On May 14, Israel is established. The United States is the first country to recognize the new and already besieged state; arms for Israel come from a variety of sources, including Eastern Europe. Many Arabs flee or are driven out of Palestine, creating a refugee problem. Jews in Arab lands find refuge in Israel. Israel maintains private and discrete talks with Jordanian, Lebanese, and Syrian political leaders, but no political agreements result. Palestinians are denied opportunity by Arab rulers to negotiate with Israelis except privately. When the state is declared, there are 660,000 Jews in Palestine, as compared to 60,000 in 1918. (source)