chapter
28 Pages

New creations in 1948

The State of Israel and the Palestinian refugees
WithKidd Geraldine

This chapter seeks to contextualise Eleanor Roosevelt's role in Zionist/Palestinian affairs in the all-important year of 1948, when the state of Israel was founded and the Palestinian refugees were created. It demonstrates that the influences of the paternalistic, imperialistic and Orientalist approaches of the period also played a role in guiding her reactions. The chapter primarily considers the information available to Roosevelt, which informed her opinions. It examines the official and unofficial sources from journalists, officers of the UN and the US missions, and from members of the public–those who had local experience and those who closely observed. The chapter demonstrates her biases as the year progressed–a clear favouritism towards the Jews and an irrational disdain for the Arabs. The dual development, climaxed in the aggressive support given by the US government and the United Nations to partition Palestine and to encourage the creation of the Jewish political state.