Results for Tag: Palestine
The declaration linked the establishment of a Jewish state directly to ‘the catastrophe which recently befell the Jewish people – the massacre of millions of Jews in Europe’ as ‘another clear demonstration of the urgency of solving the problem of its homelessness’, and referred to Resolution 181 of the United Nations General Assembly of 29 November 1947, which according to the declaration ‘required the inhabitants of Eretz Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution’.
The White Paper put severe restrictions on Jewish immigration in Palestine, that would have to be at a rate ‘which, if economic absorptive capacity permits, will bring the Jewish population on to approximately one third of the total population in the country (…). This would allow the admission (…) of some 75,000 immigrants over the next four years.’ Thereafter, Jewish immigration would depend on Palestinian consent.
As a result, Israel now controlled 78 percent of the former mandated territory of Palestine (21,000 square kilometres), 22 percent more than the Partition Plan had foreseen. Of the remaining 5,200 square kilometres, Transjordan (from then on called Jordan) retained the West Bank of the Jordan River and the eastern part of Jerusalem, while Egypt took control of the small strip of land around the city of Gaza on the Mediterranean coast.
World War II had a huge impact on Palestine, just as World War I had huge consequences earlier. The end of World War I had brought an end to the Ottoman Empire’s rule and had led to the British Mandate of Palestine. World War II brought the inconceivable suffering of European Jews, with the murder of circa six million Jews by Nazi Germany. The scale of the destruction in Hitler’s extermination camps and the undecided destiny of the survivors put the British government under heavy pressure to allow more European Jews to migrate to Palestine.
In March 1948, the United Nations Palestine Commission announced that it was unable to establish the requested Jewish and Palestinian provisional governments as a result of the continued fighting. The United States had made it clear beforehand that it would oppose any implementation of the partition by force. Later in March, Washington called for a truce in Palestine and proposed to refer the question back to the UN General Assembly.