THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012: Partition, Independence, Nakba
The Palestinian Authority is going to push forward in the UN for non-member state
New documents were released on the 1973 Yom Kippur War
Air raid killed two Hamas members in the Gaza Strip
Mitt Romney quoted in a leaked video as saying that Palestinians are incapable of
peace and don’t want peace. The PA responded to this and it has received
international attention—what does it mean for US-Israel relations and the USA as an
A joint Israeli-Palestinian survey showed both groups are skeptical about the
feasibility of a solution and there is very limited support for a bi-national state.
World War Two and the Holocaust:
What was the influence of the Holocaust on the trajectory of the conflict?
Some Palestinian activists and writers at the time struggled with recognizing
the injustices faced by Jews in Europe, but not wanting it to result in
injustices for Arabs in Palestine.
From a Jewish or Zionist perspective, there was no other option than massive
immigration to Israel-Palestine.
o What was the role of other Western states? Why wasn’t there more
room for immigration to Britain, Canada, the USA, etc.?
o These other Western states closed their immigration to Jews, and
many domestic policies in Canada and the US influenced immigration
policy- ex. the Great Depression had an effect. “None is too many” –
from immigration minister Blair (in Mackenzie King’s government).
Anti-Semitism was present in the West.
o In Canada, the St. Louis tried to dock in Halifax but was turned away.
The 900 Jews aboard had to turn back to Europe and most were put
in concentration camps and perished in the Holocaust.
o 1938 Evian Conference ended up failing because no states were
looking to open their doors.
The British did allow some refugees—70,000 over the course of this period.
An estimated 100,000-200,000 Jews came to the US, China absorbed 25,000
refugees, and a number of Latin American states (notably Brazil, Argentina
and Chile) took in refugees as well.
1942 Biltmore Convention took place in New York and was when people
were realizing things were dire for European Jews. It was a Zionist congress
and they resolved that full immigration to Palestine as quickly as possible
was necessary. They also articulated a Jewish commonwealth or a Jewish
state needed to be established in Palestine. This was the first official
statement that pushed for statehood, more than just a national home. In 1945 the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry (6 Americans and 6 Brits)
tried to figure out a solution to the situation. The interviewed Jews, Arabs,
international parties, and they proposed that Palestine should immediately
open for 100,000 Jewish immigrants. It also recommends (for the first time)
a bi-national state in Palestine.
The war had ended but tensions were high in Palestine—there was a large
refugee population trying to get to Palestine and the British were still in
Palestine trying to control immigration. More and more violence was
occurring in Palestine (from Irgun, and LEHI—Jewish militias). It became
clear that Britain’s role on the ground in
Palestine was over.
The United National Special Committee on
Palestine (UNSCOP) was created in 1947. It
recognized the massive refugee population,
violence on the ground, and terrorism activities
were a crisis situation. The proposed a new
partition plan. The planned to separate the
region into two states (see right). For Jews and
Zionists it was seen as a more than acceptable
solution. It was submitted to the UN as a
General Assembly Resolution (Resolution 181).
It was supposed to be trying to accommodate
where the biggest population centers of the
groups were. Jerusalem was to be an
international zone. People questioned the
legitimacy of the resolution, because the UN
was only two years old, and because it was a
General Assembly resolution and not a Security
Council resolution (which raised questions about
how implementable the partition plan was).
November 30, 1947: a civil war breaks out. It
continues for 6 months until the British withdrew.
As soon as the British wit