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THE MODERN HISTORY of the state of Israel began on November 29, 1947. The United Nations had been debating for months on the question that would likely lead to war: the partition of Palestine, which would give birth to the state of Israel. Then, on November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted on the momentous issue. The Palestine Broadcasting System recorded the decision: “the General Assembly of the United Nations, by a vote of 33 in favor, 13 against … has voted to partition Palestine.” On May 13, 1948, the British evacuated Jerusalem, having governed Palestine as a League of Nations Mandate territory since the end of World War I. On May 14, eight hours before the British Mandate officially ended, David ben-Gurion, the head ...

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