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Teller From Jerusalem

Nov 17, 2021

TFJ Series 1 Episode 37 - The Birth of Israel 

When the British refused to allow 10,000 Jewish children to escape Europe and come to Palestine, it could not be that that they did not understand that barring their entry meant subjecting them to their annihilation. Images from Kristallnacht had been broadcast across worldwide media. And still Britain issued the White Paper agreeing to all of the Arab demands meaning that there would be no haven in Palestine for Jews fleeing for their lives and that the home for the Jews promised in the Balfour Declaration could not be realized. 

TFJ examines the plight of three doomed ships from this period which vividly highlight that Jews had nowhere in the world to escape to and the establishment of a Jewish state was a matter of life and death. As the British were unconcerned about this reality, Palestinian Jewry, most notably the Haganah, the precursor of the Israel Defence Forces, worked to smuggle in what the British deemed illegal immigrants. If they were caught, the British, ironically, like the Nazis, placed them in camps behind barbed wire. 


Audio Credit: The Doomed Voyage of the St Louis Documentary, History Channel 


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