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The American Interest in the Palestine Question and the Establishment of Israel

Evan M. Wilson
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 401, America and the Middle East (May, 1972), pp. 64-73
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1039113
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The American Interest in the Palestine Question and the Establishment of Israel
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Abstract

It was not until the mid-1940s that the United States was called upon to have more than a vague and generalized attitude toward the Palestine problem. With the end of World War II, pressures on our government to take some action with respect to the Jewish displaced persons in Europe became intense. President Truman, whose basic motivation was humanitarian, but who was responsive to Zionist influence, urged the British to admit 100 thousand displaced Jews to Palestine. The British countered by proposing a joint Anglo-American Committee to examine the situation, but the committee's recommendations were not accepted by either government. After a second Anglo-American effort failed, and no agreement with the Arabs and Jews was in sight, the British in 1947 referred the matter to the United Nations, where we strongly supported partition. The State of Israel was established May 14, 1948, and immediately recognized by Truman. President Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles adopted a policy of impartiality and promoted a settlement, but encountered various obstacles. In the 1956 Suez crisis, we took a strong line against Britain, France, and Israel, called for an immediate cease-fire, and put considerable pressure on Israel to withdraw from occupied territory. Our support of Israel adversely affected our interests in the Middle East, and the evenhanded policy adopted later, though an improvement, was not really impartial in practice.

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