Sharett was arrested as part of a comprehensive plan of action that was designed to break the resistance to British rule; the day it was carried out became known in Hebrew as "Black Shabbat." At the time Sharett was serving as head of the Jewish Agency's political department, and was the most prominent Zionist leader in the country; Ben-Gurion was staying in Paris.
...Sharett's time in detention at Latrun was part of a particularly dramatic period in the history of the state-in-the-making, which included the bombing of the King David Hotel by the Irgun pre-state underground, in which more than 90 people were killed. When Sharett heard about this he was shaken to the depths of his soul; he termed the terror attack "a holocaust."
Decision time was nearing on the future of Palestine: Sharett sent Eliyahu Sasson to Egypt to persuade that country's prime minister, Ismail Sidqi, to agree to partition. Sharett offered to give up any Jewish claim to territories east of the Jordan -in other words, to establish the Jewish state on all of the land west of the Jordan, including the West Bank. He described the arrangement as an Israeli concession of "half of the whole loaf of bread." He also promised the country's Arabs full equality but stated that whatever the Arabs had already lost to Jewish settlement - they would not get back.
Sharett was considered one of the more moderate and cautious statesmen, but his letter to Sidqi was worded in cold political language, with an occasional threatening tone. By all signs it was not meant for Arab eyes alone, but rather was also meant to withstand all political criticism should the letter become public. The establishment of a Jewish state would cause the Arabs "minuscule damage," and they would do well to accept reality, lest the Jews demand more, he wrote.
Sharett, remember, was a 'moderate'.