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Illegal immigration to Palestine 1945-1948: the French connection.

Swarc, A.; (2006) Illegal immigration to Palestine 1945-1948: the French connection. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis principally concerns the illegal immigration campaign launched by a secret organisation, the Mossad FAliyah Bet (The Mossad), to breach the British naval blockade of Palestine and thereby enable the entry of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. My primary objective is to prove that from late 1945 to April 1948 this campaign was largely facilitated by the covert help of elements within the French coalition Governments, without which it would not have succeeded. Crucially, France takes centre stage because this was the location, par excellence, chosen by the Mossad from which to carry out its operational activities. Whilst the overall historiography of illegal immigration to Palestine is vast and has included many archival references to French involvement, this has not been clearly substantiated. On the basis of archive sources, some only recently made available, and despite the paucity of direct evidence of French complicity, I will illustrate that there is a wealth of documentation which, taken as a whole, provides compelling circumstantial evidence that mis involvement was extensive. Furthermore, I will argue that French cooperation with Zionist leaders extended to political issues and military aid as well. Amongst other issues, I will focus on the rather free environment in France, in the post-war era, which proved to be so conducive to the operations of the Mossad. This includes considerations such as the political make-up of the French Government, the partisan approach of some of its ministers and civil servants, the Jewish community's attitude towards Zionism and the work of intermediaries between certain Government ministers and the Mossad. I will also examine the effects of British diplomatic pressure on the French Ministries involved and the attempts of its Secret Service to prevent illegal ships leaving France.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Illegal immigration to Palestine 1945-1948: the French connection.
Identifier: PQ ETD:592432
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Political Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1445118
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