This article discusses official attitudes toward the creation of the state of Israel from the eruption of the postwar international crisis in Palestine until the end of Arab-Israeli War of 1948–1949. In 1947–1949, Greek policy toward the Middle East was determined by a mix of regional, political, and ideological factors: the Greek security problem during the early Cold War era, including the Greek civil war; the existence of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem; the Greek government's need to take into account the position of the Greek diaspora community in Egypt; commercial interests in the Eastern Mediterranean; anti-Semitism; the need to secure Arab votes in support of the Greek question before the United Nations; and relations between Greece and its new superpower patron, the United States. Greek decisions were dominated by Cold War needs, but the United States did not impose policy on its junior partner.

At the beginning of the Cold War, two regional crises broke out almost simultaneously in the eastern Mediterranean. The outbreak of the Greek Civil War in 1946 made Greece the first battlefield of the Cold War, and its outcome placed the country firmly in the Western camp. Another regional crisis erupted in November 1947 when the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted Resolution 181, which recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state, leading to the Arab-Israeli War of 1948–1949. The outcome was the beginning of the Middle East question in a form that still exists today.

An immense amount of scholarship has appeared about great-power policy regarding the Palestinian question, as well as the emergence of the state of Israel and the first Arab-Israeli war.1 However, the attitude of smaller states toward the Middle East crisis of 1947–1949—especially those of the eastern Mediterranean states—has been neglected. Research on major international issues has often focused on the role of the great powers as major international actors and initiators of policy. The general perception is that unless small states are directly involved in an international problem, they tend to display limited interest in it. During the Cold War, the positions of most Western and Communist states on key international issues were shaped by bloc considerations. Although larger countries such as the United Kingdom and France had some leeway, smaller states were expected to embrace the views of their great-power patrons.

This article analyzes Greek policy on the Palestinian question from the time of the UN decision to divide Palestine into two states to the end of the first Arab-Israeli war. From 1947 to 1949, Greek governments adopted a pro-Arab stance on the issue. Greece was the only European country to vote against partition. During the Arab-Israeli War of 1948–1949, Greece ostensibly maintained an official position of strict neutrality but in fact repeatedly expressed its solidarity with the Arab states. Greek officials realized that neutrality would actually boost Arab interests because the new Israeli state was much more dependent than the Arab countries on foreign military aid.2 Greece banned all transit across its territory to Israel and impounded arms shipments for Israel that were in transit through Greek ports.3 Furthermore, in September 1948, two Spitfire bombers purchased by Israel in Czechoslovakia were confiscated by Themistocles Sophoulis's government after they landed in Rhodes for refueling.4 After the war, Greece adopted strongly pro-Arab positions in international organizations.5 On 11 May 1949, Greece abstained from the vote on Israel's admission to the UN even though Alexis Kyrou, Greece's representative at the UN, believed nothing could come of it.6 On 15 March 1949, Greece finally granted recognition to the state of Israel—but only in de facto form.7

From 1947 to 1949, Greece was faced with a choice in the Middle East between the Arab option and the Israeli option. The fact that a small Mediterranean state embroiled in a civil war adopted an anti-Israeli policy—despite extensive dependence on the United States, which was backing Israel—calls for an explanation. Among the elements that need to be explored are the U.S.-Greek relationship, Greece's definition of its interests in the region, the Greek government's perception of developments in the eastern Mediterranean, and the nature of U.S. policy in leaving a wide range of options for the policy of its smaller ally.

Britain and the Palestinian Question: The Balfour Declaration to the End of the British Mandate

British involvement in Palestine stretched back to World War I. Before 1918, the Arab lands extending eastward to Egypt were dominated by the declining Ottoman Empire. After the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers during World War I, Britain promised the Arabs independence in return for their support against the Ottomans. In the meantime, however, the British also concluded the Sykes-Picot Agreement with France that divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire into areas of postwar French and British influence. The situation was further complicated in November 1917 when British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour promised the Jews support for a national homeland in Palestine.8

After the end of the Great War, Palestine was granted to Britain as a mandate, and large numbers of Jews began to immigrate to the area. Over the next two decades, far-reaching and often violent demographic shifts took place between the Arabs and the Jews in Palestine. After Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933—concurrent with the emergence of anti-Semitic regimes elsewhere in Europe—Jewish immigration to Palestine increased significantly. In the late 1930s, the Arabs revolted against both the British and the Zionists in order to halt the Jewish state-building project. The mass annihilation of Jews in the Holocaust made the situation in Palestine much worse.9 By 1946, the Jewish population in Palestine had increased to 600,000 (compared to 60,000 in 1917), whereas the Arabs numbered approximately 1,340,000 (compared with 600,000 in 1917).10

In the late 1930s, the British government under Neville Chamberlain had envisaged the establishment of an independent state of Palestine within ten years, setting a limit of 75,000 Jewish immigrants for the period from 1939 to 1944. Nevertheless, after Winston Churchill ascended to the premiership, he gradually abandoned Chamberlain's policy. In 1943, British officials began planning the partition of Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state, thus seeking to play both sides during the war.11

However, after the end of the war, the new British government of Clement Attlee wanted to focus on domestic reconstruction and economic recovery and did not want to have to cope with the ongoing fighting in Palestine. Hence, Attlee decided to relinquish Britain's mandate in Palestine, and in April 1947 the British government brought the Palestinian question before the UN General Assembly, asking for recommendations concerning the future status of the region. A special session of the General Assembly was held from 28 April to 15 May, setting up a committee to arrange a preliminary study and submit a report. In mid-June, the eleven-member UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) arrived in Jerusalem for an on-the-ground investigation of the problem. Over a five-week period, UNSCOP toured Palestine and Lebanon, investigating conditions and hearing witnesses.12

On 31 August, UNSCOP submitted its report to UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie. The committee recommended that the British mandate be terminated and that Palestine be granted its independence at the earliest practical date. Eight members of UNSCOP (Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Uruguay, Sweden, and Peru) prepared the so-called “majority plan” recommending the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state, both of which were to become independent after two years. During the transition period, the British would continue to administer Palestine under UN auspices. The “majority plan” also recommended the creation of a special international regime in the city of Jerusalem, constituting it as a corpus separatum under UN administration. A “minority plan” signed by three members of the committee (Yugoslavia, India, and Iran) preferred an independent federal state of Palestine following a transitional period not exceeding three years. Jerusalem would become the capital of the federal state.13

On 23 September, the General Assembly established an Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question. The committee invited the representatives of the Arab High Commission and the Jewish Agency for Palestine to explain their views on the future of Palestine. The Arabs rejected both plans, insisting on the establishment of an Arab state in the whole of Palestine. The Jewish Agency was critical of “the majority proposal concerning Jerusalem” but accepted the partition solution on the condition of the “immediate re-establishment of the Jewish State with sovereign control of its own immigration.” The Ad Hoc Committee, after making numerous changes, adopted the UNSCOP majority recommendations. On 25 November, it submitted its final report to the UN General Assembly for consideration.14

On 29 November, the General Assembly adopted the UN partition plan by a vote of 33 to 13 with 10 abstentions. However, the Arabs declared their determination to block the implementation of partition by all means at their disposal. A new round of hostilities broke out in the Middle East. On 14 May 1948 the British civil administration in Palestine was terminated, and a provisional government of Israel was established. Upon Israel's proclamation of independence, Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, and Syria went to war against the new state. The Arab-Israeli War ended a few months later with the conclusion of armistice agreements between Israel and Egypt (24 February), Lebanon (23 March), Jordan (3 April), and Syria (20 July). Israel increased its territory by 21 percent, Transjordan gained the West Bank, and Egypt gained the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians, by contrast, lost all the territory they had been granted by Resolution 181. By the end of 1948, more than 750,000 Palestinians had become refugees, and almost 150,000 Palestinians had come under Israeli rule.15

Decision-Making in Athens with the Great Powers, 1944–1949

In the aftermath of Greece's liberation from Axis occupation, London struggled to retain its prewar influence in the country. From 1941 on, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had advocated the restoration of the pro-British King George II. However, when the withdrawal of German forces from Greece became imminent in the summer of 1944, Britain was alarmed by the perceived capabilities of the Communist-controlled resistance organization, the National Liberation Front (EAM), to fill the power vacuum and seize control of the country. Although the British had worked to undermine this organization since at least the spring of 1943, EAM managed to expand its control to large areas of Greece. At the same time, the remnants of the traditional political parties had long lost their influence in Greek politics, and the pro-British government-in-exile was not able to control developments in occupied Greece. Although Iosif Stalin had agreed in October 1944 that Greece would lie within the British sphere of influence, the prospect of a Communist takeover could not be ruled out.16

Against this backdrop, the first postwar Greek governments were unable to impose full control on the country without substantial British economic and military assistance. This became obvious in December 1944 when the decisive intervention of British troops in the Battle of Athens was required to defeat Communist-led EAM forces.17 Over the next two years, dependence on Britain largely determined Greece's foreign and domestic policy. The rise of the Labour Party to power in July 1945 did not significantly change British policy toward Greece. In September 1946, after a plebiscite brought the restoration of monarchy in Greece, a full-scale civil war broke out. Once again, the British backed the Greek coalition government against the Communist forces.18

In early 1947, the British government informed Washington of its inability to continue aiding Greece. President Harry Truman was determined to contain Communism in Greece (as well as in Turkey) and responded with what became known as the Truman Doctrine.19 The announcement of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan in March and June 1947, respectively, raised the immediate prospect of U.S. military and economic aid to Greece but also marked the beginning of a new era of Greek dependence on the United States. Thus, after March 1947, the United States gradually took over Britain's role as the primary source of foreign influence in Greece.20

However, even this new dependence amid the painful conditions of a civil war did not prevent decision-makers in Athens from trying to form a long-term strategy in the context of Greece's relations with its Western allies. In the late 1940s, traditional Greek foreign policymaking had undergone serious transformations. Greek Prime Minister Themistocles Sophoulis (born in 1860) was too old to affect Greek policymaking, and Foreign Minister Constantinos Tsaldaris, the leader of the largest government party, had no experience in foreign affairs.21 As a result, rather than Greek political leaders, the experienced diplomat Panayiotis Pipinelis played a crucial role in Greek foreign policymaking.

Pipinelis was probably Greece's most famous practitioner of Realpolitik.22 He joined the diplomatic service in 1922 and entered Greek political life a decade later, when he became diplomatic adviser to Panayis Tsaldaris's government. During World War II, he followed the Greek government-in-exile, and after the restoration of monarchy in September 1946 he became head of the political office of King George II.23 On 7 June 1947, Pipinelis was appointed permanent undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry. A few days later, he established the Council of Political Affairs.24 This council, comprising the directors of all departments of the Foreign Ministry and a representative of the Greek army, held more than 100 meetings under Pipinelis's leadership until mid-1950. The Council of Political Affairs became the main foreign policymaking center, with its recommendations habitually adopted by Greek governments.

Greece's Cold War Priorities and the Arab World

A pro-Arab attitude was strictly connected with Greece's postwar geopolitical position and security problem. According to Pipinelis, after the end of World War II and the establishment of Communist regimes in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, Greece had become a frontline state. In his book on Greek foreign policy published in 1948, Pipinelis offered a geopolitical analysis of the country's postwar security problem:

The forward defensive line of the Danube and the Balkan hinterland has disappeared. The enormous geopolitical pressures of continental Europe, which formerly were partially being checked out on the Balkan territories of the Ottoman Empire and then on Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, now come to throw their full weight directly on our borders. … The importance of Greece as a beach-head of the oceanic powers has multiplied, both for the oceanic powers and for the continental ones. The danger has become larger, the pressure on the country more tense.25

Pipinelis insisted that Greece would have to broaden and deepen its ties with the other Mediterranean countries—in particular with Italy, Turkey, and the Arab states— to compensate for the loss of strategic depth.26 Although he realized that Greece could not entirely solve its security problems through participation in Mediterranean alliances, he admitted that the postwar situation in the Balkans did not leave many alternatives.27 Pipinelis's analysis was fully adopted by Nikolaos Chatzivassiliou, the Greek chargé to Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan, and Iraq and an ardent supporter of Greek-Arab cooperation.28

Greece's attitude toward the Palestinian question was strictly connected with Greek strategy in the Mediterranean, especially with efforts to conclude the so-called Mediterranean Pact. The first country to float the idea of a pact between the Mediterranean states was Turkey. In March 1947 the Turkish ambassador in Paris, Numan Menemençioğlu, suggested to the British the formation of a regional pact that would include Turkey, Greece, and Egypt. A few months later, Ankara returned with a new proposal under which the pact would include not only the Mediterranean countries but also Britain and the United States. Turkish officials hoped that such a pact would enhance their country's external security against the Soviet threat.29

Greece endorsed the Turkish proposal for formal cooperation between the Mediterranean states. However, Athens insisted that the Mediterranean Pact also include the Arab states.30 According to Pipinelis, after the establishment of Communist regimes in the Balkans, Greece was important for the United States as a bridge to the Arab world and Turkey. Although he was against the conclusion of a military alliance with the Arabs, he was convinced that Greece should demonstrate its ties with the Arab states and play a leading role in linking Middle Eastern states with the Western world.31 Enhancing Greek-Arab relations was thus part of a deliberate strategy to spur greater U.S. involvement in the defense problems of Greece. As Pipinelis explained to the U.S. chargé d’affaires in Athens, James Keeley, “Greece had to consider her relations with Moslems” in order to promote a “Greek-inspired project for pan-Mediterranean pact as a bulwark against Communist pressure from north.”32

In this context, Pipinelis asked Chatzivassiliou on 9 August 1947 to inquire whether the Arab states were willing to consider cooperation with Greece on the condition that Britain and the United States would raise no objections.33 In early February 1948, the Greek ambassador in Washington, Vassilios Dendramis, informed John Jernegan, head of the division of Greek, Turkish, and Iranian affairs of the State Department, that his government “had been thinking of the possibility of forming an entente among Greece, Italy, Turkey, and the Arab states.” Dendramis added that “some form of leadership from the great powers would be necessary,” and he expressed hope that the United States and Britain would “give the necessary support and encouragement.”34 However, neither the Arabs nor the Turks showed enthusiasm for such a pact. Furthermore, after U.S. de facto recognition of Israel on 14 May 1948, the Arabs eschewed any involvement in the Mediterranean Pact. Hence, Athens abandoned the idea.35

The Greeks’ pro-Arab position on the Palestinian question also derived from fear that Britain's loss of Palestine could shift the balance of power in the Middle East and open the door to Soviet penetration of the region. The sentiment that British influence in the Middle East was collapsing alarmed Greek policymakers. As early as April 1947, Leon Melas, the director general of the Greek Foreign Ministry, stressed that Greece was against Egypt's proposal for immediate termination of the British mandate in Palestine and warned that such an evolution would facilitate “Soviet penetration of Middle East.”36

Some Greek officials went so far as to argue that the new state of Israel would gravitate toward the Soviet Union. In September 1947, during a meeting of the Council of Political Affairs, the representative of the General Staff, Colonel Ioannis Karatzenis. warned that the USSR aimed to extend its influence in the Middle East through Israel, adding that the new state would become a “Slav outpost” in the area. Karatzenis further asserted that “Jewish terrorists were trained in Moscow.”37 In December 1947, Chatzivassiliou contended that Communist penetration in Syria and Lebanon was growing and that the partition scheme gave the Soviet Union the “opportunity to enter Middle East and thus further endangers Greece's security.”38 The Greek chargé called Israel a “willing instrument of Soviet intrigue,” a “pro-Soviet Zionist state,” and a “hot spot in the Middle East.”39 Pipinelis invoked these arguments, especially those concerning Soviet support for Israel.40 In late 1947, he told Keeley, that “just as Arabs fear that Zionists want Palestine as [a] spearhead for political expansion in Middle East, so it is feared Soviet Russia will utilize her backing of partition to get her head within the Arab tent.”41 In September 1948, four months after the United States had recognized Israel, Pipinelis continued to express worries about intelligence concerning the rise of Communist influence in Israel and Soviet penetration in the Middle East.42

Greek fears were not completely unjustified. The danger of Soviet penetration in the Middle East was also mentioned by high-ranking U.S. officials who opposed the partition of Palestine for the same reasons. For example, in January 1948, George Kennan, who was then head of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, argued that Resolution 181 was “favorable to Soviet objectives of sowing dissention and discord in non-communist countries.”43 Samuel Kopper of the department's Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs mentioned that Stalin backed partition in part because of “the possibility of the establishment of a Jewish state which might subsequently come within the USSR orbit.” According to Kopper, such an evolution “would place the USSR in a highly strategic position at the eastern end of the Mediterranean and further its encirclement plans against Greece and Turkey.”44

Stalin's policy toward Palestine puzzled officials in the Western world. Until 1947, the Soviet Union had favored a “single independent democratic Palestine” and rejected mass Jewish emigration to the Middle East. Thus, Soviet support for an independent Jewish state was considered unlikely.45 However, in April 1947 Stalin abruptly changed his position on the future status of Palestine. In a speech delivered on 14 May 1947 before the UN General Assembly, Soviet Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Gromyko declared that if the establishment of a single Arab-Jewish state proved impossible, “then it would be necessary to consider the second plan which provides for the partition of Palestine into two independent single states.”46 On 13 October, the Soviet representative on the Ad Hoc Committee, Semen Tsarapkin, argued that Moscow favored the second of the two alternatives—namely, the partition plan.47 Finally, on 29 November, the USSR voted in favor of partition, and the other members of the Eastern bloc followed Moscow's lead.48

Stalin provided full support to the Zionist movement even after the adoption of partition by the United Nations. In late 1947, after the United States imposed an arms embargo against Palestine and its neighboring states, Zionist representatives reached agreement with Moscow for Czechoslovakia to halt delivery of arms to the Arabs and begin supplying the Israelis. Although Moscow rejected the Jewish request for Soviet military aid, cooperation between Prague and Tel Aviv continued until 1951.49

Soviet policy on Palestine emerged from both ideological and geopolitical considerations. In the early Cold War period, Stalin and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov believed that the Middle East was an area of likely confrontation between Britain and the United States. The Soviet leader was also convinced that Zionism was nothing more than another national liberation movement that Moscow should support in order to undermine Great Britain's dominant position in the region. Thus, even though Soviet officials worried that the partition scheme might strengthen U.S. influence in the region, they ended up supporting it. Stalin hoped that the British-American rivalry over Palestine, combined with the establishment of Israel, would facilitate Soviet penetration in the Middle East. At the same time, by advocating the establishment of an Israeli state in Palestine, he aimed to increase Soviet popularity among Jews all over the world.50

Thus, Greek policymakers’ concerns about possible Soviet interference in the eastern Mediterranean were not wholly unfounded. Memories of Stalin's earlier attempts to extend Soviet influence in Turkey and Iran also played a role in stoking Greek fears, as did the fact that East-bloc states were supplying weapons to the Greek Communist Democratic Army during the Greek Civil War.51

Greek Regional Interests and the Palestinian Question

Geopolitical pressures and security priorities were not the only reasons the Council of Political Affairs ultimately recommended that Athens should vote against partition. Greece's pro-Arab policy was also determined by the need to protect Greek regional interests in the Middle East. In particular, the Greek government had to take into account the position of the large Greek community in Egypt; the existence of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, with its mainly Arab-Orthodox flock; and Greek commercial interests in the eastern Mediterranean.

In the mid-19th century, the Greeks of Egypt numbered approximately 3,000 “heads of families.” After the “cotton boom” of the 1860s, the number of Greeks increased significantly as they benefited from the privileges Egypt (formally a province of the Ottoman Empire) provided to the citizens of capitulatory powers. In 1922, Egypt emerged as an independent state, but the capitulations system remained. As a result, the number of Greeks peaked in the 1920s at almost 100,000 “persons of Greek race” living in Egypt.52 However, the Montreux Convention of 1937 led to the abolition of capitulations. According to the convention, the future status of foreigners would be determined by the conclusion of bilateral treaties between Egypt and the ex-capitulatory powers. After World War II, the situation for Greeks further deteriorated as the Egyptian government introduced laws aiming to reinforce the position of Egyptian citizens in the labor market. For instance, Cairo passed the so-called Company Law in 1947 stipulating that all private companies should employ a minimum of 75 percent Egyptian nationals within a period of three years. For workers, the percentage was to reach 90 percent. The process of Egyptianization in employment had a significant effect on the working population of the Greek community.53

In mid-1947, Greek officials approached the Egyptian government intending to start negotiations on a consular convention and a treaty of establishment according to the provisions of the Montreux Convention.54 In September 1947 the Council of Political Affairs claimed that voting in favor of the creation of an Israeli state would trigger a serious crisis in Greek-Egyptian relations, with catastrophic consequences for the large Greek community in Egypt.55 In February 1948, Pipinelis argued that the conclusion of an agreement with Cairo would be impossible if Greece voted in favor of the partition plan. For this reason, he added, Greece should retain its pro-Arab orientation.56

Thus, because the Greek government was negotiating with Egypt from 1947 to 1948, Greece was vulnerable to pressures not only from the Egyptian government but from the Greeks of Alexandria. In 1947, a delegation of Egyptian Greeks arrived in Athens and asked the Greek government to vote against the partition of Palestine.57 Until the mass exodus of Egyptian Greeks that took place from 1961 to 1966, the Greek communities of Egypt constituted a significant non-governmental pressure group that influenced Greek foreign policy options toward the Middle East.58 By contrast, during the German occupation from 1941 to 1944, the great majority of Jews were deported from Greece to be murdered by the Nazis in extermination camps.59 As a result, the local Jewish community was too weak after World War II to influence the Greek government's position on the Palestine question.

Another reason that Greece adopted a pro-Arab stance from 1947 to 1949 was the need to protect the interests of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem. According to the plan presented by the UN's Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine, Jerusalem would be placed under an international regime. In addition, Resolution 181 envisaged a demilitarized Jerusalem as a corpus separatum under a special international regime. According to the resolution, the UN Trusteeship Council should within five months “elaborate and approve a detailed Statute of the City.” The resolution also provided that the Trusteeship Council should appoint the governor of Jerusalem, who in turn would be responsible for “the protection of the Holy Places, religious buildings, and sites located in the city.”60

In September 1947, Pipinelis expressed reservations about the prospect of internationalizing the city of Jerusalem. He argued that the direct involvement of the UN in the administration of Jerusalem might facilitate Soviet penetration in the Middle East. Such an evolution would be against Greek interests, not least because the Soviet Union—Russia's successor—would diverge markedly form Greece's position vis-à-vis Orthodox Christians in Palestine. Pipinelis was also afraid that the new governor of Jerusalem would be a Catholic who would “maintain an unfriendly attitude toward us.”61

After the adoption of Resolution 181, the primary aim of Greek diplomacy was to uphold the status quo in the Holy Land. In January 1948, after consulting with the Sophoulis government, the Greek Orthodox archbishop of North and South America, Athenagoras, analyzed the views of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem before the UN Trusteeship Council. In his speech, Athenagoras strongly supported “the maintenance of the existing rights in respect to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites,” claiming that the governor of Jerusalem should be elected “on the basis of special qualifications and without regard to nationality provided that he shall not be citizen of the City, the Arab State, or the Jewish State.” He also argued that the governor “should not belong to any of the denominations that have direct interests in the keeping of the Holy Places.” Finally, Athenagoras suggested that the statute of Jerusalem should include provisions concerning “the existing character of the Cloisters belonging to any denomination,” “the maintenance of the ethnological and linguistic peculiarity of any Church,” and the preservation of the property and the administration of the patriarchate.62

Meanwhile, in December 1948, Israel and Transjordan agreed that Jerusalem should be divided between the two states with the eastern sector (including the Old City) coming under Jordanian rule. However, the de facto division of Jerusalem did not win UN recognition. On 11 December 1948, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 194 (III), which led to the establishment of the so-called Palestine Conciliation Commission (PCC). The aim of the PCC was to mediate the Arab-Israeli conflict. In September 1949, the PCC published a plan that established a permanent international regime for Jerusalem while also providing for the division of the city into a Jewish zone and an Arab zone. However, neither party accepted these proposals. As a result, in December 1949, the UN General Assembly restated its aim that the city should be placed under a permanent international regime, calling on the UN Trusteeship Council to prepare a plan for Jerusalem.63

From 1948 to 1949, Greece supported UN views on the internationalization of Jerusalem. Pipinelis believed that international status would guarantee the preservation of the status quo in the Holy Land. He also argued that any change in the status quo would facilitate Soviet infiltration in the Middle East, adding that the best solution for Greek interests in Jerusalem would be the implementation of the provisions of Resolution 181.64 Although Arab states differed in their approaches to the issue, they also favored the internationalization scheme. Israel, however, was against it. Once more, an essentially pro-Arab stance was evident in the Greek attitude.

Nonetheless, the problem for Greek interests was that although the great majority of the Orthodox flock and Patriarch Timotheos himself lived in Jordan, almost 90 percent of the patriarchate's property was under Israeli control. During and after the Arab-Israeli War, Israel had occupied most of the “abandoned property” and refused to permit transfer of rent to the Greek Orthodox Church. On the other hand, Timotheos was strongly opposed to UN views on Jerusalem, afraid that internationalization would enhance the Vatican's influence in the area. Thus, despite Greece's different stance on the issue, the patriarch negotiated a solution directly with the Israeli government.65

Finally, commercial interests in the eastern Mediterranean played a role in the formation of Greek policy on the Palestinian question. During a period when the Greek government intensified its efforts to establish a commercial opening to the Middle East, Greek policymakers viewed the establishment of a Western-type civic state like Israel in the eastern Mediterranean as a potential competitor for trade, shipping, and markets.66 By all indications, however, economic factors played only a secondary role in the formation of Greek Middle Eastern policy in the late 1940sa. As Chatzivassiliou argued, hostile relations between the Jews and the Arabs raised the possibility that the emergence of Israel would deepen economic cooperation between Greece and the Arabs states.67

The Greek Question

From 1947 to 1949, Greece's pro-Arab stance also derived from the need to secure the votes of the Arab states on the Greek question at the UN. On 3 December 1946 the Greek delegation to the UN had informed the Security Council that Albania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia were providing aid to Communist guerrillas operating in northern Greece. On 19 December, the Security Council established a commission to investigate Greek frontier incidents.68 In May 1947, after completing an on-scene investigation, the commission submitted a report recommending that the Security Council appoint a permanent body to investigate any frontier violations that might occur and to assist the relevant governments in settling controversies.69 However, the resulting Security Council stalemate prompted the United States to refer the issue to the General Assembly. The Greek question was to be discussed in mid-October 1947.70

UN debates on the Greek question placed Athens in urgent need of Arab votes.71 Greek officials thus stepped up their efforts to reach agreement with the Arab bloc. In return for Greek support on the Palestinian issue, the six Arab states (excluding Transjordan, which was not yet a UN member) agreed to provide Greece full support at the UN. However, in early October 1947 the Egyptian delegate at the UN, Hussein Heykal Pasha, spoke before the Political Committee and called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from all Balkan countries. Heykal's speech was interpreted in Athens as a clear indication that the Arabs would not support the Greek case. According to Pipinelis, the Arab attitude was largely affected by Egypt's desire to secure the votes of the Eastern bloc in regard to the British-Egyptian dispute over Sudan. The director general of the Foreign Ministry, Ioannis Stefanou, shared the same view, although Greece's chief envoy to the UN, Alexis Kyrou, argued that the Arab stance on the Greek question derived from “anti-American and anti-Anglo-Saxon obsessions.”72

On 21 October 1947 the UN General Assembly passed a resolution favorable to Greece, with the Arab states abstaining.73 Though expected, this was a great disappointment for Athens. Greek officials repeatedly protested the Arab stance on the issue.74 However, the Foreign Ministry adopted Chatzivassiliou's proposal that, despite recent disappointments, Greece should maintain its pro-Arab orientation and vote against the establishment of an Israeli state.75 Greece's pro-Arab policy did indeed bring swift results. In November 1948 the Arab states supported Athens in the discussion of the Greek question in the UN General Assembly, and Pipinelis, for his part, delivered a speech in favor of Arab interests.76


In March 1949 the Greek consul in Jerusalem, George Argyropoulos, cabled a message to Athens stating that if the Sophoulis government did not recognize Israel, officials in Tel Aviv would interpret the non-recognition as an expression of anti-Semitic sentiment.77 By all indications, many in Israel believed that Greece's position on the Palestinian question derived mainly from anti-Semitism. Although the impact of anti-Semitism on Greek policy toward the Middle East during the Cold War has not yet been studied, there is considerable evidence that Greece's approach to the Palestinian question in the late 1940s was indeed influenced by anti-Semitism.

Recent historiography suggests that Pipinelis was among those who harbored anti-Semitic prejudices.78 He was allegedly inspired by the French author Charles Maurras, a leading figure in the anti-Semitic Action Française.79 Furthermore, when Greek policy on the partition of Palestine was being devised, Pipinelis argued that “by its nature the Jewish element is always hostile to the Hellenic political and spiritual world.” He accused U.S. journalists and the Jewish intelligentsia of hostility vis-à-vis the Greek question, referring to a purported trade rivalry between the Greeks and the Jews in the eastern Mediterranean. According to Pipinelis, “peaceful cohabitation between the Hellenic and the Jewish element is impossible.” He also accused “wandering Jews” of “seeking wealth and profit in countries without a strong middle-class.” He thus concluded that the Jews had no national identity and therefore “they always consist of a threat to people, like the Greeks, who have strong national sentiment.”80 The stereotype of the wealthy, avaricious merchant Jew without national identity dominates Pipinelis's outlook on the matter.

Yet the innuendo raises an important question: Given that Pipinelis exerted the greatest influence on Greek foreign policy from 1947 to 1949, to what extent was Greece's pro-Arab orientation a result of his anti-Semitism? The available evidence suggests that his policy toward Israel was based primarily on a realistic reading of international affairs. Anti-Semitism was an important but secondary factor that drove his policy on the question of Israel. From 1947 to 1949, Pipinelis's anti-Semitic views on the Palestinian question were subsumed by political, geographical, and economic considerations.

Western Powers and Greek Pro-Arab Policy

Greece's final decision on the creation of Israel was dependent on the consent of both Britain and the United States. As Pipinelis noted on 21 September 1947—that is, after concluding that Greece should adopt a pro-Arab stance—“we have no information about British and U.S. attitudes toward the Palestinian question. In any case, we should not displease them.”81 For this reason, the Greek government approached both the British Foreign Office and the U.S. State Department to explain Greece's policy on the issue. British officials responded that they “would not wish to influence the decision of the Greek Government in the matter, and that Greek Government should act as seemed best to them.” U.S. officials also replied that they had no objection to Greek support for the Arab case.82

London's reply was consistent with British policy regarding the Palestinian question after the end of World War II. After the loss of India in early 1947, Britain viewed the preservation of its position in the Middle East as imperative to protecting its status as a great power.83 For this reason, Britain had no choice but to preserve its close relations with the Arabs. Thus, on 29 November 1947, the British delegation abstained from the vote on the future status of Palestine, while during the Arab-Israeli War of 1948–1949, British policy was determined by its support for its only loyal ally in the region, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.84 In this context, Attlee's government supported King Abdullah's aims for a Greater Transjordan that would include part of Arab Palestine.85

The question of the U.S. attitude toward Israel during the early Cold War era divided the Truman administration. On one hand, President Truman himself as well as many of his advisers and members of his staff in the White House (such as Samuel Rosenman, Max Lowenthal, and David Niles) favored partition.86 On the other hand, State Department officials (including George Kennan and Loy Henderson, head of Near East affairs) opposed the establishment of an Israeli state. Their attitude was shaped mainly by two sets of considerations. First, they were convinced that the partition of Palestine would open the Middle East to Soviet penetration. Second, they believed that U.S. support for the Jews would damage U.S. relations with the Arab states. U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, Under Secretary Robert Lovett, Assistant Secretary for UN Affairs Dean Rusk, and Secretary of Defense James Forestall shared the same views.87 (In the case of some, especially Kennan, anti-Semitism may also have played some role.)

Nevertheless, despite the sizable number of U.S. officials who advocated a pro-Arab policy, Truman's personal sympathy and support for Jewish aims had remained remarkably constant since the end of World War II. Thus, on 29 November 1947, the United States not only voted in favor of the partition plan but also put pressure on other delegations to follow suit. As Kennan later said, “without U.S. leadership and the pressures which developed during UN consideration of the question, the necessary two-thirds majority in the General Assembly could not have been obtained.”88 Furthermore, on 14 May 1948—just a few minutes after Israel's proclamation of independence—the United States recognized the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new state.89 In light of Truman's strong support for Israel, Greece's decision to dissent from the views of its superpower patron seems unusual. However, on the question of Palestine the U.S. government never brought serious pressure to bear on Greek decision-makers.

In mid-September 1947 the assistant director for reports and estimates of the U.S. Central Intelligence Group, Theodore Babbitt, predicted that “although Greece has recently been attempting to increase its contacts with the Arab World, it will probably vote with the U.S. on the issue.”90 But when the Greek government unexpectedly announced its intention to follow a different stance, Washington raised no objection. Nor did it react on 25 November 1947 when Greece abstained from voting in the UN Ad Hoc Committee. However, the fact that the partition proposal received 25 affirmative votes with 13 against and 17 abstentions (thus falling short by one vote of the two-thirds majority required in the plenary session) alarmed supporters of partition.91 Over the next four days, pro-Zionists intensified their efforts to ensure that Greece would change its vote.

On 25 November, Chaim Weizmann, who later became Israel's first president, wrote to Truman that the partition plan would fail to obtain a two-thirds majority unless some of the countries that had abstained from voting changed their attitude before the final vote. Weizmann urged Truman to intervene “at this decisive hour to bring about a settlement.”92 The next day, the president of the American Jewish Committee, Joseph Proskauer, asked Lovett to use all his efforts “to get the votes” of Haiti, Liberia, Honduras, Philippines, Paraguay, and Greece.93

Nevertheless, when the debate in the UN General Assembly began on 26 November, Greece announced its intention to vote against partition “on the grounds that its implementation could create greater disturbance than if no decision were taken.” That same day, the delegate of the Philippines announced that his country “could not support any proposal for the political dismemberment of Palestine,” and the representative of Haiti declared that he would vote against partition.94 Greece, the Philippines, and Haiti—three of the states that had abstained during the 25 November vote—now declared their intention to support the Arab position. As a result, 48 hours before the final vote, the establishment of an Israeli state appeared doubtful.

On 27 November, the leader of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Moshe Shertok, personally appealed to both Sophoulis and Tsaldaris, arguing that Greece should “join all other European countries, United States, South Americans, British Dominions in only chance effective international action essential for peace of Palestine and future of United Nations.”95 Later that day, Shertok asked Asher Moissis, the president of the Central Council of Jewish Communities in Greece, “to approach at this last moment your Government in the name of traditional Jewish-Greek friendship and request favorable change their position.”96 Furthermore, from 27 to 29 November, the Greek delegation at the UN received more than 50 telegrams from leading U.S. personalities (including Republican Senators Styles Bridges and Robert Taft) and pro-Zionist organizations asking Greece to support partition.97 Finally, Niles approached Tom Pappas and Spyros Skouras, two prominent Greek businessmen in the United States, and urged them to try to persuade the Greek government to vote in favor of partition.98

Although it was not easy for the Sophoulis government to withstand all these pressures, Greece voted against partition. Michael Cohen has argued that “American pressure apparently came altogether too late for the Greeks.”99 Truman undoubtedly was annoyed, but he did not retaliate against Athens. On 29 November, when Dendramis sought U.S. advice, Henderson assured him that Greece should not change its vote.100 On 30 November, Tsaldaris said to King Paul that before voting he had informed British and U.S. officials of Greek intentions. The Americans, he said, had expressed reservations but accepted the Greek arguments.101 Finally, on 2 December, Pipinelis affirmed that “before casting the negative vote, Greece had inquired whether the U.S. had any objections and had been assured that Greece was free to vote as she saw fit.”102

Evidently, U.S. officials understood Greece's special interests in the Middle East.103 The Truman administration might have realized that for Greece to change its vote was much more difficult than for the Philippines or a Latin American country that had no direct links to the Arab world. Furthermore, Greek policy on the Palestinian question could help to reduce Arab states’ resentment at the United States for its support of the partition of Palestine and the establishment of Israel. Most important of all, on the day Henderson met Dendramis, the United States had already secured a two-thirds majority in the UN General Assembly. By 26 November, Luxemburg, France, Belgium, New Zealand, and the Netherlands had declared that they were prepared to accept partition.104 During the remaining 48 hours before the final vote, additional pressure was put on Haiti and the Philippines, both of which in the end voted “yes.”105 The Greek delegation managed to resist pressure from individuals and non-governmental groups (such as pro-Zionist organizations and U.S. senators), and once it was clear that an affirmative vote by Greece was not needed, the United States refrained from exerting serious coercive pressure against Athens.

After the United States recognized Israel and the Arabs set out to destroy the new Jewish state, the Greek government faced a dilemma: It could refuse to recognize Israel and thus maintain relations with the Arab world, or it could take the opportunity to normalize relations with Israel. Once again, the Truman administration gave Athens room for maneuver.106 This was not a controversial step insofar as Greek attitudes toward Israel's recognition would not affect U.S. interests in the eastern Mediterranean. In contrast, the British government did seek to influence Greek policy on the matter.

On 19 May 1948, the Greek ambassador in London, Leon Melas, informed Pipinelis that Britain was dissatisfied by Truman's initiative to recognize Israel just a few hours after its proclamation of independence. Melas added that Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin was determined not to compromise on the question of recognition. Furthermore, the Foreign Office unofficially suggested that Greece should not recognize Israel for the time being.107 This was exactly what Pipinelis wanted to hear. He had long argued that immediate Greek recognition would spark strong reactions in the Arab states, and he had sought a “wait-and-see” policy with regard to Israel.108 At the same time, he wanted Greece to do all it could to strengthen relations with the Arabs.109

In early 1949, the question of Israel's recognition remained open for Greece. On 25 January, the British embassy in Athens informed the Greek Foreign Ministry that Bevin had decided “to consult immediately with the Commonwealth Governments and the Western European Union Governments concerned with a view to de facto recognition of the Israeli Government, having in mind the importance of establishing direct relations with that government at an early stage.”110 The British extended de facto recognition of the new Israeli government on 30 January.111 The next day, the United States extended de jure recognition. The Arab states worried that Greece might follow the Anglo-American example and recognize the new Jewish state.112

Thus, it was imperative for the Greek government to reach a decision on the recognition issue. Greek officials were well aware of the Turkish government's intention not to recognize Israel “for the time being.”113 Pipinelis argued that Greece should not displease the Arab states by hurrying to recognize Israel before Turkey did so.114 The signing of an armistice agreement between Egypt and Israel on 24 February 1949 gave Athens the opportunity to extend de facto recognition to Israel on 15 March.115 On 28 March, Turkey finally became the first country with a Muslim majority population to recognize Israel.116


Greek policy toward the making of the state of Israel was determined by a mixture of political, strategic, regional, and ideological factors. Among them were the Greek security problem during the early Cold War period; the existence of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem; the Greek government's need to take into account the position of the Greek community in Egypt; commercial interests in the eastern Mediterranean; anti-Semitism; the need to secure the votes of the Arab states concerning the Greek question before the United Nations; and most importantly, relations between Greece, the United States, and Great Britain at the beginning of the Cold War era.

From 1947 to 1949—a time of huge domestic challenge (i.e., the Greek Civil War) and heavy dependence on the United States—Greek foreign policymakers never faced a real dilemma on the Palestinian question. All members of the Council of Political Affairs, as well as the Greek foreign minister himself (though he did not take an active part in the decision-making process), consistently adopted a pro-Arab stance. Greece's decision to vote against the establishment of an Israeli state and grant Israel de facto (but not de jure) recognition offered a clear indication of things to come. During the Cold War, all Greek governments stuck with the pro-Arab orientation adopted in the late 1940s. They all refrained from fully normalizing Greece's relations with Israel. As a result, Greece did not extend de jure recognition to Israel until 1990.117

Recent scholarship has shown that the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union attempted to manage both sides of the conflict in Palestine in the late 1940s. However, in the case of weaker states such as Greece, things were different. For Greece, the adoption of a pro-Arab attitude automatically resulted in an anti-Israeli stance. In the Arab-Israeli dispute, Greek policymakers argued that a less hostile policy toward Israel (i.e., by voting in favor of partition or by recognizing Israel de jure), would likely alienate the Arab world and endanger major Greek interests in the eastern Mediterranean. As seen from Athens, the room for maneuver was limited.

An analysis of Greece's position on the making of the state of Israel reveals interesting patterns of U.S. leadership in the early Cold War. In late 1947, the United States recognized that its minor partner felt it had major interests vis-à-vis the Palestinian question that ran counter to U.S. objectives. However, when U.S. officials realized that they did not need Greece to vote “yes” at the United Nations, they were content to let their minor ally adopt a different attitude. Washington adopted self-restraint in the imposition of its policy toward Greece. In that respect and others, Greek policy toward the Middle East from 1947 to 1949 was not dictated by the United States and indeed was often at odds with U.S. preferences. This points to the pragmatism of the Truman administration. The ability to give minor partners space for maneuver was arguably one of the most important advantages the United States had during the troubled second half of the 1940s.


This article is based on research through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning,” cofinanced by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek National Funds.



See for example, Nicholas Bethell, The Palestine Triangle: The Struggle between the British, the Jews and the Arabs, 1935–48 (London: Deutsch, 1979); Michael Joseph Cohen, Truman and Israel (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990); Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities (New York: Pantheon Books, 1987); Zvi Ganin, Truman, American Jewry, and Israel, 1945–1948 (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1979); Joseph Heller, The Birth of Israel, 1945–1949: Ben-Gurion and His Critics (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2000); William Roger Louis, The British Empire and the Middle East, 1945–1951: Arab Nationalism, the United States, and Postwar Imperialism (Oxford, UK: The Clarendon Press, 1984); Arnold Krammer, The Forgotten Friendship: Israel and the Soviet Bloc, 1947–53 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1974); Ritchie Ovendale, Britain, the United States, and the Transfer of Power in the Middle East, 1945–1962 (London: Leicester University Press, 1996); Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, eds., The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Frédérique Schillo, La France et la création de l’État d’Israël, 18 Février 1947–11 Mai 1949 (Paris: Artcom, 1997); Evan M. Wilson, Decision on Palestine: How the U.S. Came to Recognize Israel (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1979); and Yaacov Ro’i, Soviet Decision-Making in Practice: The USSR and Israel, 1947–1954 (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1980).


Pipinelis to Cairo Embassy, No. 36647, 3 April 1948, in Archive of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (AGMFA), 100/1/1948; and Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 10 September 1948, in AGMFA, 101/1/1949.


Amikam Nachmani, “So Near and Yet So Far: Graeco-Israeli Relations,” Mediterranean Historical Review, Vol. 2, No. 2 (December 1987), p. 224.


Tsaldaris to Air Ministry, No. 61170, 17 December 1948, in AGMFA, 89/10/1950; and Pipinelis to Air Ministry, No. 17150, 21 January 1949, in AGMFA, 89/10/1950. The Greek government denied allegations that Prodromos Bodosakis-Athanasiadis, a prominent businessman and industrialist, was delivering arms to the Israelis. See Kyrou to Foreign Ministry, No. 3465, 5 May 1948, in AGMFA, 107/5/1948; and Pipinelis to Kyrou, No. 32488, 9 May 1948, in AGMFA, 107/5/1948. According to the British, Bodosakis-Athanasiadis was selling arms to the Arabs. See Mogens Pelt, Tying Greece to the West: US–West German–Greek Relations, 1949–74 (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2006), p. 399.


Pipinelis to Foreign Ministry, No. 1875, 6 December 1948, in AGMFA, 9/3/1948; and Mallah to Foreign Ministry, No. 605/III.1, 9 December 1949, in AGMFA, 94/3/1949.


Kyrou to Foreign Ministry, No. 1644, 25 March 1949, in AGMFA, 110/4/1949; and Kyrou to Foreign Ministry, No. 2790, 12 May 1949, in AGMFA, 110/4/1949.


On the distinction between de facto and de jure recognition, see Amikam Nachmani, Israel, Turkey and Greece: Uneasy Relations in the East Mediterranean (London: Frank Cass, 1987), p. 126.


David Stevenson, The First World War and International Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. 124–131, 176–180. See also Jonathan Schneer, The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (New York: Random House, 2010).


See Neil Caplan, The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories (Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp. 56–105; and Tom Segev, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2000).


Justin McCarthy, The Population of Palestine: Population History and Statistics of the Late Ottoman Period and the Mandate (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), p. 37; and Avi Shlaim, Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations (London and New York: Verso, 2009), p. 11.


Amikam Nachmani, Great Power Discord in Palestine: The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry into the Problems of European Jewry and Palestine, 1945–1946 (London: Frank Cass, 1987), pp. 4–5.


See Michael Joseph Cohen, Palestine and the Great Powers, 1945–1948 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982), pp. 260–267.


Ibid, p. 267; and Benny Morris, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), pp. 46–48.


See Yearbook of the United Nations, 1947–1948 (New York: United Nations, 1948), pp. 227–245.


Morris, 1948, p. 375; and Antony Best et al., International History of the Twentieth Century and Beyond (London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 119–126.


See Thanasis D. Sfikas, “‘The People at the Top Can Do These Things, Which Others Can't Do’: Winston Churchill and the Greeks, 1940–45,” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 26, No. 2 (April 1991), pp. 307–332; and John O. Iatrides, “Greece at the Crossroads, 1944–1950,” in John O. Iatrides and Linda Wrigley, eds., Greece at the Crossroads: The Civil War and Its Legacy (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995), pp. 1–30.


See John O. Iatrides, Revolt in Athens: The Greek Communist “Second Round,” 1944–1945 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972).


See Thanasis D. Sfikas, The British Labour Government and the Greek Civil War, 1945–1949: The Imperialism of “Non-Intervention” (Keele, UK: Keele University Press, 1994).


See John Lewis Gaddis, The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941–1947 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), pp. 316–351; and John O. Iatrides, “George F. Kennan and the Birth of Containment: The Greek Test Case,” World Policy Journal, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Fall 2005), pp. 126–145.


See A. A. Fatouros, “Building Formal Structures of Penetration: The United States in Greece, 1947–1948,” in John O. Iatrides, ed., Greece in the 1940s: A Nation in Crisis (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1981), pp. 239–258; and John O. Iatrides, “Britain, the United States and Greece, 1945–9,” in David H. Close, ed., The Greek Civil War, 1943–1950: Studies of Polarization (London: Routledge, 1993).


On Sophoulis, see Dionysis Chourchoulis, ΘϵμτoκλΣoϕoλη: πoλτκβoγραϕα (Athens: Hellenic Parliament Foundation, 2014), pp. 309–338.


Evanthis Hatzivassiliou, Greece and the Cold War: Frontline State, 1952–1967 (London and New York: Routledge, 2006), p. 136.


“Leading Personalities in Greece, 1947,” 29 April 1947, in The National Archives of the United Kingdom, London (TNAUK), Foreign Office Records (FO), 371/67128, p. 31.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 12 June 1947, in AGMFA, 28/2/1947.


Panayiotis Pipinelis, Iστoρα τηϵξωτϵρκπoλτκτηEλλδo, 1923–1941 (Athens: Saliveros, 1948), p. 372.


Pipinelis, “The Diplomatic Dimension of the Greek Security Problem,” 7 August 1947, in AGMFA, 134/4/1947.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 28 July 1947, in AGMFA, 28/2/1947; and Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 27 July, 30 July, and 3 August 1948, in AGMFA, 101/1/1949.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 27 July, 30 July, and 3 August.


Ekavi Athanassopoulou, Turkey: Anglo-American Security Interests, 1945–1952: The First Enlargement of NATO (London: Frank Cass, 1999), pp. 67–69.


Pipinelis to Ankara Embassy, No. 20301, 5 February 1948, in AGMFA, 137/1/1947.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 27 July, 30 July, and 3 August 1948.


Keeley to Marshall, No. 2088, 3 December 1947, in U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD (NARA), Record Group (RG) 59, Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files: Palestine and Israel, Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs 1945–1949, Microfilm Reel 13, 867N.01/12–347.


Pipinelis to Chatzivassiliou, No. 35775, 9 August 1947, in AGMFA, 19/1/1947.


“Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Greek, Turkish, and Iranian Affairs,” 4 February 1948, in U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948, Vol. 4, p. 41 (hereinafter referred to as FRUS, with appropriate year and volume numbers).


Ekavi Athanassopoulou, “Western Defence Developments and Turkey's Search for Security in 1948,” Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2 (April 1996), pp. 88–89.


Keeley to Marshall, No. 586, 26 April 1947, in NARA, RG 59, Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files: Palestine and Israel, Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs 1945–1949, Microfilm Reel 11, 867N.01/4–2647; and Reilly to Lascelles, 1 May 1947, in TNAUK, FO, 371/61875.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 21 September 1947, in AGMFA, 28/2/1947.


Dorsz to Marshall, No. 638, 2 December 1947, in NARA, RG 59, Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files: Palestine and Israel, Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs 1945–1949, Microfilm Reel 13, 867N.01/12–247.


Chatzivassiliou to Foreign Ministry, No. 2060, 31 December 1947, in AGMFA, 107/5/1948; and Chatzivassiliou to Foreign Ministry, No. 2046, 1 January 1948, in AGMFA, 107/5/1948.


Nachmani, Israel, p. 104.


Keeley to Marshall, No. 2088, 3 December 1947.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 10 September 1948.


“Report by the Policy Planning Staff on Position of the United States with Respect to Palestine,” 19 January 1948, in FRUS, 1948, Vol. 5, Part 2, p. 551.


Kopper, “The Partition of Palestine and United States Security,” 27 January 1948, in NARA, RG 59, Decimal File 1945–1949, Box 2115, 501.BB Palestine/1–2748.


Laurent Rucker, “Moscow's Surprise: The Soviet-Israeli Alliance of 1947–1949,” CWIHP Working Paper No. 46, Cold War International History Project, Washington, DC, 2005, pp. 13–16.


“A.A. Gromyko's Speech at the First Special Session of the UN General Assembly,” in Documents on Israeli-Soviet Relations, 1941–1953 (Portland, OR: Frank Cass Publishers, 2000), p. 195.


Yaacov Ro’i, From Encroachment to Involvement: A Documentary Study of Soviet Policy in the Middle East, 1945–1973 (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press, 1974), pp. 49–50.


Rucker, “Moscow's Surprise,” p. 20.


Ibid., pp. 26–27; and Vladislav Zubok, “The Soviet Union and the Establishment of Israel,” in Michael J. Devine, ed., Harry S. Truman, the State of Israel, and the Quest for Peace in the Middle East: Proceedings of a Conference Held at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 29 May 2008 (Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2009), pp. 77–78.


Zubok, “The Soviet Union,” pp. 74–75; and Rucker, “Moscow's Surprise,” pp. 7–10.


See, for example, John O. Iatrides, “Revolution or Self-Defense? Communist Goals, Strategy, and Tactics in the Greek Civil War,” Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Summer 2005), pp. 3–33; and Nikos Marantzidis, ΔημoκρατκΣτρατEλλδα, 1946–1949 (Athens: Alexandreia, 2010).


Alexander Kitroeff, The Greeks in Egypt, 1919–1937: Ethnicity and Class (London: Ithaca Press, 1989), pp. 11–13.


Angelos Ntalachanis, “The Emigration of Greeks from Egypt during the Early Post-War Years,” Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora, Vol. 35, No. 2 (2009), pp. 36, 43.


Campbell to Bevin, No. 632, 21 July 1947, in TNAUK, FO, 141/1224; and Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 26 August 1947, in AGMFA, 28/2/1947.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 21 September 1947.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 27 February 1948, in AGMFA, 103/1/1948.


Nachmani, “So Near and Yet So Far,” p. 236.


See John Sakkas, “Greece and the Mass Exodus of the Egyptian Greeks,” Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora, Vol. 35, No. 2 (2009), pp. 101–115.


See Hagen Fleischer, Στμμα κασβστκα: η Eλλδα τηKατoχκατηAντσταση (Athens: Papazisis, 1995), Vol. 2, pp. 342–348.


United Nations General Assembly, Resolution 181 (II), 29 November 1947.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 21 September 1947.


“Speech Delivered by Athenagoras before the UN Trusteeship Council on 22 January 1948,” in AGMFA, 143/5/1948.


Ilan Pappé, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947–1951 (New York: IB Tauris, 1992), pp. 183, 196–198, 252–253.


Pipinelis to all Embassies, No. 32041, 11 May 1949, in AGMFA, 7/3/1949.


Nachmani, Israel, pp. 110–112; and Uri Bialer, “Horse Trading: Israel and the Greek Orthodox Ecclesiastical Property, 1948–1952,” Journal of Israeli History: Politics, Society, Culture, Vol. 24, No. 2 (September 2005), pp. 205–207.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 21 September 1947; Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 27 July, 30 July, and 3 August 1948; and Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 10 September 1948.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 10 September 1948.


Amikam Nachmani, International Intervention in the Greek Civil War: The United Nations Special Committee on the Balkans, 1947–1952 (New York: Praeger, 1990), p. 33; and Thanasis D. Sfikas, “Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union in the United Nations Commission of Investigation in Greece, January–May 1947,” Contemporary European History, Vol. 2, No. 3 (1993), p. 243.


Yearbook of the United Nations, 1946–1947 (New York: United Nations, 1947), pp. 370–371.


Van Coufoudakis, “The United States, the United Nations, and the Greek Question, 1946–1952,” in Iatrides, ed., Greece in the 1940s, pp. 284–285.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 21 September 1947.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 6 October 1947, in AGMFA, 28/2/1947; and Kyrou to Tsaldaris, No. 6110, 2 December 1947, in AGMFA, 89/5/1947.


Coufoudakis, “The United States,” p. 285.


Triandaffylides to Foreign Ministry, No. 7201, 29 November 1947, in AGMFA, 107/5/1948; Triandaffylides to Foreign Ministry, No. 7277, 18 December 1947, in AGMFA, 107/5/1948; and Chatzivassiliou to Foreign Ministry, No. 2039, 31 December 1947, in AGMFA, 107/5/1948.


Chatzivassiliou to Foreign Ministry, No. 2039, 31 December 1947.


Pipinelis to Foreign Ministry, No. 1711, 24 November 1948, in AGMFA, 9/3/1948; and Kyrou to Foreign Ministry, No. 1320, 12 December 1948, in AGMFA, 9/3/1948.


Argyropoulos to Foreign Ministry, No. 531, 14 March 1949, in AGMFA, 13/4/1949.


See Ioannis D. Stefanidis, Stirring the Greek Nation: Political Culture, Irredentism and Anti-Americanism in Post-War Greece, 1945–1967 (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2007), p. 40.


Christos Xanthopoulos-Palamas, Δπλωματκτρπτχo (Athens: Ekdoseis ton Filon, 1979), p. 163.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 21 September 1947.




Foreign Office to the United Kingdom Delegation to the United Nations, No. 3187, 26 September 1947, in TNAUK, FO, 371/61880.


Evanthis Hatzivassiliou, “Cold War Pressures, Regional Strategies, and Relative Decline: British Military and Strategic Planning for Cyprus, 1950–1960,” The Journal of Military History, Vol. 73, No. 4 (October 2009), p. 1149.


Cohen, Palestine and the Great Powers, pp. 274–275; and Ellen Jenny Ravndal, “Exit Britain: British Withdrawal from the Palestine Mandate in the Early Cold War, 1947–1948,” Diplomacy and Statecraft, Vol. 21, No. 3 (2010), pp. 417–419.


Pappé, The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, pp. 158–159.


Ronald Radosh and Allis Radosh, “Truman, Jews, and Zionists,” in Devine, ed., Harry S. Truman, pp. 95–118.


Bruce J. Evensen, “Truman, Palestine and the Cold War,” Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 28, No. 1 (January 1992), pp. 131–132; and Herbert Druks, “Truman and the Recognition of Israel Reconsidered,” in William F. Levantrosser, ed., Harry S. Truman: The Man from Independence (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986), pp. 58–59.


“Report by the Policy Planning Staff on Position of the United States with Respect to Palestine,” 19 January 1948, in FRUS, 1948, Vol. V, Part II, p. 548.


George De Vries, “Truman and the Recognition of Israel,” in Levantrosser, ed., Harry S. Truman, pp. 37–53.


Babbitt to Henderson, 15 September 1947, in NARA, RG 59, Central Decimal File 1945–1949, Box 2114, 501.BB Palestine/9–1547.


Cohen, Palestine and the Great Powers, p. 292.


Weizmann to Truman, 25 November 1947, in Nana Sagi, ed., Political Documents of the Jewish Agency (Jerusalem: Hassifriya Haziyonit, 1998), Vol. II, p. 877; and Weizmann to Truman, 25 November 1947, in Sagi, ed., Political Documents, Vol. II, p. 879.


Proskauer to Lovett, 26 November 1947, in NARA, RG 59, Central Decimal File 1945–1949, Box 2129, 501.BB Palestine/11–2647.


United Kingdom Delegation to the United Nations to Foreign Office, No. 3553, 27 November 1947, in TNAUK, FO, 371/61890; and United Kingdom Delegation to the United Nations to Foreign Office, No. 3554, 27 November 1947, in TNAUK, FO, 371/61890.


Shertok to Tsaldaris, 27 November 1947, in Sagi, ed., Political Documents, Vol. II, p. 882.


Shertok to Moissis, 27 November 1947, in Sagi, ed., Political Documents, Vol. II, pp. 888–889.


Dendramis to Foreign Office, No. 9219, 8 December 1947, in AGMFA, 128/3/1947.


Jacob Abadi, “Constraints and Adjustments in Greece's Policy toward Israel,” Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 4 (Fall 2000), p. 42.


Cohen, Palestine and the Great Powers, p. 297.


Dendramis to Foreign Ministry, No. 9219, 8 December 1947.


Record of the meeting in the Palace, 30 November 1947, in General State Archives, The Royal Archives, Athens, File 377.


Keeley to Marshall, No. 2088, 3 December 1947.


John Sakkas, H Eλλδα, τo Kπρακκαo αραβκκσμo, 1947–1974: Δπλωματα καστρατηγκστη μϵσγϵo την ϵπoχτoΨχρoΠoλμo (Athens: Patakis, 2012), p. 51.


United Kingdom Delegation to the United Nations to Foreign Office, No. 3548, 26 November 1947, in TNAUK, FO, 371/61890.


Cohen, Palestine and the Great Powers, pp. 296–299.


Dendramis to Foreign Ministry, No. 106, 8 February 1949, in AGMFA, 13/4/1949.


Melas to Foreign Ministry, No. 3499, 19 May 1948, in AGMFA, 107/5/1948.


Pipinelis to Ankara Embassy, No. 33826, 19 May 1948, in AGMFA, 107/5/1948.


Records of the Council of Political Affairs, 27 July, 30 July and 3 August 1948.


British Embassy to Foreign Ministry, No. 31, 25 January 1949, in AGMFA, 13/4/1949.


For British policy on the recognition issue, see W. Keith Pattison, “The Delayed British Recognition of Israel,” Middle East Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Summer 1983), pp. 412–428.


See Triandaffylides to Foreign Ministry, No. 6129, 30 January 1949, in AGMFA, 13/4/1949; Chatzivassiliou to Foreign Ministry, No. 261, 1 February 1949, in AGMFA, 13/4/1949; Pipinelis to Cairo, Beirut, and Ankara Embassies, No. 18602, 1 February 1949, in Constantinos G. Karamanlis Foundation, Constantinos Tsaldaris Archive, Athens (Tsaldaris Archive), File 38/6; Chatzivassiliou to Foreign Ministry, No. 267, 4 February 1949, in AGMFA, 13/4/1949; and Triandaffylides to Foreign Ministry, No. 6195, 9 February 1949, in Tsaldaris Archive, File 38/6.


Skeferis to Foreign Ministry, No. 280, 2 February 1949, in AGMFA, 13/4/1949.


Pipinelis to Cairo, Beirut, and Ankara Embassies, No. 18602, 1 February 1949.


Tsaldaris to Jerusalem Consulate, No. 24014, 16 March 1949, in AGMFA, 13/4/1949.


Mesut Özcan, Harmonizing Foreign Policy: Turkey, the EU and the Middle East (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2008), p. 108.


See Eirine Cheila, “H αραβo-σραηλνδαμχη καη ϵλληνκϵξωτϵρκπoλτκ,” in Dimitris Constas and Charalambos Tsardanidis, eds., Σγχρoνη ϵλληνκϵξωτϵρκπoλτκ, 1974–1987 (Athens: Sakkoulas, 1988), Vol. 2, pp. 359–383; Evanthis Hatzivassiliou, “Greece and the Arabs, 1956–1958,” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Vol. 16, No. 1 (1992), pp. 49–82; John Sakkas, “The Greek Dictatorship, the USA and the Arabs, 1967–1974,” Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, Vol. 6, No. 3 (December 2004), pp. 245–257; Eleni Stavrou, A Pioneering Vision? Greek-Arab Relations during the Papandreou Era, 1981–1989 (Athens: Papazisis, 2010); and Ekavi Athanassopoulou, “Responding to a Challenge: Greece's New Policy towards Israel,” Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Vol. 3, No. 1 (January 2003), pp. 108–125.