This book presents a multidimensional case study of international human rights in the immediate post-Second World War period, and the way in which complex refugee problems created by the war were often in direct competition with strategic interests and national sovereignty.

The case study is the clandestine immigration of Jewish refugees from Italy to Palestine in 1945–1948, which was part of a British–Zionist conflict over Palestine, involving strategic and humanitarian attitudes. The result was a clear subjection of human rights considerations to strategic and political interests.

chapter |5 pages


part 1|2 pages

Historical background

chapter 1|24 pages

Refugees in Europe 1920–1948

chapter 2|12 pages

Human rights

A ‘window of opportunity’?

chapter 3|18 pages

Jewish refugees

The long journey from the camps to Palestine

part 2|2 pages

Political developments

chapter 4|24 pages

Political developments

65The British, the Americans, the Zionists and the Palestine question

chapter 5|19 pages

British immigration policy

part 3|2 pages

Case study: Jewish refugees in Italy: human rights drama or an exercise in realpolitik?

chapter 6|15 pages

Italy and the Allies: 1943–1948

chapter 7|16 pages

Italy and the Jews

The Fascist burden and the wartime rescue

chapter 8|12 pages

Jewish refugees in Italy

chapter 9|24 pages

Britain and Italy

Politics and pressures

chapter 10|23 pages

The Italians and the Zionists

Clandestine cooperation and the La Spezia affair

part 4|2 pages

The refugees’ struggle against the empire

chapter 11|27 pages

Britain and the Jewish refugees

203Resistance and human rights

chapter 12|4 pages


Refugees as international actors or pawns