Zionism in US: Haganah's arms procurement

Arming David: The Haganah's illegal arms procurement network in the United States 1945-1949

By Ricky-Dale Calhoun
Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. XXXVI, No. 4 (Summer 2007), pp. 22–32

Anticipating an armed conflict in Palestine after World War II, the Haganah embarked upon a large-scale effort to buy armaments to be sent to Palestine. Through front companies, and with the cooperation of certain Latin American governments, arms purchased primarily through the War Assets Administration, which sold surplus U.S. mil-
itary equipment in the wake of World War II, were transferred illegally to Palestine, often via Czechoslovakia. This article places a group of prominent, wealthy, and politically connected Jewish Americans—referred to here as the Sonneborn group, a reference to the involvement of Rudolf Sonneborn—at the center of a network of Haganah opera-
tives involved in this effort.

ON 28 MAY 1947, United States Rear Admiral R. H. Hillenkoetter, the director of Central Intelligence, addressed a secret memorandum to the secretary of defense titled “Clandestine Air Transport Operations.” In early April, military authorities in Europe had become concerned that several planes owned by small U.S. charter airlines were engaged in flying arms and munitions to Palestine. Hillenkoetter cited evidence that Service Airways, Inc., a U.S. civil cargo airline, was utilizing military-surplus C-46 transport planes to carry arms from Czechoslovakia to Palestine. He was especially alarmed by reports that the American civilian crews flying the planes were illegally wearing U.S. Army Air Corps uniforms. Hillenkoetter complained that officials in Italy and Switzerland had apparently been misled, believing that the arms-smuggling flights were part of a sanctioned U.S. operation. He also cited the activities of Ocean Trade Airways, Inc., a charter freight carrier headquartered at Laurinburg-Maxton, North Carolina. Ocean Trade Airways was reportedly owned by Ralph Cox of New York and had a contractual agreement to carry freight for American Airlines; Ocean Trade’s flight crews wore American Airlines uniforms with the AA logo insignia removed. One of Ocean Trade’s airplanes, a four-engine C-54Skymaster transport, was engaged in regular flights between Prague and Bayt Daras, Palestine. Other Ocean Trade Airways planes, mostly DC-3s and C-46s,had been spotted on Czechoslovak military airfields, where Czechoslovak security forces stood guard during loading and layovers. Hillenkoetter believed that these aerial gun running operations were sponsored by the government of Czechoslovakia, and, by implication, the Soviet Union. Hillenkoetter also noted that minor officials in the Italian government were assisting Zionist arms-smuggling flights: “Left-wing Italians are actively collaborating with the Jewish movement and following the party line laid down by the USSR in sponsoring partition of Palestine.”[1] In fact, the illicit activities of Service Airways and Ocean Trade Airways that had aroused Admiral Hillenkoetter’s suspicions were but the tip of an iceberg, part of a vast secret project undertaken by the Zionist movement to circumvent U.S. arms export laws.

The Sonneborn Groug

Well before the end of World War II, the Zionist movement had formally decided to establish a Jewish state in Palestine (the so-called Biltmore Program of 1942). With Palestinian Arabs comprising over two-thirds of the country’s population, any move to implement the decision was certain to be resisted. By the end of the war there was no longer any question that an armed conflict with the Arabs would break out immediately upon Britain’s withdrawal from Palestine. The Haganah, the military arm of the Jewish Agency (the highest political body of the Jewish people, both in Palestine and worldwide[2]) hadbeen building up its forces and arming for the expected fight for some time,but it had been hampered by the British, who restricted its access to arms. To circumvent the British blockade, the Haganah turned to Soviet and American sources for weaponry. The demobilization that followed World War II afforded the Zionists enormous opportunities to procure weapons in the United States. American factories had produced massive amounts of weaponry during the war. Hundreds of thousands of tons of surplus military equipment, from mess kits to tanks, airplanes, machine guns, artillery, and even warships, were now being offered for sale as scrap by the War Assets Administration (WAA). Regulations requiredthat all the weapons be rendered inoperable, but in many cases the soldiers awaiting discharge who performed the neutralization did a far from thorough job; the damage done to disable weapons was often only superficial. Moreover,as the material was only “junk,” anyone could buy it legally. However, on 14 December 1947—just weeks after the UN passed the partition resolution that in effect touched off the military confrontation in Palestine—President Truman invoked the Neutrality Act, imposing a unilateral embargo on weapons to both
sides in the Zionist-Arab conflict. From then on, exporting American arms to Palestine was illegal.[3] By that time, however, a highly sophisticated arms-smuggling scheme was already in place and was taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by demobilization. The FBI, CIA, Customs Service, and other U.S. authorities uncovered parts of the operation while it was in progress, as evidenced by Hillenkoetter’s memorandum. Nonetheless, it is by no means certain that the details of the centrally orchestrated
plot would have ever fully emerged had the participants themselves not later revealed bits and pieces of the operation. Much of it remains shrouded in secrecy. The closest to a comprehensive account existing today is investigative journalist Leonard Slater’s book The Pledge, written as a heroic tribute to the participants and published in 1970.[4]
According to Slater, who interviewed many of those involved, the conspiracy began with a meeting on 1 July 1945 in the New York penthouse apartment of Rudolf Sonneborn, scion of a wealthy American Jewish family that had made its fortune in the oil and chemical business. Besides Sonneborn, those present at the meeting were Henry Montor, director of United Jewish Appeal, the fundraising arm of the Jewish Agency in the United States; David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency and essentially the head of the Yishuv;[5] and seventeen prominent American Jews whom Slater did not name. Slater did, however, state cryptically: One was a rabbi; five were lawyers. The others were businessmen. One owned a chain of drug stores; one was in jewelry; another in the shoe business.[6] He went on to reveal that the men were one each from Los Angeles, California; Birmingham, Alabama; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Minneapolis, Minnesota; St. Louis, Missouri; Newark, New Jersey; and New Haven, Connecticut. The rest were from New York. All were prominent members of the Jewish community; all were wealthy. In his autobiography For Jerusalem: A Life, Teddy Kollek, who worked as an operative for the Haganah mission in New York and who later became the popular long-time mayor of Jerusalem, never specifically identified the Sonneborn group as such but told essentially the same story, putting the number of men at the center of the Haganah effort in the United States at “about forty Americans utterly devoted to the Jewish cause.”[7]Kollek, who was a relatively low-level Haganah field operative at the time, may not have had detailed knowledge of the high-level circle around Sonneborn, or he may have sought to preserve the secret of its members’ identities when writing his memoirs. Sonneborn and his associates eventually adopted the legal cover of a charity, the Sonneborn Institute, dedicated to the relief of European Jews. In fact, the group became the fundraisers, facilitators, and behind-the-scenes masterminds of the Haganah’s illegal armaments procurement effort in the United States, operating separately from the Jewish Agency and thereby shielding it from direct involvement in unlawful activities.

Yet the men brought together by Sonneborn had high-level connections with the Jewish Agency. Abba Hillel Silver, chairman of the American section of the Jewish Agency and one of the members of the Sonneborn group who can be identified, provided a liaison between the illegal arms smuggling operation and the Jewish Agency.[8] Beneath Silver, Teddy Kollek ran day-to-day operations from a rented room in the seedy Hotel Fourteen at 14 East 60th Street, New York.[9]Kollek said of his responsibilities:
"My work touched on weapon production . . . speculations on ship purchases; dealings with factories and junkyards; liaison with spies, mobsters, movie moguls, statesmen, bankers, professors, industrialists, and newspaper men; and no lack of illegalities, from petty to international. . . . Deals were made with South American governments to buy tanks and innumerable other things and ship them on to Palestine."[10]

Kollek described his job as that of a harried organizer and coordinator. The principal—or at least the most audacious—buyer-operative in the field was Yehuda Arazi, described as a flamboyant risk-taker who used multiple aliases (Yehuda Alon, Joseph Tannenbaum, Jos´e de Paz, Rabbi Lefkowitch, Dr. Schwartz, Mr. Oppenheim, Albert Miller) and who had been active smuggling arms for the Haganah into Palestine from Europe since 1938.[11] Although Arazi made several major arms purchases, his main value to the Hotel Fourteen effort seems to have been his knowledge of the world arms trade and his contacts, one of whom was Count Stefan Czarnecki, a Polish arms dealer with whom Arazi had done business in Europe before World War II.[12] Another Arazi associate was Leonard Weisman, who was probably a member of the Sonneborn group. Weisman was a 34-year-old from Pittsburgh who had made a fortune in scrap metals and construction materials. His businesses included Materials Redistribution Company, a firm that dealt in scrap machinery; Paragon Design and Development Corporation, a company that traded in building materials; and Pratt Steamship Lines. A fourth Weisman company, Foundry Associates, Inc., existed only on paper. All assisted in the purchase and illegal export of arms from the United States.[13]
Perhaps the man most indispensable to the Hotel Fourteen arms purchasing operation was scrap metal dealer Sam Sloan. Sloan, the well-off American-born son of poor Jewish immigrants, scanned the lists of neutralized war material offered for sale as junk by the WAA, identified what the Haganah needed, and then utilized a network of Jewish-American scrap metal dealers scattered across the continent to examine desired weapons and report back to him the manner in which they had been rendered inoperable. Not all depots had sabotaged identical weapons in the same way, and Sloan used the reports sent in by his junk men to mix and match undamaged parts from different locations to determine where to obtain all the components necessary to assemble fully operable weapons.[14]

When arms arrived in New York they became the responsibility of Elie Schalit. Though only 22 years old, Schalit was an experienced Haganah operative whose job was to move the arms from the United States to Palestine.[15] Schalit received behind-the-scenes assistance from prominent New York lawyer Nahum Bernstein, who set up several front companies to provide legal cover for the illegal arms exports. One of these false fronts, Machinery Processing and Converting Company, a firm that supposedly converted nonlethal military equipment—trucks, jeeps, and other machinery—for civilian use, provided cover for the purchase and illegal export of arms-making machines as well as armaments. Another firm, Oved Trading Company, which ostensibly exported equipment and supplies used in mining, provided legal cover for buying and transporting explosives. New England Plastic Novelty Company and Sherman Metropolitan Company were dummy corporations that owned several ware- houses used to collect, store, and conceal illicit goods. Bernstein also set up a charity, Materials for Palestine, and its two subsidiaries, Eastern Development Corporation, which exported legal nonmilitary goods and machinery to Palestine as relief supplies, and Inland Machinery and Metal Company, a firm that exported weapons components and weapon-making machinery disguised as legitimate machine tools.[16] Adolf C. Robison, a wealthy textile manufacturer, was the chairman of Materials for Palestine (renamed Materials for Israel after May 1948) from 1947 until 1949.[17] Another company, Land and Labor for Palestine, was chartered as a Jewish youth group, but its real function was to recruit (illegally) Jewish (and some non-Jewish) combat veterans of the U.S. armed forces to fight in Palestine.[18]

At times, the Haganah’s field men stole what they could not buy. On one occasion, Nathan Liff, owner of the Universal Airplane Salvage Company, a business engaged in the scrapping of surplus warplanes at a WAA depot in Hawaii, waited until the night guard at the facility left his post for supper and then used a forklift to swap five hundred irreparable .50-caliber machine guns that he had bought as scrap iron for five hundred identical machine guns that had not yet been rendered inoperable. Liff then shipped the guns to California,where the Haganah’s West Coast coordinator, Hank Greenspun, sent them on to Palestine via Mexico.[19]

From Nicaragua to Newark

The Haganah found Latin America’s corrupt dictators congenial to assisting in the transport scheme—particularly Nicaraguan strongman General Anastasio “Taco” Somoza. After initial contacts through a number of Jewish intermediaries, Teddy Kollek and Yehuda Arazi traveled to Nicaragua and met with Somoza, who provided them with Nicaraguan diplomatic passports and official authorization to purchase weapons in the United States and Europe for Nicaragua’s National Guard. Somoza also supplied letters of credit drawn against the Nicaraguan government’s account in the amount of $3 million, and he instructed Nicaraguan consulates in Europe to arrange transport of weapons purchased there to Marseilles, Trieste, and Genoa, ostensibly for shipment to Nicaragua. In actuality the armaments would be loaded aboard Haganah-owned ships and diverted to Palestine. According to Kollek: Somoza, as well as the foreign minister and the president, had to sign the letters. It was a perfectly honorable deal, perfectly proper. They couldn’t imagine anyone doing otherwise, and they cooperated because of their strong basic sympathy for our cause.[20]

Historian AmitzurIlan indicates that Somoza’s sympathy for the Zionist cause was bolstered by money. According to Ilan, Somoza received a 3.5 percent commission on all arms purchases made for the Haganah under Nicaraguan aegis. Somoza was not unique among Latin American leaders in this regard. British intelligence sources accused the president of Mexico of taking a $1 million bribe from the Haganah for similar arms-buying and transport considerations. Panama’s president received a $100,000 payment for establishing L´ıneas A´ ereas de Panama SociedadAn´onima (LAPSA), officially Panama’s national airline, and permitting it to be used as a legal front that allowed the Haganah to purchase aircraft in the United States and take them out of the country under Panamanian registry.[21]

Sources differ as to the exact origins of the Haganah’s Latin American connections. Kollek indicated that the intermediaries who arranged the meeting with Somoza were Lazlo Weiss, a Jewish businessman with Nicaraguan connections, and a Mr. Pataky, who was one of Weiss’s associates.[22] Slater points to Count Stefan Czarnecki as the key figure who alerted Yehuda Arazi to the possibility of opening a Latin American arms conduit in cooperation with Larry Ives, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel and arms dealer who did a considerable amount of legitimate business supplying weapons and surplus U.S. military equipment to governments in Mexico and Central America.[23] In a 1988 article published in the Journal of Latin American Studies, Ignacio Klich indicates that Samuel Zemurray, a wealthy and politically well-connected Russian-American Jew who owned the single largest block of shares in the powerful United Fruit Company, was the prime mover exerting behind-the-scenes pressure and influence on behalf of the Zionists in Central America.[24] Tel Aviv University historian Robert Rockaway points to a more sinister and unsavory connection. According to Rockaway, Haganah operative ReuvenDafni, a member of Kollek’s Hotel Fourteen group, traveled to Miami and met Jewish gangster boss Sam Kay, who had connections with corrupt officials in Cuba and Panama.[25]

All the first-hand accounts openly acknowledge that links existed between the Jewish Agency’s clandestine U.S. arms procurement network and organized crime. Indeed, connections to the Jewish mafia may have been more critical to the operation’s success than the operation’s links to corrupt Latin American officials. In the 1940s, the ports of the New York area were thoroughly corrupted and under the control of organized crime. This was particularly true in the case of the freight docks at Newark, New Jersey, where Jewish mobster Abner “Longy” Zwillman had not only established control of the longshoremen’s unions and stevedore companies but, during prohibition, gained tremendous power and influence with public officials, the police, and judges.[26] During the prohibition era, Newark’s police department had been an accessory to Zwillman’s massive illegal liquor-importing operations; Newark police had not merely looked the other way but had actively assisted the Zwillman mob, escorting truckloads of bootleg liquor to prevent hijackings by rival gangsters, and guarding the warehouses that served as liquor distribution centers.[27]ElieSchalit co-opted Newark’s preexisting culture of Jewish mob infiltrationand official corruption and used it to facilitate and protect Haganah arms shipments.[28]

The Haganah also found a hospitable environment on the New York side ofthe Hudson River. In the New York port itself, the organized crime syndicate run by Meyer Lansky and Albert Anastasia controlled the docks. Lansky identified strongly with the Zionist cause. In addition, the New York longshoremen were mostly Irish-Americans whose bitter anti-British sentiments, combined with the postwar revelations of the full horror of the Holocaust, led to sympathy for Zionism; the same held true for New York’s Irish-American policemen and its mayor, William O’Dwyer.[29] Such connections proved invaluable when things went wrong, as they did on 3 June 1948. On that day, a dockside crane on Newark’s Pier F malfunctioned while lifting a large wooden crate labeled “fertilizer” into the hold of the freighter Executor bound for Palestine. The crate fell to the dock, shattered,and several cases marked “Danger! High Explosive!” spilled out. Alarmed dock-workers called police and the U.S. Customs Service, who eventually found and confiscated 250 tons of TNT that had been purchased and illegally diverted by one of the Haganah’s front companies. The incident made headlines, and the truck drivers who had hauled the contraband TNT to the port were arrested along with their employers. Just as with similar incidents involving liquor during prohibition, however, all potential leads went nowhere.[30]

Slater also reports unsubstantiated claims made by Haganah operatives that Zionist efforts to subvert U.S. law enforcement reached all the way to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. According to Slater’s informants, economist and influential Washington political insider Robert Nathan arranged a secret meeting between Hoover and unnamed representatives of the Jewish Agency. Nathan reportedly said that Hoover “was sympathetic.”[31] Whether or not Slater’s claim concerning Hoover and the Haganah had merit, there can be no doubt that the American Zionists had excellent political connections. On the morning of 24 February 1947, for example, a group of eighteen dignitaries representing the United Jewish Appeal, including Sonneborn and Montor, met for fifteen minutes with President Harry Truman.[32] Henry Morgenthau, Jr., who was also present, had requested the appointment. There is no evidence that Truman was aware that Sonneborn, Montor, and possibly others present at the meeting were engaged in a conspiracy to violate U.S. law, but the roster of those invited to the White House clearly illustrates the inter-connectedness of the American Zionist movement’s legal and illegal activities even at the very highest levels of its leadership.

Transatlantic smuggling

The Haganah’s operatives were nothing if not audacious. Yehuda Arazi even managed to buy the USS Attu, a 10,400-ton aircraft carrier. Although shorn of her wooden flight deck by the Navy and thus no longer able to launch and recover airplanes, the nearly new ship was a bargain at $125,000, and Arazi planned to use her for arms transport. More practical and cautious minds decided that trying to send an arms-laden ship the size of the Attu through the British naval blockade of Palestine was too risky and impractical and eventually sold the ship for scrap.[33] Purchases of smaller, more practical ships went smoothly and unnoticed by U.S. authorities. During the war the U.S. Navy had built hundreds of amphibious assault ships of the Landing Ship Tank, Landing Craft Tank, and Landing Ship Infantry types, as well as other small cargo types. These small, shallow-draft, diesel-powered roll-on/roll-off cargo ships were ideal for the Haganah’s purposes, and its agents bought twelve of them at salvage prices from the WAA using front companies to hide the true identities of the buyers. All these ships were sent to Italian, French, and Yugoslav ports to await the British withdrawal from Palestine, at which time they would sail with weapons obtained and cached in Europe.[34]

Probably the best-known aspect—certainly the most glamorous—of the Haganah’s illegal American arms supply network was its aircraft procurement operations and aerial gunrunning. The person in charge of these operations was Al Schwimmer, a former TWA flight engineer who had flown with the civilian-manned Air Transport Command during the war, mostly in the Pacific and China-India-Burma theatres of operations. (He later became head of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., Israel’s aircraft and arms manufacturer.) As with much about the Haganah’s American arms operations, the story of Al Schwimmer’s activities must be pieced together from several sources that sometimes differ on the details. Service Airways, Inc., the corporate entity that had attracted the interest of Admiral Hillenkoetter’s CIA field agents, began as a legitimate charter-cargo airline incorporated by Irvin “Swifty” Schindler shortly after the end of World War II. Schindler’s air freight business never got off the ground, and he offered its corporate facade to the Haganah. Schwimmer, using funds supplied in small installments by several Haganah front companies in New York, moved Service Air to California and began buying surplus airplanes from the WAA under its name. Among the planes purchased were three Lockheed Constellation transports and twelve C-46s. After difficulties in meeting new Civil Aeronautics Administration air-worthiness requirements, and when investigation by the FBI prevented Schwimmer from getting U.S. licenses to operate the planes, legal ownership of the airplanes was transferred to the newly established Panamanian national airline LAPSA, allowing the aircraft to be legally flown to Panama and from there to Europe. One C-46 crashed in Mexico City, killing the crew, but a Constellation and nine C-46s arrived safely at Zatec airbase in Czechoslovakia on 16 May 1948, just after Israel’s declaration of statehood and the entry of the Arab armies into Palestine to defend the parts of the country assigned to the Palestinians under the November 1947 UN partition plan. Soon these planes began ferrying arms and disassembled Messerschmitt Bf-109 fighter planes to Palestine.[35]

The Haganah’s operation at Zatec was certainly among the strangest episodes of the cold war era: U.S. military surplus planes operated by American crews (who may have been wearing U.S. military uniforms) flew captured Nazi weapons, purchased from a bankrupt communist regime with privately donated American money, from a high-security military airfield in Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia to Zionist Jews in Palestine. As if this were not enough, the operations were carried out in flagrant violation of American law, at a time when Stalin’s blockade of Berlin had brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of war. The danger to America’s standing in the Arab world was obvious: Should one of the transport planes operating from Zatec crash or be forced down in Arab territory and its American crew captured, the Arabs would blame the United States for secretly arming the Zionists. Had U.S. authorities known what was about to happen, they would have been even more alarmed.
Schwimmer’s gunrunners were soon joined at Zatec by three B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers. These had been bought from the WAA by a Haganah front company in the United States and flown via Puerto Rico and the Azoresto Czechoslovakia. Schwimmer’s “Panamanian” transport planes had flown through a loophole in U.S. law; the bombers, still under U.S. civil registry, flew to Zatec in outright violation of it. Federal agents at Tulsa, Oklahoma, actually seized one of the Zatec B-17s, but a Haganah crew stole it from the unguarded airport and flew it out of the country before officials knew that it was missing. A fourth B-17 was delayed in the Azores with engine trouble and as a result was seized by Portuguese authorities alerted by the U.S. State Department. On 14 July 1948, the three B-17s at Zatec, still legally U.S. civil aircraft, took off for Israel with full bomb loads, bombing Cairo on the way. The B-17s subsequently flew several bombing missions in support of IDF ground operations during the summer and fall of 1948.[36]

The Haganah was not the only Zionist organization engaged in arms smuggling in the United States. In the late autumn of 1944, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) compiled a report entitled “The Objectives and Activities of the Irgun Zva’i Le’umi.” In it, the OSS identified four organizations in the United States associated with the Irgun: the American Friends of a Jewish Palestine, the American League for a Free Palestine, the Committee for an Army of Stateless and Palestinian Jews, and the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe.[37] West Coast crime boss Mickey Cohen boasted that he had raised nearly $1 million for the Irgun. Part of that money was reportedly used to buy a Navy surplus amphibious assault ship—the Altalena—for transporting arms bought in Europe to Palestine. According to Robert Rockaway, Yitzhak Ben-Ami, who was head of the Irgun’s European operations, confirmed part of Cohen’s story, putting the amount that Cohen contributed to the Irgun at $120,000.[38]


On the eve of their declaration of the Jewish State, the Zionists faced a difficult and complicated problem. While the British were in control, they could not get enough weapons into Palestine to fight the war with the Arabs that they expected would start immediately upon British withdrawal. Their major source of monetary support was the large American Jewish community, but the U.S. arms embargo prevented them from simply buying American weaponry, stockpiling it in American ports, and shipping it to Palestine the moment that the British departed. Rudolf Sonneborn and the small group of wealthy, influential men that he assembled three years earlier overcame the problem by molding a solution that took maximum advantage of a number of conditions: solidarity within the American Jewish community; Soviet willingness to take advantage of the situation to damage U.S. relations with the Arab world; widespread sympathy for the Jews inspired by the Holocaust; corruption, malfeasance, and dereliction of duty on the part of local officials; connections with the American criminal underworld; and legal expertise to exploit the weaknesses and loopholes in U.S. law. Teddy Kollek, Elie Schalit, and their cohorts implemented the solution by creating an organization that was centrally controlled but sufficiently compartmentalized to assure its security. American intelligence officers noted the Haganah’s steady buildup of arms in Palestine and the FBI uncovered bits and pieces of the smuggling operation, but U.S. authorities evidently never obtained a clear picture of the Zionist arms smuggling organization’s structure and they certainly never gained an understanding of how it functioned or who masterminded it. Because of that failure, they never seriously hindered its operation and never had any chance of stopping it. Despite the heroic myth in which it has previously been cloaked, the Jewish Agency’s U.S. arms procurement effort amounted to a highly effective criminal conspiracy.


  1. Central Intelligence Agency, Clandestine Air Transport Operations: Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense (28 May 1948). Declassified document, case nr. EO-2001-00059, released 27 September 2001. CIA-FOIA Electronic Reading Room, http://www.cia.gov (accessed 26 January 2007).
  2. The Jewish Agency was recognized under the League Nations Mandate for Palestine as “a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating” with the British Mandate authority in matters “as may affect the establishment of the Jewish National Home in Palestine. . . .” See A Survey of Palestine, vol. 2 (Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1991), p. 909.
  3. Leonard Slater, The Pledge (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970), p. 45.
  4. Slater, The Pledge.
  5. Ben-Gurion remained head of the Jewish Agency Executive from its formal establishment in 1929 until he became Israel’s first prime minister in 1948.
  6. Slater, The Pledge, p. 24.
  7. Teddy Kollek, For Jerusalem: A Life (New York: Random House, 1978), p. 67.
  8. Kollek, For Jerusalem, p. 70.
  9. Slater, The Pledge, pp. 81–97.
  10. Kollek, For Jerusalem, pp. 68–69.
  11. AmitzurIlan, The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race: Arms, Embargo, Military Power and Decision in the 1948 Palestine War (New York: New York University Press, 1996), pp. 65–66.
  12. Ilan, The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, p. 133.
  13. Slater, The Pledge, pp. 136–40.
  14. Ilan, The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, p. 91.
  15. Slater, The Pledge, pp. 58–65.
  16. Ilan, The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, pp. 91–92.
  17. “Guide to the Papers of Robison Family (1904–1995).” American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, New York. http://findingaids.cjh. org/?fnm=RobisonFamily&pnm=AJHS#a1 (accessed 29 April 2007).
  18. Ilan, The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, pp. 91–92; David J. Bercusson, The Secret Army (Toronto: Lester and OrpenDennys, 1983), p. 146.
  19. Slater, The Pledge, pp. 198–204; Giveon Cornfield, “Hawaii Residents Aided Underdog Israel’s Struggle—Nathan Liff,” Honolulu Star Bulletin 11, no. 288 (15 October 2006).
  20. Kollek, For Jerusalem, p. 71.
  21. Ilan, The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, p. 101.
  22. Kollek, For Jerusalem, p. 71.
  23. Slater, The Pledge, p. 133.
  24. Ignacio Klich, “Latin America, the United States, and the Birth of Israel: The Case of Somoza’s Nicaragua,” Journal of Latin American Studies 20, no. 2 (November 1988), pp. 389–432.
  25. Robert A. Rockaway, But He Was Good to His Mother: The Lives and Crimes of Jewish Gangsters (Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing House, 2000), p. 247.
  26. See Mark A. Stuart, Gangster #2—LongyZwillman, the Man who Invented Organized Crime (Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1985).
  27. Rockaway, But He Was Good to His Mother, pp. 35–36; Kollek, For Jerusalem, pp. 74–76.
  28. Ilan, The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, pp. 63–65. See also Stuart, Gangster #2.
  29. Kollek, For Jerusalem, pp. 75–87; Ilan, The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, p. 85; Rockaway, But He Was Good to His Mother, pp. 245–46.
  30. Slater, The Pledge, pp. 152–70.
  31. Slater, The Pledge, p. 76.
  32. Presidential Appointments Calendar, Monday, 24 February 1947. Truman Library, Independence, MO.
  33. Ilan, The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, pp. 95–96.
  34. Ilan, The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, p. 183.
  35. Kollek, For Jerusalem, pp. 76–78; Ilan, The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Arms Race, pp. 90–100; Slater, The Pledge, pp. 141–47.
  36. Slater, The Pledge, pp. 287–311.
  37. Central Intelligence Agency (Office of Strategic Services), The Objectives and Activities of the IrgunZva’iLe’umi (23 October 1944). Declassified document, case nr.F-2005-01205, CIA-FOIA Electronic Reading Room, http://www.cia.gov(accessed 2 February 2007).
  38. Mickey Cohen, In My Own Words (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1975); Rockaway, But He Was Good to His Mother, p. 251.

RICKY-DALE CALHOUN spent 22 years engaged in the purchase, processing, and export of leaf tobacco before coming to academia in 2000. He holds a B.I.S. degree in archaeology and an M.A. in history from Murray State University, and he is presently working towarda Ph.D. in history at Kansas State University. His area of interest is twentieth century foreign affairs and the role of intelligence in decision making, with a special focus on the Middle East. His article “The Musketeer’s Cloak: Strategic Deception during the Suez Crisis of 1956” appeared in Studies in Intelligence 51, no. 2 (June 2007), published by the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence.