71 Years Ago, The United Nations Votes to Partition Palestine

1947--In the summer of 1947, the SS Exodus set sail from France. On board were over 4,500 Jewish men, women, and children, all displaced persons or survivors of the Holocaust trying to find new lives in the Palestine region. But in their way were British troops trying to keep promises made to the Palestinian Arabs to limit Jewish immigration. The British Navy were waiting at the shores of Palestine, violently forcing the passengers on boats back to Europe where they would be living in British-operated internment camps in Cyprus. The British treatment of these migrants did not go unnoticed; newspapers from around the globe reported on the British action to send the Jews back to Europe. For example, Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent, Robert Gary, captured photos of life for the Jews inside these camps. One photo showed Jews having to repair barbed wire fences, which drew comparison to the Holocaust where they would have to do the same thing. An American newspaper ran the headline "Back to the Reich" when reporting on the treatment of the Jews in the camps. All of the reporting quickly drew compassion towards the Jews from the public. The demand for a permanent home for the Jews was growing, and exactly 71 years ago, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine, thus giving the Jews a territory that they could call home which would later be called Israel.