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From the London Conference to the UN Partition Recommendation, 1939-1947 (459)


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Introduction: From the London Conference to the UN Partition Recommendation 1939-1947

THE period between the end of the Great Rebellion and the events of 1948 unfolded in two phases: the war years (1939-45) and the two years immediately following (1945-47). During the first phase the Palestinians were generally quiescent. Their passivity was due partly to the brutality and thoroughness of the British repression of the rebellion, and partly to the relatively reassuring provisions of the 1939 White Paper on Zionist immigration and land acquisition. Other contributing causes were the economic war boom brought about by an increased level of expenditure on the part of British and Allied forces deployed in the Middle East, and the pronouncements made by British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden in favor of postwar Arab unity - a cause popular with Palestinian and other Arab nationalists.

Chronology 1940 - 1947


February 28: Publication of Land Transfers Regulations, provided for in White Paper of 1939; regulations protect Palestinian land rights against Zionist acquisition.

Palestinian Volunteers Against the Axis

In spite of their bitterness at the brutality of the British suppression of their rebellion, about nine thousand Palestinians volunteered during World War II for service in the British forces against the Axis powers. Some of these volunteers are seen here on parade in Nablus in May 1941.

The Stern Gang Assassinates Lord Moyne

Lord Walter Moyne (1880-1944), close friend of Winston Churchill, British colonial secretary in 1941-42, and subsequently minister resident in the Middle East.

The Irgun and Transjordan

A poster of the Irgun Zvai Leumi (National Military Organization), "Irgun" for short, which began its terrorist campaign against the Palestinians in September 1937, and was the parent body of the Stem Gang.

Menachem Begin and Vladimir Jabotinsky

Menachem Begin, former prime minister of Israel, addressing a rally soon after the establishment of Israel.