The origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Historian article

By Ritchie Ovendale, published 1st December 2002

On 29 January 1949 there was a debate in the British House of Commons. When Winston Churchill, the leader of the opposition, interrupted Ernest Bevin’s history of the Palestine problem he was told by the Foreign Secretary: ‘over half a million Arabs have been turned by the Jewish immigrants into homeless refugees without employment or resources’. Bevin went on to describe the tide of Arab nationalism that was ‘running high’ and had bitten deep into the ordinary young Arab: ‘They consider that for the Arab population, which has been occupying Palestine for more than twenty centuries, to be turned out of their land and homes to make way for another race is a profound injustice.’

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