Daily Israel Report

1947 Partition Vote Comes to Life

A new film depicts the dramatic and critical Partition Vote in the UN in 1948 that led to the formation of the State of Israel.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 11/29/2010, 6:28 PM / Last Update: 11/30/2010, 1:15 AM

A new film - the second in the “Eyewitness 1948" short film series produced by Toldot Yisrael and the History Channel - depicts the dramatic and critical Partition Vote in the United Nations in 1948 that led to the formation of the State of Israel.

Toldot Yisrael is a Jerusalem-based nonprofit organization dedicated to recording and sharing the first-hand testimonies of the men and women who helped found and build the State of Israel. Its first video featured six brave Western Wall Yom Kippur shofar-blowers who risked and faced British wrath – and sometimes imprisonment – for their efforts.

This second film depicts the November 29, 1947 vote in the U.N. temporary headquarters in Lake Success, New York that gave the Jewish People a small part of the meager area of Palestine that lies west of the Jordan River (the remainder was given to what was named Transjordan, now Jordan) in which to build the Jewish State. 

A two-thirds majority was required, and after it became clear that the Jewish People had been granted part of their historic homeland for their state, Jews around the world celebrated and danced in the streets.

Interviewees such as Suzy Eban, wife of legendary U.N. Ambassador Abba Eban, Uri Lubrani, and others tell of their own personal efforts and impressions of that time – describing the tensions leading up to the vote, and the euphoria they experienced afterwards.

The film, entitled “November 29, 1947: The Story of a Vote,” together with its predecessor on the Western Wall shofar blowers, form the centerpiece of an educational pilot program for the U.S. being developed with The iCenter and made possible through the generous support of the Jim Joseph Foundation and others. 

Over 400 video interviews have been conducted with those who were involved during the pre-State struggle and the momentous events of 1948. “Our aim is to conduct hundreds more over the next several years,” says Aryeh HaLivni, founder and director of Toldot Yisrael, “while it is still possible.”

Toldot Yisrael’s footage serves as primary source materials for educational curricula, bringing to life the founding of the State of Israel for today’s young Jews.