What was the United Nations’ plan for establishing a Jewish state in the Middle East?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Not surprisingly, the UN Plan ws fairly complex.  Essentially, it called for the British controlled Palestine to be divided into a Jewish State, an Arab State, and an area within it deemed under "international control."  The map that shows the division is complex, as well, for it reflects a large portion to be deemed as a Jewish state enveloping the Arab state.  The city of Jerusalem was to be under "international control."  The plan was approved by a nearly 2 to 1 vote, and was immediately embraced by Jewish individuals within the region.  The Arabs were not as supportive, for the most part.  The plans for border partition were truly interesting to examine because it almost assuredly was designed with tension being an immediate byproduct.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In 1947, Great Britain which up to that point had administered the colony of Palestine, gave up any control they had over the land to the United Nations, which essentially freed them to declare at least part of that colony as an independent Jewish homeland - Israel.  Palestinians would also be able to continue to live there, so the land was divided, or "partitioned" into a patchwork of Jewish and Arab Palestinian regions.

The UN then voted in 1947 to adopt the plan, and Israel as a modern country was born the next year.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Palestine had been the historical homeland of the Jews people but most of the Jews had moved out of Palestine and settled in various parts of the World. Thus in the beginning of nineteenth century there were very few Jews living there. Motivated by a desire to live in their holy ancient land, some Jews started to migrate to Palestine in mid nineteenth century. Thus in 1880 number of Jews there increased to about 24,000. In 1914 this number was about 85,000.

After World War I, Palestine became a mandated territory under the control of UK. According to the mandate UK was to help the Palestinian Jews build a national home for the Jews. However there were stiff opposition to this from the original Arab population. The UK adopted a soft approach neither officially insisting on creation of a separate state nor effectively controlling Jewish immigration into Palestine.

Due to the mass killing of Jews during World War II, the demand for a separate Jewish nation in Palestine intensified. However because of the local opposition, UK was unable to take any decisive action and submitted this problem to the UN in 1947.

The decision of UN General Assembly adopted on November 29, 1947 was to divide Palestine in two territories - Arab state and Jewish state - and place Jerusalem under international control. Jews in Palestine accepted the decision of UN, but Arabs refused to accept it. In spite of Arab opposition Israel came into official existence on May 14, 1948.

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