The attention of the entire world was shortly focused upon the restrictive British emigration policy in Palestine, through the fate of the Exodus 1947 passengers. People worldwide were incensed at British policy, and sympathy grew among United Nations delegates for the creation of a Jewish State.
From the very outset, in planning the Exodus 1947 operation, the Haganah had calculated on this reaction, as the President Warfield never had a real chance of landing all its 4,554 passengers, unimpeded, in Palestine.
Already by 14th February 1947, the British government had decided to return its mandate for Palestine to the UNO, wherupon the UN appointed a special committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). This Special Committee (UNSCOP) was to find a solution to the conflict between the Arabs and the ever growing Jewish population in Palestine. The Committee was also to make proposals for the future destiny of Jewish Displaced Persons.
When the Exodus 1947 was boarded off the coast of Palestine this UNSCOP was sitting in the British
mandate of Palestine. Committee members observed the disembarkation of the Exodus 1947 in Haifa. They
asked Rev. Grauen two questions: Did the British attack in international waters? He answered: Yes.
Did the refugees defend themselves with guns? He answered: No. The refugees were however prepared
to give up their lives in their attempt to enter Palestine.
There are grounds for the supposition that the dramatic experience of the Exodus tragedy led to the majority vote of this Special Committee to divide Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state. On 29th November 1947, the United Nations Assembly voted according to the Special Committee's recommendation. The way was thereby smoothed for the foundation of a Jewish state.
On 14th May 1948, one day before the end of the British mandate of Palestine, the National Council of Jews in Palestine and the National Council of the World Zionist Movement in Tel Aviv proclaimed the sovereign State of Israel.
However, a solution to the Palestine conflict was not thereby achieved, and three days later the
long smouldering conflict between Arab and Jew exploded into armed warfare. Five Arab states
declared war on the newly founded State of Israel.
Over 50 years later, peace treaties between Israel and several neighbouring states have yet to be signed. Despite intensive endeavour on both sides a solution to the conflict has, to this day, not been achieved.
What became of the Exodus 1947?
In 1952, the wreck of the ship sank off Haifa. The ship's history became the source of Leon Uris' novel "Exodus", and Otto Preminger's film of the same name. The story of the Exodus became one of the best known legends of the founding of the State of Israel.