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1948 Arab–Israeli War

The 1948 Arab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–49 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the first deaths of the 1947–49 Palestine war occurred on 30 November 1947 during an ambush of two buses carrying Jews. There had been tension and conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, between each of them and the British forces since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 creation of the British Mandate of Palestine. British policies dissatisfied both Jews. Arabs opposition developed into the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, while the Jewish resistance developed into the Jewish insurgency in Palestine. In 1947, these on-going tensions erupted into civil war following the 29 November 1947 adoption of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, which planned to divide Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state, the Special International Regime encompassing the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

On 15 May 1948, the civil war transformed into a conflict between Israel and the Arab states following the Israeli Declaration of Independence the previous day. Egypt, Transjordan and expeditionary forces from Iraq entered Palestine; the invading forces took control of the Arab areas and attacked Israeli forces and several Jewish settlements. The 10 months of fighting took place on the territory of the British Mandate and in the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon, interrupted by several truce periods; as a result of the war, the State of Israel controlled the area that UN General Assembly Resolution 181 had recommended for the proposed Jewish state, as well as 60-percent of the area of Arab state proposed by the 1947 Partition Plan, including the Jaffa and Ramle area, some parts of the Negev, a wide strip along the Tel Aviv–Jerusalem road, West Jerusalem, some territories in the West Bank. Transjordan took control of the remainder of the former British mandate, which it annexed, the Egyptian military took control of the Gaza Strip.

At the Jericho Conference on 1 December 1948, 2,000 Palestinian delegates called for unification of Palestine and Transjordan as a step toward full Arab unity. The conflict triggered significant demographic change throughout the Middle East. Around 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes in the area that became Israel, they became Palestinian refugees in what they refer to as Al-Nakba. In the three years following the war, about 700,000 Jews emigrated to Israel, many of whom had been expelled from their previous homelands in the Middle East. On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the adoption and implementation of a plan to partition the British Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, the City of Jerusalem; the General Assembly resolution on Partition was greeted with overwhelming joy in Jewish communities and widespread outrage in the Arab world. In Palestine, violence erupted immediately, feeding into a spiral of reprisals and counter-reprisals.

The British refrained from intervening as tensions boiled over into a low-level conflict that escalated into a full-scale civil war. From January onwards, operations became militarized, with the intervention of a number of Arab Liberation Army regiments inside Palestine, each active in a variety of distinct sectors around the different coastal towns, they consolidated their presence in Samaria. Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni came from Egypt with several hundred men of the Army of the Holy War. Having recruited a few thousand volunteers, al-Husayni organized the blockade of the 100,000 Jewish residents of Jerusalem. To counter this, the Yishuv authorities tried to supply the city with convoys of up to 100 armoured vehicles, but the operation became more and more impractical as the number of casualties in the relief convoys surged. By March, Al-Hussayni's tactic had paid off. All of Haganah's armoured vehicles had been destroyed, the blockade was in full operation, hundreds of Haganah members who had tried to bring supplies into the city were killed.

The situation for those who dwelt in the Jewish settlements in the isolated Negev and North of Galilee was more critical. While the Jewish population had received strict orders requiring them to hold their ground everywhere at all costs, the Arab population was more affected by the general conditions of insecurity to which the country was exposed. Up to 100,000 Arabs, from the urban upper and middle classes in Haifa and Jerusalem, or Jewish-dominated areas, evacuated abroad or to Arab centres eastwards; this situation caused the United States to withdraw its support for the Partition plan, thus encouraging the Arab League to believe that the Palestinian Arabs, reinforced by the Arab Liberation Army, could put an end to the plan for partition. The British, on the other hand, decided on 7 February 1948, to support the annexation of the Arab part of Palestine by Transjordan. Although a certain level of doubt took hold among Yishuv supporters, their apparent defeats were due more to their wait-and-see policy than to weakness.

David Ben-Gurion made conscription obligatory. Every Jewish man and woman in the country had to receive military training. Thanks to funds raised by Golda Meir from sympathisers in the United States, Stalin's decision to support the Zionist cause, the Jewish representatives of Palestine were able to sign important armament contracts in the East. Other Haganah agents recu

Alfred J. Elliott

Alfred James Elliott was a Democratic Representative from California. He was born in Guinda and moved with his parents to Winters, California, in 1901, to Tulare, California, in 1910, where he resided until his death in 1973, he worked as a farmer and livestock breeder and was the owner and publisher of the Tulare Daily News. From 1933-1937, he served as the chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors. From 1935 to 1936, he was a member of the California Supervisor Association of the State welfare board and in 1936 he served on the California State Safety Council, he was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1937, by special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Henry E. Stubbs, he was re-elected to represent California's 10th congressional district five times and served from 1937 to 1949. He retired in 1965. Elliot was among the most outspoken in expressing bigotry toward Japanese Americans. In 1943 he protested the release of some Japanese Americans from the relocation camps, repeating his earlier statement that "the only good Jap is a dead Jap," and declaring that "When the war is over, as far as I am concerned, we should ship every Jap in the United States back to Japan..."

United States Congress. "Alfred J. Elliott". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Congressional Biographical Directory: Alfred James Elliott - From the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

Labor Slugger Wars

The Labor Sluggers War was a 15-year period of gang wars among New York City labor sluggers for control of labor racketeering from 1911 to 1927. This began in 1911 with the first war between "Dopey" Benny Fein and Joe "The Greaser" Rosenzweig against a coalition of smaller gangs and continuing on and off until the murder of Jacob "Little Augie" Orgen by Louis "Lepke" Buchalter and Gurrah Shapiro in 1927. With the industrialization of the United States and the emergence of labor unions in the late nineteenth century and into the early 1900s, street gangs began to be hired by companies as strikebreakers and to discourage union activity. Unions themselves would hire labor sluggers as protection from these strikebreakers and to recruit, by force if necessary, new union members. Many of these workers were arriving immigrants Jewish and Italians, in New York's East Side. Gangs made up of immigrants from similar backgrounds sided with unions of their compatriots, but were quick to exploit the lucrative opportunities for labor racketeering.

By 1912 two major gangs, one led by "Dopey" Benny Fein and another by Joe "The Greaser" Rosenzweig, dominated labor slugging in New York. The various remaining gangs, rendered powerless by Fein and Rosenzweig's brutal tactics, united in a loose alliance in an attempt to break the monopoly held by the two gang leaders. Declaring war, a major gunfight was fought on Grand and Forsyth Streets in late-1913 between Fein and Rosenzweig against several gangs, including Billy Lustig, Philip Paul, Little Rhody, Punk Madden, Moe Jewbach. While there were no casualties on either side, gang leader Paul was killed by Rosenzweig gunman Benny Snyder. Arrested by police, Snyder confessed to the murder and agreed to testify against Rosenzweig, who later testified against the gang. Although Fein and Rosenzweig defeated the gangs Rosenzweig's conviction in 1915, as well as Fein's arrest on a separate murder charge soon after, would see Fein testify against his organization as an investigation was launched on labor slugging activities.

Eleven gangsters and twenty-three union officials were arrested. The subsequent investigations and imprisonment of labor sluggers Benny Fein and Joseph Rosenzweig had ended labor slugging and other labor-related racketeering until the release of "Kid Dropper" Nathan Kaplan and Johnny Spanish in 1917. Former rivals and Spanish formed a gang made up of ex-Five Points Gang members that soon dominated labor slugging in New York unchallenged; however infighting between Kaplan and Spanish began again, with Spanish leaving the gang in late 1918. The two factions began fighting for several months until Spanish was killed by Kaplan, on July 29, 1919. With the death of Johnny Spanish, Kaplan controlled labor slugging operations for over four years. In the early 1920s, Kaplan began to face competition from rival Jacob Orgen's "Little Augies", including Jack Diamond, Louis Buchalter, Gurrah Shapiro. In early 1923 war broke out between Orgen over striking "wet wash" laundry workers. Violent gunfights were fought throughout the city until Kaplan's death by Orgen gunman Louis Kushner while in police custody for a concealed weapons charge in August 1923.

Orgen, now in complete control of labor racketeering, began expanding into bootlegging. However, city officials began investigations into labor racketeering, putting pressure on labor slugging in particular. Advised by Meyer Lansky to instead infiltrate the unions, Orgen refused, continuing labor slugging operations. In October 1927 Orgen was killed by former associates Buchalter and Shapiro, who wounded Orgen's bodyguard Jack Diamond, in a drive-by shooting; as Buchalter took over as the principal labor racketeer in New York City he began to focus on control of labor unions and extortion, while offering his services to others in organized crime becoming head of Murder, Inc. as labor racketeering was divided among members into the National Crime Syndicate in the 1930s. Daugherty, Carroll Roop. Labor Problems in American Industry. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1938. Gottesman and Richard Maxwell Brown. Violence in America: An Encyclopedia. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999. ISBN 0-684-80487-5 MacDonald, Lois.

Labor Problems and the American Scene. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1938. Asbury, Herbert; the Gangs of New York. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1928. ISBN 1-56025-275-8 Sifakis, Carl; the Mafia Encyclopedia. New York: Da Capo Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8160-5694-3 Sifakis, Carl; the Encyclopedia of American Crime. New York: Facts on File Inc. 2001. ISBN 0-8160-4040-0