- Following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Great Britain established a mandate over Palestine backed by the League of Nations. However, the region was the scene of continuous conflict between the Arab and smaller Jewish population. The conflict escalated, inflamed by demands for partition and the creation of a separate Jewish state. The flight of Jewish refugees from Germany before and after World War II only served to increase tensions in the region, and when the British indicated they could no longer maintain their mandate, an alternative was sought. Calls for a temporary United Nations trusteeship were rejected in 1947 in favor of partition, a proposal initially supported by the United States. However, fighting between the two groups in Palestine erupted again, and on 14 May 1948 Israel, an independent Jewish state, was declared by the provisional Jewish government. It was recognized almost immediately by President Harry S. Truman despite the opposition of Secretary of State George C. Marshall. It seems that Truman responded both to criticism from Republican opponents and the powerful pro-Jewish lobby in the United States possibly with a view to the 1948 election. The immediate result was the outbreak of war between Israel and the Arab League, but support for Israel was also to have considerable long-term consequences for the United States.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.