In 1947, the United Nations voted to divide the British Mandate for Palestine into two political entities, and this plan (never enacted) has been debated ever since.

Map by National Geographic Society
  • November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted 33-13 to divide the British Mandate for Palestine into two independent states, one Jewish and one Arab. This resolution was known as the Partition Plan. The plan called for the British to withdraw their forces over the course of a year. After the British withdrawal, the Jewish community would be given control over 56 percent of the land. This larger portion was to accommodate the large numbers of Jewish refugees from Europe following the Holocaust. The indigenous Arab population of Palestine was allotted 43 percent of the land. The cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem were placed under special control of international forces to preserve peace, as those cities are considered holy by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, and were potential sites of religious violence.
    On May 14, 1948, one day before British forces were to withdraw, the Jewish community in Palestine published the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel, establishing Israel as an independent nation. Armies from five neighboring Arab nations immediately attacked the newly created state, marking the beginning of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    accommodate Verb

    to provide or satisfy.

    community Noun

    group of organisms or a social group interacting in a specific region under similar environmental conditions.

    Holocaust Noun

    (1933-1945) attempted genocide of the Jews of Europe, led by Nazi Germany. Also called the Shoah and the Final Solution.

    indigenous Adjective

    characteristic to or of a specific place.

    Encyclopedic Entry: indigenous
    nation Noun

    political unit made of people who share a common territory.

    Encyclopedic Entry: nation
    refugee Noun

    person who flees their home, usually due to natural disaster or political upheaval.

    resolution Noun

    agreement or settlement to a dispute.

    state Noun

    political unit in a nation, such as the United States, Mexico, or Australia.