British to come to fight Israel’s regime. Therefore, Allon and Rabin and the Palmach warriors, without informing the IDF high command entered Egyptian territory, knowing that Britain had threatened to interfere if Israelis get into Egyptian territory. They got into Egyptian territory apparently with minimal casualties on Egyptians. Ben-Gurion, an MI6 agent, strictly ordered Allon and Rabin to return from Egypt but Allon disagreed. Nonetheless, Allon and Rabin were forced by IDF high command to retreat;

The head of the column encountered an Egyptian position about seven miles before Abu Ageila, where our lead armored car was hit and burst into flames. All that night the burning vehicle served to mark the location of the enemy positions, and the strongpoint was taken in a night attack by an infantry unit. Resuming our advance at dawn, we found that the Egyptians had abandoned Abu Ageila, and we took it almost without encountering resistance.

That morning, without consulting the general staff, we decided to push on to El Arish. It was probably because of this lack coordination that we found ourselves under attack by Israeli planes, losing several soldiers and jeeps in the raids. When we reached the eastern airfield at El Arish, we were strafed again — this time by Egyptian planes. Just as we were getting over that our own planes appeared once more. The troops opened up at them with every available weapon. I halted one of our jeeps whose occupants were blazing away at a furious rate. "You never fired like that at the Egyptian planes," I commented to one of the soldiers. "Can't you see that they're ours?"

"Sure I can see," he replied. "Our planes are a hundred times more dangerous!" As the force proceeded westward, we received a message from the general staff: "Our planes report you are advancing on El Arish. What's going on? Halt your advance!" We asked one more night, and moved on to the second airfield, two miles from the town. But the general staff was adamant. Allon flew to Tel Aviv to get the orders rescinded, but at midnight a radioed message from him shattered our last hope: "No go. Withdraw from El Arish." We carried out our withdrawal in stages as Allon Ben-Gurion to his vacation spot in Tiberias, dredging up every possible argument for completing the mission. But Ben-Gurion wouldn't budge.

(The Rabin Memoirs, Yitzhak Rabin, p. 40. Bold added.) (IMG)

While being forced to leave Sinai, Yigal Allon did ensure that at least yet another provocative measure against the British Empire’s military would happen. The Palmach forces under Yigal Allon’s command shot down five British warplanes:

This first Jewish penetration into Sinai was doomed to failure, however. The British, who were still in Suez, forced the Jews to retire behind the old Mandate border by threatening to enter the war on the side of Egypt. It should be noted, however, that Allon's forces shot down five British Spitfires which were sent to observe their withdrawal. (‘Sir Basil Liddell Hart’s Disciples in Israel, Jac Weller, p. 13. In: MILITARY REVIEW: The Professional Journal of the United States Army, US Army Command and General Staff College, Vol. LIV, January 1974, No. 1, p. 18) (IMG)

 

 

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British war posters. ‘Color illustration of eleven military airplanes flying in formation. The sky is turquoise and gray.’ https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc391/

Nasser Friend Yeruham Cohen Dies https://israeled.org/nasser-friend-yeruham-cohen-dies/

Yitzhak Rabin as Chief of Staff, Press Government Office (L.A.M.). Maariv. https://www.maariv.co.il/journalists/Article-731005

Yigal Allon. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yigal_Allon_%28997009764737105171%29.jpg