One common myth about Israel’s creation is that it was born due to the Holocaust, and as a result of the United Nations’ Partition Plan of 1947.
In reality, Israel was created by the Jews themselves as a result of more than a half-century of organizing.
The myth continues that Holocaust-guilt reached a pinnacle on November 29, 1947 - when the UN General Assembly voted to partition the British Mandate for Palestine into Jewish and Arab lands.
Thus, the narrative insists, Europe sought to ease its guilt over the Jews, at the expense of Arabs. What makes this narrative total nonsense?
1) Jews are the indigenous people of Judea, then Palestine, preceding Arab arrival by some two millennia and having maintained a continuous presence and several periods of sovereignty in this land over some 3,000 years, since the Kingdom of David in 1,000 BCE.
2) The Arabs—who did not define themselves as Palestinians until 1964 —have never had sovereignty or even control over Palestine.
3) The formation of the State of Israel in Palestine was preceded by determined Zionist organizing that began officially in 1897 with the first Zionist Congress—45 years before the shame of Wannsee.
4) A distinct ambivalence—and even outright opposition — toward a Jewish state in Palestine predominated in many nations, including Britain and the United States.
While Great Britain deserves credit for the 1917 Balfour Declaration, it quickly did a U-turn, violating its League of Nations-granted mandate by carving out two-thirds of the land for what became Jordan.
Then, it produced the infamous 1939 Palestine White Paper which virtually eliminated Jewish immigration to Palestine.
Issued just months before Hitler’s genocide against Jews was launched, the White Paper cut off European Jewry from the only place in the world to which they could flee - just as they were being slaughtered and desperately needed sanctuary.
Other countries wouldn’t shelter them—much less welcome them. In the ensuing world war, the Jews were trapped in a veritable slaughterhouse, which the Wannsee Conference had made far more efficient.
After Germany’s defeat, the Allies created the United Nations, which did nothing to help Jewish survivors reach Palestine from their ghastly refugee camps in Europe. There was no call to Britain to lift the White Paper’s limits on immigration to Palestine, where a civil war erupted between Jews and Arabs—with each also attacking the British.
Britain, exhausted by World War II, announced in early 1947 that it was relinquishing its UN Mandate for Palestine.
Thus, the 1947 UN vote to partition Palestine was, essentially, an empty gesture. However, it was clear that some kind of division of Palestine was certain once the British withdrew.
Caring more about relations with Arab nations than the survivors of the Holocaust, the Allies all imposed arms embargoes against the Jews of Palestine.
The UN partition plan did nothing to protect a Jewish state in Palestine, and nobody gave a damn about the survival of the Jewish people. The State of Israel was declared on May 14, 1948, moments after the last British troops left.
The UN resolution hadn’t called for Jewish statehood, and many foreign politicians thought it was unwise, including the American Secretary of State, George Marshall.
The European powers, the US, and the UN prepared to watch a continuation of the Holocaust as Israel was attacked simultaneously by several Arab armies. Israel survived—and has flourished—because of the incredible commitment, leadership and courage of its own population—then just a few hundred thousand—facing millions of Arabs and five invading armies.
The courageous leaders and people of Israel created—and fought at a huge cost of blood and treasure to create—the State of Israel in 1948.