This Day in History (29-Nov-1947) – U.N. votes for partition of Palestine

As part of the 19th-century Zionist movement, Jews had begun settling in Palestine as early as 1820. The effort to establish a Jewish homeland received British approval in the Balfour Declaration of 1917. During the 1930s, Jews persecuted by the Hitler regime poured into Palestine. The post-World WarII acknowledgment of the Holocaust—Hitler’s genocide of 6 million Jews—increased international interest in and sympathy for the cause of Zionism. The British mandate to govern Palestine, which had been in place since 1923, ended after the war, and, in 1947, the UN voted to partition Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a small international zone. Arabs rejected the idea, but the plan moved forward and the British officially withdrew on May 14, 1948, and the Jewish National Council proclaimed the State of Israel.

Hostilities broke out almost immediately after the state of Israel was proclaimed. Neighboring Arab nations invaded, intent on crushing the newly declared State of Israel. Israel emerged victorious, affirming its sovereignty. By the cease-fire on Jan. 7, 1949, Israel had increased its original territory by 50%, taking western Galilee, a broad corridor through central Palestine to Jerusalem, and part of modern Jerusalem. The new border is called the Green Line. As many as 750,000 Palestinians either flee or are forced from Israel and settle in refugee camps near Israel’s border. The status of the refugees goes on to become a sticking point in further Arab-Israeli relations. The Palestinian defeat and exodus is known as the Nakba, or disaster.

The new Israel government was admitted to the UN on May 11, 1949. The remaining areas of Palestine were divided between Transjordan (now Jordan), which annexed the West Bank, and Egypt, which gained control of the Gaza Strip. Through a series of political and social policies, Jordan sought to consolidate its control over the political future of Palestinians and to become their speaker. Jordan even extended citizenship to Palestinians in 1949.

The conflicts around Israel and Palestine continued for years. In October 2011, UNESCO admitted the “State of Palestine” as a member.

Reference:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/un-votes-for-partition-of-palestine

http://www.infoplease.com/world/countries/israel-palestine-conflict/early-history.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Palestine

This Day in History (9-Nov-1938) – Kristallnacht — “The Night of Broken Glass” — Occurs in Germany and Parts of Austria

When Adolf Hitler rose to power during the early 1930s, he moved quickly to isolate the Jewish community from the rest of German society. By early 1938, Nazi authorities announced that residence permits for all foreigners — including Jews — were revoked. In late October, as part of the subsequent “Polenaktion,” some 12,000 Polish Jews were ordered to fill a single suitcase with all the belongings they could and leave for their homeland. Only a third of them were granted entry into Poland, with the rest left to languish in a refugee camp. Herschel Grynszpan, a Polish Jew living in Paris whose family was among those trapped near Poland, received word of what had happened. Furious, he purchased a pistol and ammunition on the morning of November 7th, then gained entrance to the German embassy and shot dead Ernst vom Rath, a diplomat from the Foreign Office. He held a postcard in his pocket that read, “May God forgive me…I must protest so that the whole world hears my protest, and that I will do.”

When Hitler found out about the incident on the evening of November 9, 1938, he instructed Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels to utter the famous last words: “[Demonstrations] should not be prepared or organized by the party, but insofar as they erupt spontaneously, they are not to be hampered.” Within hours, regional party leaders were in the streets destroying property — joined by ordinary citizens riled up by years of anti-Jewish propaganda. While burning synagogues and destroying the windows of Jewish storefronts, authorities were ordered to capture as many Jews as possible for deportation to concentration camps. By the end of the night, glass was strewn about the streets and some 200 houses of worship were on fire in Germany alone, with perhaps another hundred or so in the capital of annexed Austria, Vienna.  At least 96 Jews were killed and hundreds more injured. According to official Nazi reports, approximately 100,000 Jews had been arrested and some 20 percent of all Jewish property was claimed by the government in the following days. Though Kristallnacht arrived some three-and-a-half years before the official declaration of Hitler’s Final Solution, the world clearly understood German intentions for the Jewish people in the build up to World War II.

 

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/november-9-1938-ce-kristallnacht-the-night-of-broken-glass-occurs-in-germany-and-parts-of-austria

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/kristallnacht.html