Partition Vote (01:57)
A plan to divide Palestine into Jewish and Arab states was on the agenda of the 128th U.N. General Assembly in 1947. Two-thirds of the represented countries must vote for the resolution to pass.
Zionist Movement (03:08)
Journalist Theodor Herzl published "The Jewish State" in 1896, responding to a rising wave of antisemitism. Attendees of the first Congress of the Zionist Movement pondered the creation of a Jewish homeland.
Collective Communities (04:08)
In 1905, the International Zionist Congress chose Palestine as a sovereign Jewish state. Critics feared a Jewish settlement in Arab territory amounted to creating a ghetto. Russian pogroms increased Jewish migration. Zionists purchased land in Rishon LeZion and began the kibbutz concept.
Unoccupied Land? (02:48)
Outsiders saw Palestine as desolate; Zionists justified settling in the land. Muslims were not mistrustful before the arrival of the Zionists.
Aftermath of World War I (02:37)
Western powers controlled most of the Middle East after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The English took possession of Palestine and declared support for a Jewish state.
Arab Uprisings (04:15)
Anti-Jewish protests occurred in Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Tel-Aviv. In 1922, the League of Nations mandated a Jewish state. The Third Reich allowed Jews to leave Germany on condition they surrender possessions. Palestinian Arabs revolted in 1936. Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini sought an alliance with the Nazis.
World War II (04:42)
The mufti's alliance with the Third Reich signaled a change in goals. Adolf Hitler invaded Poland, and Irwin Rommel's forces fought in the Middle East. The Haganah and British Army agreed to create a force of Jewish soldiers. News of Nazi atrocities emerged.
Jewish Refugees (04:40)
After Allied victory, the British continued turning refugees away from Palestine. Nazi's murdered one third of the Jewish population and the horror strengthened the Zionist cause. Many Jews who returned to their home countries were killed.
Operation Igloo (04:19)
The British transported Jewish refugees to Cyprus. Zionist rebels organized acts of sabotage against the English. A U.N. commission recommended creating separate Arab and Jewish states. Exodus 47 brought 4,500 Holocaust survivors to Haifa.
Palestine Partition (03:19)
UN delegates prepared to vote. France remained cryptic about intentions, while President Harry Truman pressured states to vote in favor of partition. The Soviets backed the Zionists and the proposal passed.
Terrorist Attacks (04:57)
Palestinian Arabs rejected the UN proposal for surrendering part of their country; militants targeted the Palestinian Post, Ben Yehuda market, and Jewish Agency offices. Retaliatory attacks escalated on both sides.
Deir Yassin Massacre (02:41)
Two Zionist paramilitary groups attacked the Arab village in April 1948, blowing up houses and killing nearly 200 people. The brutality was aimed at coercing the Palestinians into leaving.
Jewish State (05:19)
Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion declared the formation of Israel on May 14, 1948; Great Britain's troops went home. Arabs gathered weapons and war quickly ensued.
War Backfires on Arabs (02:47)
Israeli military forces were winning on all fronts except Jerusalem. Jordan annexed the West Bank and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip. Israel conquered more land than the partition plan had designated.
Credits: Israel: A Twice Promised Land, Part I (00:60)
Credits: Israel: A Twice Promised Land, Part I
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