29 November 1947 – U.N. Votes for Partition of Palestine
Despite strong Arab opposition, the United Nations votes for the partition of Palestine and the creation of an independent Jewish state.
The modern conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine dates back to the 1910s. The Jews were Zionists, recent emigrants from Europe and Russia who wished to establish a Jewish national state on Palestinian lands.
As a result of the Holocaust in Europe, many Jews illegally entered Palestine during World War II. Radical Jewish groups employed terrorism against British forces in Palestine, which they thought had betrayed the Zionist cause. At the end of World War II, in 1945, the United States took up the Zionist cause. Britain, unable to find a practical solution, referred the problem to the United Nations, which on November 29, 1947, voted to partition Palestine.
The Jews were to possess more than half of Palestine, though they made up less than half of Palestine’s population. The Palestinian Arabs, aided by volunteers from other countries, fought the Zionist forces, but the Jews secured full control of their U.N.-allocated share of Palestine and also some Arab territory. On May 14, 1948, Britain withdrew with the expiration of its mandate, and the State of Israel was proclaimed by Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion.
In 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.