Franco’s Spain before Israel’s Independence (I)

After of the Second World War, General Franco’s autocratic regime was isolated from the community of nations by a decision of the First General Assembly of the United Nations, December 1946, at the request of France, who had closed its border with Spain in March of that year, and the Soviet bloc. The resolution, passed with 34 votes in favor, six against and 12 abstentions (UN had then only, 52 states), ordered the expulsion from Spain of all those international organizations which were represented and recommended to member countries United Nations to withdraw their ambassadors from Madrid.

A few months later, in Madrid only three Embassy remained in operation: Portugal, a country ruled by the dictator Salazar, Swiss, who, under his absolute neutrality not even a member of the UN and the Vatican embassy,obviously supported the Franco regime, which had in the Catholic Church one of its pillars.

The beginning, at that time, of the call “Cold War” with its changes in international geopolitics, and the UN initiative of the Government of the Argentina of Perón, led the the called “Spanish case” became part of the planned agenda for the Second General Assembly of the United Nations to be held in New York in November 1947, and where, moreover, had discussed the partition of the territory of British Palestine and the creation of two states , One Arab and one Jewish.

In 1947, Franco’s Spain and the seven Arab states existing at the time (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Libya) launched an intense diplomatic cooperation to achieve its goals each, with the help of another.

Since Spain was not a member of the United Nations had no direct influence on the vote regarding the partition of the British Palestine.But Arab countries wanted to use the Spanish influence in Latin America,making that the countries in that area to support their thesis.

In return for its diplomatic efforts in America, the government of General Franco was secured seven votes when it came time for the discussion of “Spanish case” in the General Assembly. Here is the sequence of events.From January 1947, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, led by Alberto Martin Artajo, began a diplomatic offensive aimed at gaining the support of Arab countries.

Was appointed Juan Manuel de Aristegui diplomatic representative of Spain in throughout the Middle East, as consul general of Spain in Jerusalem.In early November 1947, and after several lower-level meetings held in previous months, Arístegui moved to Baghdad to discuss with the secretary general of the Arab League, Abdel Rahman Azzam Pasha, the details of the support, days later Should give the seven Arab ambassadors in New York, where will take place the voting for “the Spanish case.”This trip to Baghdad completed the steps taken in Madrid in September, with representatives of the Arab Higher Committee, headed by Ahmed Hilmi Pasha, director of the Arab National Bank, and known anti-communist and filonazi, who officially requested Spanish government for its mediation with the American republics for the Arab thesis.

At the moment of truth, on November 17, 1947, Arab nations not voted for Spain (six abstained and one voted against) and one of its ambassadors informed Manuel Aznar, Spain’s observer at the UN, the reasons of the fact.Since the proposal in favor of Spain had come from a motion presented by Argentina and Cuba, countries already knew they would vote favorably on the partition of Palestine and the creation of a Jewish state,could not,by principles,support it.The Spanish authorities were that Arab “blow” without showing
,at least officially, no comment.

In December 1947, died in Haifa Orio the Spanish priest Luis Orio Moreno, and on January 5, 1948 died in the bombing of the Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem, the deputy consul of Spain, D. Manuel Allendesalazar. Following these events, was launched in Spain a virulent wave of attacks in the press, controlled by the regime and the Church, against all Jews, in order to create a favorable opinion of the Arab cause. In December 1947, died in Haifa Orio Spanish priest Luis Moreno, and on January 5, 1948 died in the bombing of the Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem, the deputy consul of Spain, D. Manuel Allendesalazar. Following these events, was launched in Spain a virulent wave of attacks in the press, controlled by the regime and the Church, against all Jews, in order to create a favorable opinion of the Arab cause. Moreover, the reports were sent to the dictator since the Second Section of the High Chiefs of the Army, which is the name given at the time, the Military Intelligence Service (now CNI), he did know of certainty of a direct conflict between Arabs and Jews once the British authorities to leave the territory in May 1948.

The reports produced by the Spanish intelligence clearly indicated a future Arab victory.Several articles published by the ultra-Catholic press (Diario Ya), Phalangists (Diario Arriba) and even some moderate newspapers (La Vanguardia), signed by dignitaries of the Church, the Army and the government, including Franco, attacked, with the worst medieval Christian topics and and with no less topical, Nazi-fascist arguments,against the Jews in general and against the Jewish community in Palestine in particular.

With the approval of the authoritarian regime, some Spanish Phalangists were hired to go to Syria and join as instructors or as military combatants, the so-called Arab Liberation Army, commanded by Fawzi El-Kauji Iraq, one of the leaders of the violent unrest in the Palestinian general strike of 1936, which between 1941 and 1945 he shared the golden exile in the Nazi Berlin,with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Al-Husseini.

The anti Zionist and anti Jewish activity of the fascist regime of General Franco was not limited to media campaigns to get a pro-Arab views of the Spanish but also of sending Phalangists to Syria in December 1947,signed sales contracts for arms and ammunition to Jordanians, Egyptians and Palestinians agents.

Moreover, the Spanish intelligence services collaborated with their Arab counterparts and thus, in February 1949, the Lebanese Government thanked Spain for the information, received in Beirut, the passage through the Canary Islands of “Santo Despo”,a Panamanian ship,with bound in Haifa, and, according to Spanish authorities, was carrying 60 battle tanks, artillery, machine guns and lots of ammunition.

The Spanish Ministry of Industry and Commerce banned any transactions with Israel, or any person or business suspected of trading with Israel.Once approved the creation of the State of Israel by the Resolution 181 of the United Nations of 29 November 1947, following the Arab defeat in the War of Independence, continued collaboration between the regime of Spain and the Arab countries,aimed at preventing Israel was accepted as full member of the Organization of the United Nations, as well as acting for Spain if it were. The Franco regime diplomatically no recognized the State of Israel, arguing it was merely a satellite of Soviet communism in the Middle East,which was confirmed by the character of the first Labour Government of Israel,and be the Soviet Union the first country to diplomatically recognize the new state.


About Tarbut Las Palmas

Tarbut Sefarad es una asociación tolerante y apolítica que tiene como interes principal el conservar y difundir la cultura judía en general,en especial la sefardí.La cultura es una de las mayores armas de la humanidad,un elemento que tiende puentes entre pueblos y soluciona conflictos.Para tener un gran futuro debemos conservar excelentemente nuestro pasado y difundirlo.Desde Tarbut Las Palmas les invitamos a trabajar en ello y a unirse a nosotros en nuestro proyecto.
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