AD HOC COMMITTEE ON THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE THIRTY-FIRST MEETING
Lake Success, New York
Monday, 24 November 1947, at 2.30 p.m.
Chairman; Mr. H. V. EVATT (Australia)
Sir Mohammad ZAFRULLAH KHAN (Pakistan) wished to conclude the comments which he had started to make at the 30th meeting on the report of Sub-Committee 1.
With regard to the power of the Security Council to take action for the implementation of the partition plan, Sir Mohammad pointed out that under Charter VI of the Charter the Council could do no more than make recommendations to the States concerned; it could not enforce a political settlement or ensure the maintenance of law and order within a State.
If it were assumed that the proposed action were authorized by the Charter, then as a result of that action the Organization would become the direct Administering Authority over two independent, sovereign States. Thus paragraphs 2 and 13 of part I (B) of the plan of Sub-Committee 1 provided that upon the termination of the Mandate, complete responsibility for administration would be transferred to a United Nations commission.
Paragraphs 2, 4, 5 and 6 of part I (D) showed that neither of the proposed States would be independent or sovereign. In practice the joint economic board would be the sovereign body after the commission had ceased to exercise its sovereign functions. Neither State would be viable without contributions from the joint economic board, nor would Jerusalem be able to function without its assistance.
Commenting upon the statement of the representative of the United States (29th meeting) that, with the good will of the Arab States and of the people of Palestine, the partition scheme had every chance of success, Sir Mohammad declared that any scheme which had the good will of the inhabitants of Palestine would succeed. But it must be remembered that opposition to the partition scheme, both in Palestine and in the neighbouring Arab States, was certain. It followed that if the United Nations decided to enforce the scheme of partition, it must provide armed forces for its implementation. The provision contained in paragraph 4 of part I (B) to the effect that if either State could not be set up by a certain date, the matter would be referred to the Security Council, merely meant that the Security Council would be faced with a question which the Committee had refused to face. It did not mean that provision was being made for implementation.
Referring to the provision that contributions from the joint economic board could be stopped if a State were not set up, Sir Mohammad asked whether the withholding of contributions would assist in the establishment of a sovereign government, and whether, in the event of only one State being established, its forces would assist in the establishment of government and the maintenance of law and order in the other State. In that event, he asked who would provide and finance the necessary armed forces. It must be remembered that the situation would not be merely temporary, and that the voting of a certain fund would not solve the problem, It was likely to be a drain on the resources of both States and a constant source of friction unless some provision were made in advance. If ,it were contended that the Security Council could deal with the matter, then the Security Council would have to find first the legal power to deal with an independent State, and secondly the necessary armed forces and finances. The question could not be left in the hands of the Security Council or any other body, but must be faced in advance.
With regard to the proposed allocation of resources, Sir Mohammad quoted figures to illustrate that ownership in the citrus production area was approximately equally divided between Arabs and Jews, yet practically the whole of the area had been allotted to the Jewish State. The United Kingdom comments upon the proposed scheme showed that approximately 83 per cent of the land tinder irrigation had been allotted to the Jewish State, as against 17 per cent to the Arab State. The figures with regard to the distribution of industry showed that very little Jewish industry would be in the Arab State, but that approximately 40 per cent of Arab industry would be in the Jewish State. The compensatory division of the surplus customs revenue proposed by the Special Committee 1/ which, in Sir Mohammad's view, would not have been a very satisfactory arrangement between two independent sovereign States, had been seriously modified by Sub-Committee 1. It was proposed that neither State would be entitled to receive, in addition to its own share, more than 4 million Palestinian pounds of the surplus customs revenue. It was intended that the share of each State would be calculated by regarding customs receipts in respect of goods consigned to the Jewish State as the share of the Jewish State, and vice versa. As an illustration of the unfairness of the division, Sir Mohammad pointed out that while in some instances goods might be consigned to importers in the Arab State, the largest amount of imports for both States would probably be consigned to commercial houses in Haifa or other ports in the Jewish State. It could be seen how technical and artificial the division would be, but even if an equitable division were possible, he did not consider that a maximum of 4 million Palestinian pounds customs revenue allocation should be fixed. Once that maximum were reached, the share of the Arab State would remain stationary, whereas the share of the Jewish State could continue to rise.
With regard to the proposed boundaries, it might be imagined that those areas on the map indicated as undivided lands were predominantly Jewish-owned. In the majority of cases, however, the Jewish share in the ownership of the common land was not more than 5 to 10 per cent. It could also be seen that a large number of completely Arab-owned areas had been placed in the Jewish State, even though they were adjacent to the Arab State. In reply to the argument that it had been desired to have the largest possible number of Jews within the Jewish State and the largest possible number of Arabs within the Arab State, it must be pointed out that the allocations referred to should have been proposed only if partition had been accepted as inevitable. There was no justification for including Arab-owned lands in the Jewish State solely on economic grounds, particularly as the proposed scheme allotted the development of irrigation and other economic resources to the joint economic board.
With regard to the Bedouin, who had not received sufficient attention, it was proposed that 22,000 should be in the Arab State, as against 105,000 in the Jewish State. Those Bedouin tribes, as would be seen from the United Kingdom note which appeared as appendix III of the report of Sub-Committee 2, were not nomadic in the ordinary sense of the word. They were attached to the Beersheba soil, being forced to move about within the region. The Chairman of Sub-Committee I had stated that the Sub-Committee had been concerned with the problem of the Jewish refugees of Europe, but that was no justification for placing a predominantly Arab-owned and Arab-cultivated area within the Jewish State. Nor was the contention that the land would be further cultivated after irrigation schemes had been established sufficient justification, since the Arabs should not be deprived of the opportunity to develop the land themselves. The amendment proposed by the United States delegation (A/AC.14/38) concerning the area did not rectify the position, since the area under cultivation by the Bedouin would still remain in the Jewish State.
With the exception of the town of Jaffa, almost all the modifications proposed by Sub-Committee 1, as far as resources were concerned, favoured the Jewish State, and served to emphasize the fact that the latter would be much more viable than the Arab State, even with the subsidy to be granted from the joint customs resources.
If the principle of self-determination were to be applied to the Jews in Palestine, it should be borne in mind that the same principle would be applicable to the 435,000 Arabs who would be in the Jewish State.
With regard to the 54 villages which would be separated from their lands, the principal objection was not that the people would have to cross the border to work, but rather that they would be citizens of the Arab State whose resources and prospects of development lay within the Jewish State.
The delegation of Pakistan could not accept the scheme proposed by Sub-Committee 1. That scheme had no legal basis and was unworkable from an economic and financial point of view. It did not provide adequately for the maintenance of law and order or for effective implementation. It left a large Arab minority in the Jewish State and, instead of settling the dispute, served to add to the existing difficulties.
The delegation of Pakistan had formulated a number of amendments to the plan, but wished to make it clear that their adoption, while lessening the degree of injustice, would not legalized the plan. If a majority of the members of the Committee decided that the plan was legal, then there were some provisions which were in obvious need of correction. Sir Mohammad proceeded to list the amendments proposed by his delegation (A/AC. 14/40).
In the first place, in view of the statement of the United Kingdom representative (25th meeting), the words "adoption by the General Assembly of its recommendation on the question of Palestine", in paragraph 4 of part I (A), should be replaced by the words "termination of the Mandate".
Secondly, since the General Assembly should elect representatives to the proposed commission, paragraph 1 of part I (B) should read as follows :
"A commission shall be set up consisting of five members. The members of the commission, no two of whom shall be natives of the same State, shall be elected on as broad a geographical basis as possible."
Thirdly, the first sentence in paragraph 8 of chapter 2 of part I (C) should end at the words "public purposes", the remainder being deleted. Sir Mohammad observed that the provision as it stood was extraordinary; in the case of a Negeb Bedouin, for instance, it could lead to the expropriation of his land on payment of compensation if he failed to cultivate it after notice had been served.
Fourthly, paragraph 14 of part I (D) should end at the word "equally", in order that the maximum amount of customs revenue payable to each State should not be fixed at 4 million Palestinian pounds.
Fifthly, paragraph 2 of part I (E) should be deleted, since the Mandatory Power had announced that it must retain full, authority until the termination of the Mandate.
Finally, the text of part II should be replaced by the following :
"The boundaries of the Arab and Jewish States shall be recommended by a commission composed of three boundary experts appointed by the Security Council so as :
"(a) Not to include within the boundaries of the Arab State more Jewish-owned lands than would constitute 10 per cent of the total area of the State, exclusive of State and waste lands ;
"(b) Not to include within the boundaries of the Jewish State more Arab-owned lands than would constitute 10 per cent of the total area of the State, exclusive of State and waste lands.
"For the purpose of demarcating the boundaries, the lands cultivated by the Beersheba Bedouin within the sub-district of Beersheba shall be regarded as Arab-owned lands.
"The recommendations of the boundary commission shall become effective as soon as they have been approved by the Security Council."
Sir Mohammad pointed out that the adoption of that text would ensure a more equitable distribution of land resources between the two States and the allocation of mixed areas to the State to which the majority of the inhabitants of those areas belonged.
The representative of Pakistan stated that it had been his desire to present the case which seemed to him most just. He wished to express his gratitude to the Chairman for his courtesy and consideration. He wished also to pay tribute to both the Arab and the Jewish peoples, and to voice the earnest hope that a just decision would be reached which would bring both peoples together and contribute to the peace and prosperity of both.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ FABREGAT (Uruguay) recalled the work of the various committees of the United Nations which had dealt with the Palestinian question for many months.
With regard to the statement of the representative of Pakistan concerning the Arab villages which would be separated from their lands, Mr. Rodriguez Fabregat drew the attention of members to certain Jewish-owned land which would be included in the Arab State. It had been impossible for the Special Committee and Sub-Committee 1 to make a perfect demarcation of boundaries. Adjustments would be made on the spot by a boundary commission, which would take all factors into consideration, particularly the work being done on the land.
With regard to the question which had been asked as to whether the militia of one State would go into the other to maintain law and order, he pointed out that the plan of Sub-Committee 1 envisaged merely that the militia of each State would maintain internal law and order and prevent frontier clashes. In the event of the inability of one State to establish a militia, the matter would be referred to the Security Council.
Tracing the factors which had led to the consideration of the Palestine question by the United Nations and the work which had led up to the submission of the report of Sub-Committee 1, Mr. Rodriguez Fabregat drew attention to Chapters IV and XII of the Charter, the Articles of which were pertinent to the report. Reference to the records of the San Francisco Conference would show that the Palestine question was not beyond the purview of the United Nations Charter.
In reply to the representative of Yemen, who, at the 28th meeting, had appealed to the conscience of members of the Committee, Mr. Rodriguez Fabregat reminded the Committee of the tragedy of the Jewish race, and particularly of Jewish children, in the massacres of Europe.
The delegation of Uruguay would support the report of Sub-Committee 1, and earnestly hoped that the two States, through economic union, would find a means of working towards a common destiny of peace and happiness for the generations to come.
Mr. CHANIOUN (Lebanon), commenting upon the statement of the representative of El Salvador (28th meeting), expressed agreement with the view that the United Nations was attempting to make a decision for which it had no sovereign powers, and without consultation of the will of the people concerned. A United Nations commission should go to Palestine for the purpose of conducting a referendum there, not to set up the machinery of government against the will of the people.
Statements had been made in the Committee that it was within the legal competence of the General Assembly to delegate powers to the proposed commission, but no member had indicated the Article or principle of the Charter from which the General Assembly derived its power. Article 10 of the Charter stated merely that the General Assembly could make recommendations to the Members of the United Nations, and Article 14 merely gave it the right to take certain limited measures for the peaceful adjustment of any situation. But it was not empowered to take substantive measures which would bind the future of a nation.
Under Articles 10, 12 and 14 of the Charter, the General Assembly could make recommendations to the United Kingdom concerning the future government of Palestine. But the powers which Sub-Committee 1 proposed for the United Nations commission were a violation of the Charter. The United Kingdom had drawn attention to risks in the plan. In reply, it had been stated that in practice the commission would not physically carry out its powers, but would act as a repository for the powers of the Mandate. Quoting the pro-posed functions of the commission from the Sub-Committee's report, Mr. Chamoun pointed out that the commission would have complete administrative authority, including the control of immigration and land regulations, in Palestine.
With regard to the statement of the representative of Poland (27th meeting) that the Sub-Committee had been concerned with the future of the displaced persons of Europe and had not given consideration to the Bedouin population in the Negeb, Mr. Chamoun drew attention to the consideration which had been given by Sub-Committee 2 to the question of the displaced persons. After a study of the statistics published by the Preparatory Commission of the International Refugee Organization, the Sub-Committee had recommended that each country should make every effort to readmit its own nationals among the Jewish displaced persons and that Members of the United Nations should make every effort to accept a reasonable quota of displaced persons. Those proposals were in conformity with the unanimous recommendation VI contained in chapter V of the report of the Special Committee.
With regard to the statement which had been made by the representative of the United States (29th meeting) that partition was legal and just, Mr. Chamoun asked upon what principle the partition plan was based. Reference to the population map attached as appendix IV to the report of Sub-Committee 2 would show that in almost all areas of Palestine the overwhelming majority of the population was Arab. The statistics of land ownership did not justify partition. Mr. Chamoun quoted production figures to show that the proposed distribution of land resources was inequitable.
In reply to the statement of the representative of Uruguay that Jewish-owned lands would be placed within the Arab State, Mr. Chamoun stated that Sub-Committee 1 had proposed the exclusion from the Arab State of any Jewish-owned lands which the Special Committee had included there-in. Furthermore, the Arab State would be deprived of land which was owned in common by Jews and Arabs.
Despite the arguments which had been put forward, there was no conceivable justification for the separation of villages from their lands. It should be borne in mind that no Jewish villages would be separated from their lands. The proposal was exorbitant and discriminatory.
Mr. Chamoun challenged the argument that because the Arabs had attained sufficient political maturity, they would not rebel against a decision of the United Nations. It was not a sign of political immaturity if a people, after appealing to the principles of the Charter. and to every sentiment of justice and equity, and after being denied the right to self-determination, rebelled against that denial. It was useless to state that no Member nation would challenge a decision of the United Nations when the decision itself flouted the Charter.
There was no justification for partition against the will of a people. It would have to be imposed by force. Mr. Chamoun asked how partition would he implemented when it was well known that the majority of the inhabitants of Palestine would never accept it. He quoted from the report of the King-Crane Commission, which had stated that partition against the will of the overwhelming majority in Palestine would be devoid of juridical and ethical bases, even if imposed by force. The people of Palestine would have the right to rebel against a decision of the United Nations which was devoid of legal foundation in the Charter and devoid of moral foundation in divine and human law.
Mr. Chamoun quoted from a Press report emanating from Jerusalem and dated 22 November, which indicated that the Zionists in Palestine wished to create disagreement between the USSR, the United States and the United Kingdom.
In conclusion, he stated that if it were decided that Palestine should be partitioned, that decision would have been taken for the benefit of a Jewish population which had gone to Palestine in the course of less than fifteen years.
Mr. DE LA COLINA (Mexico) stated that his delegation had abstained from participating in the general debate because it had felt that only those members who had taken a definite stand on the problem should speak. It was not lack of interest but the inadequacy of the solutions offered which had forced the Mexican delegation to take that attitude. The legal problem derived from the binding force of international treaties. Natural and legal consequences of an undeniable social and juridical force had derived from the Mandate for Palestine. The Arab Higher Committee had invoked the principle of contemporary international law, namely, the right of peoples freely to govern themselves, and had maintained, with cogent reasons, that the Mandate was not so favourable to the Jewish people that it would render nugatory the inherent rights of the native population of Palestine. If the binding force of treaties were invoked, an appeal might be made to the doctrine implicit in Article 14 of the Charter concerning adjustments of situations likely to impair the general welfare or friendly relations among nations.
Mexico did not believe that the right of expression of the will of the majority could be ignored in the Palestine problem. It appeared that any solution would infringe on the rights of one or both parties. If any plan were carried out on the basis of political expediency, which might be advanced as a valid reason for the partition plan, an answer would be still required to the question of implementation and all the legal problems which that involved. All the foregoing considerations and others mentioned during the general debate had determined Mexico's abstention.
The CHAIRMAN announced that the debate was closed, and that amendments would be dealt with in proper order and time.
He stated that the Jewish Agency and the Arab Committee had asked for Higher an opportunity to address the Committee before the next step in the Committee's proceedings.
Mr. SHERTOK (Jewish Agency for Palestine), in answer to the allegations made by certain representatives of the Arab States that the Jews who had settled in Palestine were foreigners and intruders, stated that the Jews who lived in Palestine felt themselves to be as deep-rooted in the soil of Palestine as their Arab neighbours. As for the reason why Jews were going to Palestine, they went not as tools of any outside influence, but to seek homes. Whoever tried to impute to them the design to ferment international intrigue was himself guilty of that design. The fact that Jews were at home in Palestine had received official international recognition twenty-five years before and that recognition had extended to the entire area of Palestine, including Transjordan. The Jewish Agency was ready, however, to consider a partition scheme in order to facilitate a United Nations decision.
Three courses were open to the General Assembly, namely, to decide in favour of partition, to decide in favour of a unitary State, or to take no decision at all. The plan for a unitary State was not new ; it was an idea which had been put forward by a number of international and British official bodies. It had been discussed innumerable times by the Permanent Mandates Commission and had been rejected emphatically by it. It had also been unanimously rejected by the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in 1946 and by the majority of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine.
The representative of Egypt had stated (30th meeting) that the government of a unitary State based on an Arab majority would find it an easy task to deal with what he had called the recalcitrant terrorist minority in Palestine. But the government would not be faced with a small dissident terrorist minority ; it would be faced with the determined resolve of every man, woman and child of the nearly 700,000 Jews that inhabited the country. An Arab minority in a Jewish State had a guarantee inherent in its geo-political situation because it would forever remain a fraction of a vast Arab majority extending continuously over that entire part of the world, A Jewish minority in an Arab State, however, would have no such guarantee.
If the third course were adopted-if no decision were taken-a clash would unavoidably result. upon the withdrawal of the Mandatory Power. That clash would be much graver than any which might arise in the case of a partition of Palestine, since it would not remain localized. There would be a rush to both sides from near and far, and it was possible that country after country would unwittingly and unwillingly become involved in the conflict.
Mr. Shertok asked those States which felt strongly about the special position of the city of Jerusalem how they would meet the issue if the authority of the United Nations did not exist in Palestine and if the country were left a prey to anarchy.
The Jewish people would not be deterred by threats such as those made by the representative of Egypt in warning of the fate which might be in store for the one million Jews inhabiting the various Arab-speaking countries. A people who had lost in the preceding few years one-third of their number could not be stopped in their attempt to establish themselves in the one spot on earth they believed belonged to them.
The partition plan was not a plan of the Jewish Agency and many claims upon which the Jewish Agency had been most insistent had been rejected by Sub-Committee 1. With respect to the frontier separating village lands from the built-up areas, the majority of those villages would part with only about 25 per cent of their land. To those who stated that the scheme provided for the possibility of expropriating uncultivated land if it remained uncultivated for a year, he wished to say that they had not read to the end. To prevent abuse of that prerogative, it was clearly set forth that a notice had to be given the owner that his land must be cultivated and only if the notice were disregarded for a whole year could expropriation be resorted to.
The representative of Lebanon had quoted figures to give an indication of the relative volume of production in the Jewish State and in the Arab State and, as an example, had mentioned the potato-growing area as being almost entirely in the Jewish State. Mr. Shertok pointed out that the cultivation of potatoes had been introduced by the Jews and that the Arabs had followed suit in villages close to Jewish settlements. It had cost the Jewish people 600 million dollars and many lives, to bring those areas to their current state of productivity. If a map of Jewish agricultural settlement activities were compared with a map of the malaria areas existing prior to those activities, a striking geographical correspondence would be seen. Thousands of lives had been lost in the process of drainage. The Arabs wanted on the one hand to derive the benefits of that development and on the other. to arrest its progress. Mr. Shertok reminded the Committee that the majority plan set forth in chapter VI of the report of the Special Committee provided for a subsidy in, the form of allocation of funds derived as, a result of the joint economic union between the Arab and Jewish States. But even without that provision, the Arab State of Palestine, under the majority plan, would be better off economically than Transjordan and Syria and, with it, considerably better off. The representative of Pakistan lead complained about the almost complete inclusion of Palestine industry in the Jewish State, but Palestine industry was almost completely Jewish.
In conclusion, Mr. Shertok said that if the partition plan were accepted, then of a total of 33 million Arabs in the Arab States and Palestine, 400,000 would be a minority in a Jewish State bounded on three sides by Arab States. For the Jewish people, of the 11 million remaining in the whole world, only about 700,000 to start with would be a majority in one country in the world, with no hope that any Jewish community would ever, anywhere, become a majority. Only just over one per cent of the Arab people would be a minority and in a privileged position. The disparity was tragic, and it was inconceivable that the civilized world should find itself incapable of granting the Jewish people that minimum of justice.
Mr. HUSSEINI (Arab Higher Committee) stated that Palestine was Arab by virtue of centuries of permanent occupation and possession and that the Arabs were entitled to the right of shaping the government and forming the constitution of their own country. There was no provision in the Covenant of the League of Nations or the Charter of the United Nations that enabled the minority of the population to impose its will on the majority by constituting itself a distinct political entity and forming an independent State in Palestine. The Zionists claimed that the Balfour Declaration gave them the right, but both the Declaration and the Mandate had been drawn up without the knowledge of the indigenous population of Palestine.
The representative of the Mandatory Power had declared at the second meeting of the Committee that his Government endorsed the view that the Mandate should he terminated and that it would lay down the obligations imposed upon it so that the goal of independence might be brought within realization. Under Article 22, paragraph 4 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, the United Kingdom was bound, before laying down the Mandate, to provide for the establishment of a government which would be "able to stand alone". Moreover, it was morally and legally bound to surrender the whole territory and the administration of the territory to a Palestinian government-to which reference was made in article 28 of the Mandate-representing a majority of the lawful citizens of Palestine. On behalf of that majority of citizens, the Arab Higher Committee declared itself prepared to take over the administration of Palestine and to work out a scheme which would safeguard and guarantee the legitimate rights of the minority. Mr. Husseini added that the attitude of the Mandatory Power towards partition was morally plausible and legally sound, but that its refusal to take part in the execution of the plan for a unitary Palestine was neither morally nor legally justifiable.
The two great champions of freedom, the USSR and the United States, had joined hands-prompted, they said, by humanitarian motives-to support the monstrous perversion of the principle of self-determination in Palestine. They had disagreed on everything constructive in the United Nations and had agreed on only one thing-the partition of Palestine. They had prepared for that destructive policy for divergent motives, the one to please Jewish voters in the United States, the other to permit tens of thousands of immigrants to inundate Palestine in order to propagate its theories and political aims.
The inherent rights of the Palestine Arabs could not be set aside by the easy assumption that, because of the exceptional character of the problem, their basic rights could be sacrificed. Palestine was the centre of the Arab world and every man in the Arab world was prepared to defend its vital position with the same zeal as he would his own birthplace.
The Arabs were not sad to see the United Kingdom relieve them of its presence. But, as a result of the Jewish terrorist campaign which had developed against the British, the Arabs asked themselves what they could expect at the hands of the Zionists as subjects or as neighbours if the Zionists were capable of being so bitter and ungrateful towards their greatest benefactors. The Zionist programme was a well-calculated policy aimed at the acquisition and domination of the greater part of the Near East and the expansion of its influence over all the Middle East, Mr. Husseini quoted statements made by Dr. Otto Warburg, President of the Tenth Zionist Congress, in August 1911, and Dr. Nahum Sokolov in 1918, in the introduction to his History of Zionism, disclaiming any desire for a Jewish State, but only for a National Home in Palestine, Yet the three spokesmen of the Jewish Agency before the Ad Hoc Committee had all claimed the right to establish a Jewish State. Revisionist Zionists had always been honest in their declarations and had proclaimed of late their determination to continue their straggle for a Jewish State in the original boundaries of Palestine. In 1938, during the debate on the partition scheme of the Royal Commission at the Twentieth Zionist Congress, Mr; Ben Gurion had stated that no Zionist could forego the smallest portion of the land of, Israel, but that the point at issue was which of the two routes would lead more quickly to the common goal.
The Arab world was alive to all those developments in Zionist ambitions and Palestine was now considered by all of them as the first line of defence of the Arab territories. Papers, orators and preachers who did not give Palestine a conspicuous place in their utterances were unable to gain popularity. No candidate for election was returned without pledging to give Palestine his most earnest activities. In those circumstances it was idle to think. that the creation, of a Jewish State would not arouse a general uprising in the Arab world, and it should be remembered that there were as many Jews in the Arab world as there were in Palestine, whose positions might become very precarious, even though the Arab States did their best to protect them, If partition were forced upon Palestine, it would have little chance of permanence in the midst of a strongly aroused and genuinely apprehensive Middle East, The fight would continue, as it had in the Crusades, until the injustice was completely removed. By imposing partition, the United Nations would virtually precipitate Palestine into a blood bath, That was not meant as a threat, but to draw attention to the reactions of a policy for which the United Nations would be responsible.If the United Nations would participate in establishing a democratic State as proposed by the Arabs, nothing would come of it but prosperity and peace for all. Mr. Husseini referred to the treatment of Jews by Arabs in Arab Spain and in Palestine before the Balfour Declaration as examples of the spirit that could exist in Palestine if such a State were established.
One delegation defending partition had referred to the boundary line as final and a boundary line of peace. As the representative of the Arabs of Palestine, Mr. Husseini wished to place on record the serious conviction that it would be nothing but a line of fire and blood.
The meeting rose at 6.40 p.m.
Document Type: Summary record
Document Sources: General Assembly, General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question
Subject: Palestine question
Publication Date: 24/11/1947