(from Shmuel Katz’s memoirs)
In New York I met for the first time Mr. Webb, who for many months had been supplying us with military and political intelligence on the Arab States.
MR. WEBB, A GRADUATE OF THE PRE-HITLER GERMAN STAFF COLLEGE, AND A JUNIOR MEMBER OF THE GERMAN GENERAL STAFF HAD COME TO ENGLAND AS A REFUGEE AND HAD ATTAINED A POSITION OF CONSIDERABLE EMINENCE AS A MILITARY ANALYST.
During World War II he had served as the military expert on one of the great British newspapers, the Manchester Guardian.
As the war’s end approached he wrote an essay urging on the British the strategic importance to her of a friendly Jewish State in the eastern Mediterranean.
A London Zionist – my old colleague Samuel Landman – had got into touch with him and urged him to spread his belief as widely as possible.
Webb had agreed: he was himself a Jew, (or a half-Jew) whose consciousness had been awakened by Hitler.
In 1947 he had gone to the United States and there pressed the case for a Jewish State far and wide among America’s military and political leaders.
He had seen Eisenhower, then Chief of the General Staff, and President Truman.
THROUGH LANDMAN HE HAD SENT US COMPREHENSIVE REPORTS OF HIS CONVERSATIONS AND ON THE ATTITUDE OF SOME OF AMERICAN’S LEADING PERSONALITIES.
He had finally accepted a post as an adviser on the Middle East in the American General Staff.
He was unpaid.
He would not become an employee of any Government.
In his communications to us he scrupulously sent us only information of direct significance in our affairs.
* * *
The picture was gloomy enough in those late May and early June days in 1948.
MOST DEPRESSING WAS THE CLEAR AND UNBROKEN SUPERIORITY OF ENEMY MATERIAL.
Their planes carried out daily air-raids.
Their artillery and armor were everywhere in evidence.
*Now to Paris came Mr. Webb who told us that the prevailing opinion in the United States General Staff was that the Jews would be defeated.
He, Webb, had dissented strongly.
HE LAID STRESS ON THE SUPERIOR MORALE OF THE JEWS.
Indeed, he said, he was prepared to predict that the Egyptians, who had halted their advances at Ashdod would go no further.
The tide would undoubtedly turn.