Britain hastily partitioned India in 1947. It withdrew from Palestine in 1948 without dividing it, despite having invested nearly two decades in planning for partition there. Drawing on archival research in India, Britain, Israel/Palestine, and the United States, as well as published primary sources from Egypt, Lebanon, and Pakistan, I argue that these debates about partition in these two areas simultaneously built on and unsettled existing connections between them. In particular, they disrupted relations between Indian Muslims and Arabs. This paper is part of a larger book project that shows that events in India and Palestine were intertwined from World War I onward and that links between the two cases persisted after Britain’s withdrawal. Transcolonial networks, both imperial and anti-colonial, affected British policy in both areas and contributed to significant continuities after Britain’s withdrawal. Partition and withdrawal did not mark a sharp cutoff in either India/Pakistan or Israel/Palestine, but were processes that unfolded over time and arguably are still unfolding.
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