27 August 2021

UN Claims Damages for Assassination of Count Bernadotte

Presented here is the link for a letter to the United Nations in its Section "The Question of Palestine", which reveals more than may meet the eye - initially.  It is dated two years to the day after Israel declared that Palestine had become the  modern day nation of Israel:

"Assassination of Count Bernadotte – UN claim for damages from Israel – Letter from Israel"


There is interesting and vital history revealed in the letter in response to the UN claim for damages on account of the assassination of Count Bernadotte.  The letter is diplomatically articulate with, imho, some fancy side-stepping that seems less than authentic, given the resolution; and given more knowledge that has come to light about the assassination in the 70+ years since it was carried out.  Also, imho, it seems to establish what looks like the framework for the template the modern day nation of Israel has used since that time in refusing to cooperate with U.N. Resolutions.

If not inclined to read the entire letter, below is the reiterated list of eight Findings presented in the claim to Israel, also the Resolution Israel extends to the UN.


1.Failure to take immediate steps for the apprehension of the criminals;

2.Failure immediately to cordon off the scene of the crime;

3.Delay in carrying out a thorough examination of the scene of the crime;

4.Failure to examine the leading vehicle of the Mediator's convoy; and delay in carrying out complete examination of the Mediator's own  vehicle.

5.Failure to collect evidence from four members of Count Bernadotte's party;

6.Failure to take steps to examine the weapons taken from the "Stern Group" bases in Jerusalem, and ineffectual examination of the cartridge cases found;

7.Inactivity regarding the apprehension of the jeep used by the assailants, and failure to make any attempt (with the help of eye-witnesses) to identify it from among the vehicles taken in the "Stern Group" bases in Jerusalem;

8.Failure to hold an identification parade.


"Having regard to all the circumstances, the Government of Israel has decided, without admitting the validity of all the legal contentions put forward on behalf of the United Nations, to take the action which you requested in your letter. You will find enclosed a remittance of United States $54,628.00 as reparation for the monetary damage borne by the United Nations in connection with the death of Count Bernadotte."

Below are a few sources of additional details from later decades.

1. Excerpt from the Los Angeles Times, 11 September 1988:
"2 Ex-Stern Gang Members Admit Murdering U.N. Aide"
"Two former members of a militant Jewish group that was led by now-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir have admitted they took part in the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden 40 years ago while he was serving as U.N. mediator in Palestine, according to Dan Margalit of Israel’s state-run Educational Television.

It was the first time that members of the underground group, Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Israel Freedom Fighters), widely known as the Stern Gang, openly admitted to the killing, Margalit said."

2. From the Independent, a brief passage from the article published Sunday 23 October 2011: 

I must note that it is a headline contradictory to reality, given that Count Bernadotte was far from being considered a hero of Israel which was displeased with his recommendations in his position as the Mediator for the Mandate. 

"Israel's forgotten hero: The assassination of Count Bernadotte - and the death of peace"

"Although it would be 30 years before any of its personnel admitted it, the "madness" was perpetrated by the most extreme of the Jewish nationalist underground groups, Lehi, more commonly known to the British as the Stern Gang, ordered by a three-man leadership which included the future Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. What cost the life of the count who ran the Swedish Red Cross during the Second World War and was the nephew of King Gustav V, was not the two Arab-Jewish truces he had managed to negotiate – the second of which was close to collapse when he was killed. It was the longer-term peace plan which sought, however vainly and perhaps naively, to tackle the very issues which still lie at the heart of the world's most intractable conflict today: borders, Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem. It was on the last point that Bernadotte had most incensed Israeli opinion, by recommending first that the city should be in Arab territory, and then, in a report heavily influenced by Britain and the US and submitted to the UN Security Council the very day before his death, that it should be under international supervision."

3. From the Jewish Virtual Library,
some pertinent background prior to the assassination two months later:

I must note that although "the Arabs" are commonly blamed by Israel for rejecting the Mediator's plan, the brand new government of the newly self-declared nation of modern Israel quickly did the same, being said to have hated the plan.  They each had different reasons, alluded to in the bolded passage below. 

"The Assassination of Count Bernadotte"

"A diplomat fluent in six languages, Bernadotte was appointed mediator of the UN General Assembly on May 20, 1948, and was immediately faced with the volatile situation in the Middle East. Arabs and Jews had been fighting over Palestine for decades and the conflict escalated after the adoption of the UN partition resolution on November 29, 1947. When Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, five Arab armies invaded Israel.

On June 11, Bernadotte succeeded in arranging a 30-day cease-fire. After visiting Cairo, Beirut, Amman and Tel Aviv, he came to the conclusion that the UN partition plan was an “unfortunate” resolution and proposed his own plan to unite the two feuding peoples. Instead of establishing individual states, he suggested that Arabs and Jews form a “union” consisting of a small Jewish entity and an enlarged Transjordan. Haifa and Lydda (Lod) airport would become free zones. Israel would receive the Western Galilee and unlimited immigration for two years, after which the UN would take control of the issue. Between 250,000 and 300,000 Arab refugees would be permitted to return to Arab territory with compensation and Transjordan would control the Negev and, despite Israeli claims, Jerusalem.

The Arab world rejected the Bernadotte plan on the grounds that, as Syrian officer Muhammad Nimr al-Khatib said, “Most of these mediators are spies for the Jews anyway.” The Israeli government, hating the idea of giving up Jerusalem and bent on military victory, quickly followed suit. Fighting resumed on July 8 and the Israeli army gained strength and succeeded in pushing back the Arabs until a second UN cease-fire was declared on July 18, this time with no time limit and a threat of economic sanctions against any country that broke it."

4. From U.S.A. State Department, Office of the Historian, the urgent telegram from Jerusalem of 17 September 1948 informing of the assassination:

"The Consul General at Jerusalem (Macdonald) to the Secretary of State"