TITLE: The Moral Conscience of the World: The United Nations and Palestine in 1947
SPEAKER: William Roger Louis
EVENT DATE: 2008/07/16
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
The United Nations' role in the creation of the state of Israel marked the beginning of a critical episode in the changing colonial world order, according to historian William Roger Louis.
Louis discussed the topic in a lecture titled "The Moral Conscience of the World: The United Nations and Palestine in 1947" in a program sponsored by the Library's John W. Kluge Center and the National History Center.
Louis, a professor at the University of Texas in Austin in both English history and Middle Eastern studies, focused his talk on the Palestine crisis in 1947 and the creation of the Jewish state in the next year. A U.N. partition plan for Palestine was approved in 1947, terminating the British Mandate for Palestine and creating two states, one Jewish and one Arab in Palestine. According to Louis, the debate on these issues in 1947 had enduring significance. The partition plan tested the principle of self-determination.
Speaker Biography: William Roger Louis is the author or editor of approximately 30 books, including his recent book of collected essays, "Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez and Decolonization." Louis is chairman of the U.S. State Department's Historical Advisory Committee, a member of the Scholars' Council of the Library of Congess and a past president of the American Historical Association.