The Partition of Palestine and the Creation of Israel
With the end of the war came the ‘Jewish Revolt’, which drove the British out of Palestine and prepared the way for Jewish statehood. Despite the intense feeling of betrayal over the 1939 White Paper and continuing tensions between the Yishuv and the mandatory authorities during the war, the leaders of the Jewish Agency did not initially have the sense that conflict was inevitable, for in July 1945 Britain elected a new Labour government which was believed to be sympathetic to their aims. The British Labour Party had long professed a fellow-feeling with Zionism, which shared its social democratic ethos, and at its Blackpool conference in 1944 enthusiastically endorsed the principle of a Jewish Palestine. But the initial enthusiasm with which Ben-Gurion and his colleagues greeted the election of their fellow socialists soon turned to incredulity and disillusion when it became clear that the 1939 White Paper policy still stood. Behind the Labour government’s apparent volte-face was the formidable figure of Ernest Bevin, a former trade union leader now Foreign Secretary.
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