Date of Award

Spring 2017

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Kurk Dorsey

Second Advisor

J. W. Harris

Third Advisor

Jason Sokol


This thesis seeks to explain the motivations for United States Government actions regarding Palestine from 1945 to 1948. The conclusion, based upon accumulated primary research and secondary sources, is that the United States government involved itself Palestinian conflict for humanitarian reasons and was then unable to extract itself from the conflict due to Cold War considerations. The United States did not seek a solution to the Arab-Zionist quandary itself, which would have involved directly confronting the competing nationalist goals of the two groups. Instead, Washington’s earliest actions focused on relocating Jewish victims of the Holocaust to Palestine, and formed its later policies around Cold War concerns. Research for this thesis was drawn primarily from documents found in volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States. Other primary sources include the NSA archives, the London Times, and documents in The Israel-Arab Reader, edited by Walter Laqueur and Barry Rubin. Secondary books and articles are also employed to strengthen arguments, add perspective, and provide necessary information.