JERUSALEM — Tuesday, November 29, marked the 75th anniversary of the United Nations’ vote to create a Jewish state. It was the first time the international community threw its support behind the creation of a Jewish state.
The UN plan, known as the Partition Plan, would have created two states, Jewish and Arab, while internationalizing Jerusalem.
The Partition Plan passed by a vote of 33-13 with 10 abstentions and one country absent, and was immediately accepted by the Jewish community and Zionist movement. The Arabs unanimously rejected it.
Tova Ofer of Ganei Tivka, shared her recollections of that day. Ofer, now 93, was born to Polish immigrants who arrived in Mandatory Palestine in 1923.
What was the situation for the Jewish community here at the time of the UN vote?
In the beginning, my parents did not have a job, they lived in a rental. They lived hand to mouth. That’s how we grew up. We went to school in Tel Aviv.
I was in the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement. We were volunteers in the defense. Early in the morning we put up posters since there were no radio receivers or technology. That’s how we distributed the wall posters. We had to be careful of the British and the other movements.
At the end of 1947, we left for training at Kibbutz Negba, where we trained in defense, like using a gun for example. The British each time imposed a curfew, and we had to be careful. We worked on all kinds of weapons and helped with maintenance.
Did you expect the partition vote to pass?
In November we were already in the midst of the War of Independence. It was word of mouth that there was such a plan, but we didn’t know it was going to happen. We were in the middle of the fighting and we didn’t have a radio.
[After hearing about the outcome of the UN vote] we didn’t have time to rejoice. We were in the middle of a fight. We sang a little, danced a little around a fire we made. Then we heard that Tel Aviv was happy. But we were in the middle of a fight.
Would you say the vote was historic?
It is certainly a historical event. We could have received more parts of the historical Land of Israel, but it was impossible to honor everything anew. This is a quite significant event, certainly for those who were here in Israel.