1948 (Magill's Literary Annual 2009)
The end of World War II in Europe in May, 1945, brought the full extent of the Holocaust to the attention of the world. Some six million Jews had perished at the hands of the Nazis. In the aftermath, as Benny Morris relates in 1948, the concept of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East, originating with the Balfour Declaration by British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour in 1917 and envisioned by a generation of European Jews, found international support with the United Nations Partition Resolution on November 29, 1947. Palestine was still under British control, the result of a post-World War I mandate, but as events unfolded the British increasingly desired to simply vacate the region.
Both Jews and Arabs had their own claims on Palestine. For the Jews the land represented their national homeland. More immediately, it represented the land to which survivors and displaced persons could emigrate after the war. Certainly no country, even the United States, showed any desire to incorporate hundreds of thousands of European Jews. Both the Franklin Roosevelt administration and that of Harry Truman initially avoided any strong support for the Jews. However, as the level of events in Europe became known, Truman modified his views to one of support for the resettling of displaced Jews into Palestine.
Arab support for the Allied armies had been minimal. At most, some six thousand had fought with the Allies, and many of those had deserted....
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2009)
The Chronicle of Higher Education 54 (May 16, 2008): B6.
Foreign Affairs 87, no. 5 (September/October, 2008): 148-156.
History Today 58, no. 7 (July, 2008): 64.
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The New York Times Book Review, May 4, 2008, p. 19.
The New Yorker 84, no. 12 (May 5, 2008): 72-77.
Publishers Weekly, May 9, 2008.
The Times Literary Supplement, June 20, 2008, p. 25.
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