On 10 April 1946, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin sent a note to Prime Minister Clement Attlee in which he gave his view of what the Soviet Union was up to: “The Russians have decided upon an aggressive policy based upon militant Communism and Russian chauvinism and seem determined to stick at nothing short of war, to obtain their objectives. At the present time Russia's aggressive policy is clearly directed to challenging this country everywhere” (The National Archives of the United Kingdom, FO 800/501/SU/46/15).

One of those places was the Near East, especially Palestine, where since April 1922 Great Britain had ruled through a Mandate of the League of Nations. The Mandate obligated Britain to encourage the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people; that is, a Jewish state.

In 1939, with war imminent, the British abandoned this policy, fearing that the Arab world might turn...

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