The Soviet Union’s forgotten role in the creation of Israel

“Stalin hoped that Israel’s creation would lead to chaos in the region and bring about the downfall of the British Empire; and that Israel, with strong socialist leadership, might become a quasi-satellite of the Soviet Union.”

Hebrew poster commemorates Stalin’s 70th Birthday. Designer: M.R. 1949, Israeli Communist Party (MAKI).

By Jonathan Adelman
Ynet News
December 12, 2015 Anno Domini

Many people have been surprised by the level of cooperation these days between Russia and Israel, two seemingly very different countries. Yet this relationship is not just based on current parallel needs but on the history of the creation of Israel in which Russia played a major, if often forgotten, role.

The fact that the creation of Israel owed a lot to that well-known anti-Semite, Joseph Stalin, is truly ironic. For Stalin launched the black years of Soviet Jewry (1948-1953) in which thousands of Jews were assailed as “rootless cosmopolitans” and lost their jobs. In 1952 he promoted the vicious anti-Semitic “Doctors’ Plot.” Many feel that he may have planned before his death in 1953 to deport the Jews of Leningrad and Moscow to camps in the east.

Even during the 1947-1948 period, Stalin refused the entreaty of thousands of Soviet Jews to go to Israel and fight for its independence. Many even wrote to Stalin, asking him to bless “Stalin Brigades” fighting for Israel against the Arabs.

Given the tens of thousands of Soviet Jews who served as officers (and even hundreds who served as generals) in the Red Army in World War II, this would have been an immense help to the fledgling state. So too would it have been very useful to have some of the thousands of Russian Jews who helped the Soviet Union create and build katyushas, tanks and airplanes.

Despite this, Stalin played a vital, if often unappreciated, role in the creation of the Jewish state. At the United Nations, where the vote on independence was going to be close, he had his Ambassador Andrei Gromyko give an impassioned speech in 1947 on the terrible fate suffered by Jews in the war and their need to have an independent state. Stalin then organized the Eastern European Communist states to vote for the creation of Israel as a the decisive bloc that provided the two-thirds majority needed for victory in the UN vote of November 29, 1947.

In 1948 he allowed the Skoda factory in Czechoslovakia to ship desperately needed heavier weapons to the struggling new Israeli army. Of course, he also sold them to Syria, but Israeli intelligence interrupted the flow of weapons in Italy and brought them safely to Israel. David Ben-Gurion once said that without the Soviet arms the state would never have survived the onslaught of five Arab armies.

The obvious question is why Stalin, despite his anti-Semitic nature and statements, did these things? What did he hope to gain, and why shortly thereafter did he turn against Israel?

He had two clear hopes, the first of which was partly realized. He hoped that the creation of Israel would create chaos in the region and bring about the downfall of the British Empire. Then he hoped that Israel, with strong socialist leadership, might become a quasi-satellite of the Soviet Union.

While this didn’t happen when Mapam did not do well in the first election, Israel did refuse to send a military detachment to fight on the side of the United States in the Korean War. In 1950, Golda Meir declared Israel neutral in the Cold War. As late as 1952, Israeli leftists on May Day paraded around with pictures of Stalin.

After Stalin’s ideas failed, his successors had little problem selling weapons to Egypt starting in 1955. For the next 25 years the Soviet Union provided many billions of dollars of weapons to Arab states in their ensuing four wars with Israel.

But ever since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Israel and Russia—sharing common interests and common enemies—have again become much closer, though not as close as in the late 1940s, when, without Soviet aid at the critical moment, it would have been very difficult for Israel to have been born.

A visitors walks near a photo of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin (R) in Jewish Museum in Moscow, on November 8, 2012. Israeli President Shimon Peres opened today the first Museum of the Jewish History in Russia which aims to tell the story of Russia’s Jews from Tsarist times through the horror of the Holocaust to the present. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)


  1. Stalin armed Israel via Jewish Soviet Satellite Czechoslovakia:

    “A friend in Prague was in Czechoslovakia’s own Office of State Security, which…Stalin had also packed with Jews.”

    (John Sack, An Eye for an Eye: The Untold Story of Jewish Revenge Against Germans in 1945, Basic Books, New York, 1993, p. 96)

    “Thanks to Stalin’s support, Yishuv received weapons through Czechoslovakia. The first contract for the supply of weapons from Czechoslovakia, concluded in January 1948, provided for the supply of 4,500 rifles, 20 machine guns and 5 million rounds of ammunition.

    As of October 1948, weapons worth $ 12 million were sent to Israel through Czechoslovakia alone by air and sea, through the Yugoslav port of Split.


    25 Avia S-199 fighter-bombers

    61 Supermarine Spitfire fighters

    34,500 P-18 rifles

    5 515 MG 34 machine guns with cartridges

    900 machine guns vz. 37 – (Czechoslovak easel machine gun, Installed on some samples of armored vehicles of Czechoslovak production)

    91,500,000 rounds 7.92 × 57mm Mauser

    15,000,000 rounds of 9mm Parabellum

    ~ 1,000,000 other rounds”

  2. 1949 – Ben Gurion Congratulates Stalin in Hebrew; Sends Message on Stalin’s Birthday

    1953 – Stalin Reminded He Once Denounced Anti-semitism As “cannibalism”

    “Anti-Semitism, being an extreme form of racial chauvinism, is the most dangerous remnant of cannibalism. Anti-Semitism is useful to the exploiters as a lightning conductor to protect capitalism from being struck down by the working people. Anti-Semitism is a danger to the working people; it is a wrong path which diverts them from the right road and leads them into the jungle. Therefore, as logical internationalists, Communists cannot fail to be irreconciliable and sworn enemies of anti-Semitism.”

  3. DUGIN:

    “The Bolshevik pole had gathered in itself the representatives of ‘Jewish Orientalism’, the Hassidic-kabbalist kind (ie. CHABAD), Jews-Communists, Jews-Socialists.”

    “But again, we shall stress that we are not simply talking about the Jews, but about a special category of Jews, about a special Jewish camp, about the ‘Jewish Eurasists’. By the way, at a definite stage they, these ‘red-brown’ Jewish Eurasists also have prepared the creation of the state of Israel, having started under the direction (and the approval) of Moscow.”

    Sections 5:2 & 6:1

  4. Where did the Jewish communist BOLSHEVIKS get their name from?

    It was a pseudonym for BAALSHEMIKs.

    Portal: Chabad

    “The great task, to reveal to the people of Israel and to the whole world the great light of the inwardness of the Torah, was entrusted by the Creator of the world into the hands the BAAL SHEM Tov, the first president of general Hasidism.”

    They were in fact all CHABAD ‘soldiers of King David’ in progressive defeat of the christian goyim, as necessary in prelude to arrival of moshiach:

    “Hai Elul is the birthday of Hasidism, the birthday of Chabad, the birthday of our main yeshiva. This is the feast of the “soldiers of the house of David.”

    1st para

    Lenin the Jew

    1924: “Rabbi Maze said the Jewish laboring class is deeply afflicted by Lenin’s death. Synagogues which held Yizkor services on Saturday were overcrowded.”

    CHABAD: “One may recite Yizkor for any Jew who has passed”

    Jewish Academic Joshua Rubenstein

    “Chaim Weizmann came across Lenin & Trotsky, among groups of Russian Jewish students in Switzerland. Weizmann was organising support for the Zionist cause among them.”

    A member of Hungarian middle-class Jewry, Laszlo Lakatos-Kellner, had greeted Lenin in a poem by writing:


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