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Anglo-American Diplomacy and the Palestinian Refugee by S. Waldman

By S. Waldman

This quantity examines British and US attitudes in the direction of the ability and mechanisms for the facilitation of an Arab-Israeli reconciliation, focusing in particular at the refugee consider diplomatic projects. It explains why Britain and the united states have been not able to reconcile the neighborhood events to an contract at the way forward for the Palestinian refugees.

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Britain and the Middle East: An easterly extension of the American continent? In a paper written in March 1946, the new Labour Prime Minister Clement Atlee argued that Britain should now be viewed as an eastern extension of a strategic area which was the American continent rather than a separate power looking eastwards. 16 Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin did not agree with this world view. 17 The Chiefs of Staff (COS), apprehensive about the consequences of a British evacuation from the region, supported Bevin.

Deteriorating security in a Palestine facing insurgency and on the brink of civil war was coupled with opposition to British policy, particularly over immigration, from the White House. President Truman saw a solution to the Jewish displaced persons problem, and as early as July 1945, asked Winston Churchill at the Potsdam Conference to lift restrictions on Jewish entry into Palestine. The following month Truman sent a letter to the new British Prime Minister Clement Attlee enclosing the Harrison Report.

This was noted by Foreign Office and State Department officials as reports emerged from the field that Britain was being accused of complicity in the Palestinian exodus. For example, after the fall of Haifa in April 1948, it was reported that Arab leaders, in an attempt to save face, were blaming Britain for the departure of Arabs from the city. 7 Accusations were circulated that there had been an agreement between Britain and the Haganah to expel Arabs from their homeland. 8 Even though the US did not have soldiers on the ground or administrative responsibility, like Britain, it saw the potential of increased Arab anger because of the refugee problem.

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