'Two Gun' Cohen

How a Chinese general helped create the Jewish state

By CYRIL SHERER
November 29, 2017 16:08
Morris ‘Two-Gun’ Cohen

Morris ‘Two-Gun’ Cohen. (photo credit: COURTESY CYRIL SHERER)

 
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IN MAY 1945, 58-year-old Morris Abraham Cohen, a retired Jewish general in the pre-Communist Chinese army, was summoned from Montreal to San Francisco by a group of Jewish leaders. A conference was being held to set the agenda for the first meeting of the United Nations in November 1947.

Resolution 181 would discuss the partition of Palestine, still under British mandate, into a Jewish and an Arab state. Fifty nations sent delegates; every vote was crucial. Security Council members, the UK, USA, USSR and China, plus France, had the right of veto, which it was rumored that China would use. Many lobbyists came to San Francisco. A group of prominent Jewish leaders had gathered to gain support for a Jewish state.

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