To Jeruslem

by Folke Bernadotte

Other authorsJoan Bulman (Translator)



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Hodder and Stoughton, London

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LibraryThing member ericlee
This is the diary of Counte Folke Bernadotte, the United Nations Mediator sent to manage the truce between Israeli and Arab forces during the War of Independence and also to make progress toward a peace settlement. Bernadotte was not able to complete his mission, as he was assassinated in September
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1948 by terrorists of the Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang).

The belief held by many Israelis at the time — and not only the Lehi — was that Bernadotte was taking the Arab side. This book offers some evidence that this was true. He makes is very clear that, in his view, the UN Partition Plan of 1947 was a very bad idea, and it was unfortunate that the Jews proclaimed their own state. He also didn’t like the fact that a number of states, including such world powers as the USA and USSR, had already recognised the new Jewish state. This made it much harder to suggest to the Israeli leaders that they drop the idea of Jewish sovereignty, which is precisely what Bernadotte proposed.

It is also clear from his description of meeting both Arab and Israeli leaders how much he preferred the company of the former. Israeli foreign minister Moshe Sharett is described in an unflattering way, as are all the Israeli leaders he meets. The Arabs are nearly uniformly charming. The proposals Bernadotte was putting forward — refusing the Israelis any claim on any part of Jerusalem, urging them to drastically cut back on immigration (meaning refugees from the Holocaust, mostly), giving up all of the Negev to Arab rule, and so on — these could all be interpreted as being hostile to the Jews.

None of that — none of it — justified the cold-blooded murder of Bernadotte and the French colonel Serot who was at his side. The cowardly assassins were never punished for their crime, which remains a source of shame to this day.
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Rare book; possibly an old gem; not found in any catalogue but noted in the Wiki entry for the author
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