The First Truce: The Failure of Supervision

  • Amitzur Ilan
Part of the St Antony’s book series


During the four weeks of cease-fire beginning 11 June, known as the ‘first truce’, Bernadotte’s authority and chances to develop his mission continued to fluctuate, but ended in a decline. In the short run he was defeated by the failure to extend the truce beyond the prescribed four weeks, in which the so-called ‘first Bernadotte plan’ played a role; and in the longer run by his inability to maintain the military status quo, since the truce worked markedly in favour of Israel. These setbacks were only to a limited extent the result of his errors and resulted mainly from circumstances beyond his control. First of all, the UN and the TC Powers failed to provide him with an adequate supervision machinery. Secondly, both the Arab states (Transjordan notwithstanding) and Israel were convinced that more fighting would improve their position with regard to future negotiations. Finally, the USSR, barred from the UN peace-keeping mission, did much to incite war.


Security Council Arab State Israeli Defence Force Jewish State Lake Success 
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  1. 6.
    From now on summaries of the military movements are based on US, British and Israeli archives [most documents from Archion Zahal (IDF Archives) are not quotable]. They are also based on published accounts, the most recent of which is M. Pail, in Y. Ben Aryeh (ed.), Hahistoria shel Eretz Ysrael, vol. 10 (Jerusalem, 1983) pp. 172–209.Google Scholar
  2. See also N. Lorch, The Edge of the Sword (New York, 1961). Wherever a discrepancy between sources was found, the judgement of the author prevailed.Google Scholar
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    J. B. Glubb, A Soldier With the Arabs (New York, 1957) p. 125.Google Scholar
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    DBGD, 5 and 6 June; T.N. Dupuy, Elusive Victory (New York, 1978) p. 19.Google Scholar
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    P. Vasse, Hamesima Rechesh (Tel Aviv, 1966) pp. 236–46.Google Scholar
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    Two exhaustive researches on the Altalena affair which appeared in Israel 30 years later, are still strongly coloured with the emotional and ideological schism prevailing in 1948: S. Nakdimon, Altalena (Jerusalem, 1978)Google Scholar
  7. and U. Brener, Altalena (Tel Aviv, 1978).Google Scholar
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    Reports by Brunsson and Begley, DAG 13/3.3.1, Boxes 5 and 12; D. Joseph, The Faithful City (New York, 1960) pp. 230–3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Amitzur Ilan 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amitzur Ilan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NatalSouth Africa

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