Palestine: Partition in the International Forum

  • T. G. Fraser


A clear appreciation of the partition of Palestine is only possible if the debate surrounding the Peel proposals is understood, for, despite the ultimate rejection of Coupland’s thesis, the Report continued to enjoy wide acceptance as one of the most powerful state papers of the inter-war period. The discussions which followed the reopening of the Palestine question after 1945 showed that its arguments had never been entirely forgotten, certainly as far as official British circles were concerned. Weizmann, the Jewish leader most attracted by the notion of partition, and Ben-Gurion, one of the leading protagonists in 1937–8, continued to dominate the Zionist movement in the post-war years, despite the emergence of more radical rivals. John Martin, the able secretary to the Peel Commission, now directed Palestinian affairs at the Colonial Office backed by the prestige of his war-time role as principal private secretary to Winston Churchill. Martin’s opposite number at the Foreign Office was Harold Beeley, who quickly emerged as Ernest Bevin’s principal adviser on Palestinian affairs. As a young academic before the war, Beeley had written extensive analyses of both the Peel and Woodhead reports for the annual Survey of International Affairs prepared by Arnold Toynbee for Chatham House. It was partly through these individuals that the arguments for and against the Peel proposals survived into the greatly altered post-war circumstances.1


Security Council International Forum Partition Plan Arab State Jewish State 
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  1. 2.
    See ‘The Biltmore Programme’, in The Israel-Arab Reader ed. W. Laqueur, rev. edn (London, 1970) pp. 104–6.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    E.M. Wilson, Decision on Palestine (Princeton, 1979 ).Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    See N. Bethell, The Palestine Triangle (London, 1979) pp. 176–86. 1979 ) pp. 176–86.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    W. Phillips, Ventures in Diplomacy (London, 1955) pp. 274–98.Google Scholar
  5. 53.
    M. Miller, Plain Speaking (London, 1974) pp. 216–17.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© T. G. Fraser 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. G. Fraser
    • 1
  1. 1.The New University of UlsterUSA

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