By S. Waldman
This quantity examines British and US attitudes in the direction of the potential and mechanisms for the facilitation of an Arab-Israeli reconciliation, focusing particularly at the refugee consider diplomatic tasks. It explains why Britain and the USA have been not able to reconcile the neighborhood events to an contract at the way forward for the Palestinian refugees.
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Extra info for Anglo-American Diplomacy and the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1948–51
Although they acknowledged that the Palestinian refugee issue was a political problem with ramiﬁcations for the future, they both discussed it, primarily, in its humanitarian context. Instead of tackling it as a signiﬁcant outstanding issue between Arabs and Israelis, this aspect of the problem was simply referred to the proposed conciliation commission without detailed consideration. Britain and the US were preoccupied with launching a humanitarian effort to help the refugees because they feared continued Palestinian hardship would be detrimental to their own strategic interests.
132 The challenge facing British diplomacy was providing an impression of neutrality while at the same time ﬁnding a position that would maintain Arab goodwill. 135 However, in was what termed ‘advanced’ Arab nations such as Syria, Iraq and Egypt, Britain’s position would be unstable. 136 Importantly, this growing revolutionary sentiment made these ‘developed’ Arab nations susceptible to Soviet propaganda which was already being disseminated across the Arab world with the aim of dislodging Britain’s position.
45 Britain’s retreat was not limited to Palestine. It represented a general trend of British withdrawal from its international presence. Despite opposition from the COS and the importance of the Middle East and Mediterranean to British strategic interests, the decline of Britain in the region was irrevocable. By February 1947, Britain informed the US that it would be withdrawing military support from Greece and Turkey,46 for ﬁnancial reasons. The British economy was indeed in dire straits. Britain’s overseas debt had multiplied six fold, and by 1947, half of its overseas investment had been lost, while exports had fallen by two thirds.
Anglo-American Diplomacy and the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1948–51 by S. Waldman