NOTE: All corrections to this verbatim record should be sent in writing to Mr. I. Milner, Assistant Secretary, Room 190, Palais des nations, Geneva, Switzerland. Subject to the Provisional Rules of Procedure for the General Assembly, any such corrections will be incorporated into the Official Records when published.
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE
VERBATIM RECORD OF THE THIRTY-NINTH MEETING (PRIVATE)
Held at the Grand Hotel
Wednesday, 23 July 1947, at 10.00 AM
Mr. Garcia Granados
Sir Abdur Rahman
Mr. Garcia Salazar
Assistant Secretary General
Mr. Garcia Robles
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): I call this private meeting to order.The agenda has one point only, that is to hear representatives of the Arab States. Can we adopt this agenda?
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Adopted.
Yesterday we gave to the representatives of the Arab States a list of questions to which we wanted to have answers. I understand that written answers have been prepared and that His Excellency the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Lebanese Republic will be the spokesman for the Arab States.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Before the questioning begins, would like to ask for an. interpretation of the answers so that I may understand them.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I will read the written replies, and my colleagues may answer any oral questions.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): The first series of questions has been asked on the assumption that an Arab State would be established in Palestine, as suggested by the other Arab States.
The first question is the following: What would be the fate of illegal Jewish immigrants and such immigrants as have not acquired Palestinian nationality? This question is asked in relation to page 16 of the memorandum* which said that this Palestinian State would grant to all Jews who had acquired Palestinian nationality through legal means the same right, and so on.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): The first way to answer this question would be to define exactly the term “illegal immigrants”. The Arabs consider that all Jews who entered Palestine since the Balfour Declaration are illegal immigrants. However, the Mandatory Power gave Palestinian nationality to a number of those immigrants. They are citizens de facto. The term “illegal”, as it is put in the question, seems to designate Jews who entered Palestine without the permission of the Mandatory Power. Those Jews should be submitted to the rules which are presently applied to Arab illegal immigrants and envisaging, particularly, their expulsion from the country. There is no reason to establish discrimination in their favour. As regards those who entered Palestine according to rules presently in force on immigration, but who have not acquired Palestinian nationality, their condition will be determined by the future independent government of Palestine. Those who fulfilled the required conditions for acquisition of nationality should be considered as citizens. The others will be considered as foreigners without any discrimination.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Does some other representative of the Arab States wish to give a special answer to that question?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): What I am reading now has been decided on amongst the various States. There should be no individual replies to the questions.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Are they all agreed on this answer?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): Yes.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) (Interpretation from French): Considering the definition we have been given of an “illegal immigrant”, I would like to ask who, according to the views of the Arab representatives, is a legal immigrant in Palestine since the Balfour Declaration?
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): This would be the case: Legal immigrants would be foreigners who entered Palestine with the permission of the Mandatory Power which established from the very first a certain yearly proportion of immigrants. These we consider to be legal immigrants, since they fulfilled all the required conditions.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): I think there is a certain contradiction between what has just been said to us and the declaration which has been read by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who said that in the mind of the Arab States any Jew who entered Palestine after the Balfour Declaration was an illegal immigrant, even those who have entered under the quota.
Emir Adel ARSLAN Syria): The answer is that they were considered as citizens de facto.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Who wishes to answer this question?
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria): I think there is no difficulty, Mr. Chairman. We consider those immigrants as citizens de facto, but we consider them as illegal because they entered Palestine after the Balfour Declaration, which we consider to be illegal.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) (Interpretation from French): Does this mean that if there had been no Balfour Declaration then all Jews could have entered Palestine legally? Is it only the fact that there exists this Balfour Declaration which makes any Jewish immigrant to Palestine an illegal immigrant?
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): If there had been no Balfour Declaration there might have been one of two conditions. Either there would still have been an Ottoman Empire, whereby immigrants into the Ottoman Empire, of which Palestine was a part, would have had to submit to the laws of the Ottoman Empire; or, if there were no Ottoman Empire, there would have been an Arab State. Then the Arab State would have had its laws, and those who entered according to these laws would be legal immigrants, Jews or non-Jews.
CHAIRMAN: Do all the representatives of the Arab States understand English so that we need not translate from English into French?
Fouad HAMZA (Saudi-Arabia): I think there are some; of us who do not understand English.
CHAIRMAN: Then we will interpret all English into French.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) (Interpretation from French): I really think that there exists a third solution, but I am not going into it any deeper because my only interest is that we should try to understand one another. I am afraid we may use the same words but mean different things by those words, and therefore I think it is very important that although we use the same language we should give the same meaning to the words.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): The second question is the following: On page 14 of the memorandum** it is stated: “This proposal consists of the necessity of stopping immediately all Jewish immigration into Palestine, of maintaining the rules now in force on the transfer of the land.” The question is: how does this harmonise with the principle of equal rights proclaimed on page 16? Another question on the same point is: Is the proposal on page 14 to be considered only as a temporary arrangement?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): The Government of the Arab States wants the immediate stopping of immigration into Palestine and the prohibition of the transfer of land to Jews until a democratic independent state has been established in Palestine. When such a state has been established, then it will be able to make its own laws on the question.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Are there any questions on this point?
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): In your opinion, would the Jews have possibilities of developing freely in a Palestinian-Arab State? Developing the question further: would they have the right of an educational system of their own; and further, what would happen to Jewish industry?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): Our answer to the first part of this question is in the affirmative. In answer to the second part, the constitution of the independent State of Palestine will provide for the right of religious bodies and other societies and individuals to maintain, in addition to educational establishments administered by public authority, private schools and universities, subject to the compulsory teaching of Arabic in the schools and to Government control for the purpose of maintaining educational standards and preventing subversive teaching, with the object of creating common allegiance without discrimination among the citizens of the States.
In answer to the third part of the question, Palestinian-Jewish industry will be treated as any other Palestinian industry and will be subject to the same laws.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Are there any questions from the Members or the Committee on this point?
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Question number four on our list really comes under section III. Therefore, I shall deal with it later.
Question number five relates to the statement on page 16* of the memorandum, which says that the Jews in Arab States have never been badly treated, whereas the Jews contend that bad treatment had been inflicted on the Jews in one or two Arab States. What about this contradiction?
Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): The Jews have always lived in peace in the Arab world and in perfect harmony with the other inhabitants of those countries. History shows many examples of the liberalism and tolerance of the Arab toward all religions. It is to be attributed to Zionism that the relationship between Jews and non-Jews has been poisoned. The only incident which we can remember is the Nazi coup d’état in Baghdad in 1941, which was exploitation of the hostility of Arabs towards Zionism to incite violence by Arabs against Jews. But the legal Government of Iraq quickly put an end to this movement and punished those who were responsible for it very severely.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Shall I understand that it is the political aspirations which led to that trouble, and but for those political aspirations there would have been no trouble?
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): The answer is in the affirmative, Sir. Were it not for Zionism, the atmosphere in the Arab world between the members of the various sects and religions would be very harmonious and peaceful. We in Iraq, before that Nazi coup d’état, never had any conflict between Jews and non-Jews. We consider Moslems, Christians and Jews as Arabs. We consider then all Arabs, all Iraqis. To us, Jews are only people who have a different faith, but they are part of us. We have nothing against them. They have lived, and they live today more prosperously than other sects and religions in Baghdad. There are great men in economics, finance and commerce in Iraq. So, the atmosphere is most cordial, were it not for Zionism.
May I add one more word in this connection. We have Jews In parliament, in the Senate, in the highest posts in the Government. We even had a Cabinet member in Iraq who was a Jew.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I wish to answer in an even more general manner than the representative of Iraq. I would like to say that in the whole Middle East whatever religious misunderstanding exists can always be attributed to political causes, because we live in perfect tolerance and perfect understanding. The only thing that can separate us is politics.
I would like to give my own country as an example since the war of 1914-18 we have received over one hundred thousand refugees, none of whom was an Arab. We have received Armenians, Turks, Syrians, Circassians. We have also accepted Polish refugees. I think this proves that we make no distinction between races. We receive those who come to us as refugees; those who come to us as conquerors, we resist to the utmost of our ability.
Emir Abdel Rahman HAKKI (Egypt): May I add that in Egypt where we have about 100,000 Jews, they are a very prosperous part of the Egyptian population, and there is no distinction in the way they are treated — no discrimination between Jews, Moslems or Christians. As a matter of fact, Jews in Egypt occupy many high official posts in the Government. Some of them are senators, some are deputies, some are even high officials in the Palace itself. In industry, commerce and finance, as some honourable members of the Committee with legal experience in Egypt can testify, they are very prosperous, and even more prosperous than in any other country in Egypt.
So, I would like to testify that there is no discrimination at all in Egypt. Neither is there any in the other parts of the Middle East with regard to the treatment of Jews as Jews. If there have been outbursts in the Arab world, they were, as His Excellency the Indian delegate indicated, consequences of political agitation rather than for confessional reasons, and for which Zionism is responsible.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) (Interpretation from French): I think that the question which has been raised by the representative of India has introduced a certain amount of confusion in the question we are now discussing. First of all, the representative of the Lebanon said that the cause was the Nazi coup d’état in Iraq. Then the representative of India asked if there were any political causes for those upheavals. The answer was yes, and Zionism is responsible. However, we have been told that Jews in Iraq and in Egypt also are extremely prosperous, that they occupy important positions in the countries there. Therefore, I hardly think it likely that they would like to practice Zionism; that is to say, to return to Palestine and to leave a country where they live in such good conditions.
I would like, therefore, to go back to the explanation which has been given to us by the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Lebanon, who said that for reasons which could not have been stopped by any of the Arab Governments there have been troubles which were caused by the Nazis. But I think there is a contradiction between those two explanations. Therefore, I think I would prefer to accept the first explanation which has been given to us by the representative of the Lebanon, in agreement with all his colleagues from the other countries.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I must say that I do not see the confusion which has been mentioned by the representative of Guatemala. The only incident which occurred in Baghdad in 1941 happened when Baghdad was the scene of a Nazi coup d’état. The Nazis raised a revolt, a military revolution, and they took power. Under this regime Jews were persecuted by the application of one of the principles of the Nazi machine, which is anti-semitism. Further, I must say that those persecutions were not only directed against Jews, but members of the Government had to flee, and even Moslem high personalities were maltreated. It was against those actions that the legal Government, when it returned to power, took very severe steps, It condemned not only those who had committed acts of violence against the members of the legal Government, but even executed certain Ministers of that time — and one of the reasons that we are given for that is that they had persecuted Jews. I therefore maintain what I said. In the Middle East today, whatever religious persecutions may occur, they are always due to political causes. If the Committee would like to have examples, we could give them several.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): I think that the representative of Guatemala considers Palestine as the country of origin of the Jews. The representative of Guatemala said “Those Jews who wish to return to Palestine.”
Dr. Fadel JAMLI (Iraq): I wish to answer the honourable representative of Guatemala as to the contradiction which he assumed. I wish to tell him there is no contradiction at all. Political trouble may be from within or from without. From within we had Zionism, and its promulgation poisoned the atmosphere between the Jews and non-Jews. That is why our Jews have become conscious and they feel they should be anti-Zionists in Iraq. But, there was the external force of Nazism that was another political influence. The Nazis did provoke a coup d’état Iraq; it did not last more than one month. It was squashed and the number of Jews who were killed in that incident did not exceed eighty. But I wish to say that the non-Jews who died in that coup d’état were more than 1,000. In other words, while the Nazis did provoke the anti-Zionist sentiment, they also caused much damage to the country, to Jew and non-Jew alike, similar to any other European country which was overrun by Nazis. In other words, today we have nothing to poison the atmosphere which has for long been peaceful between Jews and non-Jews, except for Zionism.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) (Interpretation from French): I still maintain that a contradiction exists. The representative of Iraq said the Jews in Iraq are not Zionists and therefore they have no political aspirations. Therefore the evil influence must come from the exterior to cause trouble, since the Jews in Iraq are not Zionists.
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): It is very difficult, Mr. Chairman, to convince the world that not every Jew is a Zionist. Sometimes it is taken that every Jew is a Zionists. It is the world that that every Jew very difficult. In Iraq we may have rare cases of Zionists, but we try to see to it that those cases are not being generalized, and our Jews should not be accused of being Zionists when they are not actually so. Therefore, any political agitator might, during time of trouble, generalize and claim that all these Jews are Zionists. That is how Zionism comes to be a weapon for irritation.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I think I said that Nazism in Baghdad did the same as it did in other countries, namely it created anti-Semitism. The troubles were the result of anti-Semitism. Such was the case in Baghdad, as it was in any other capital where the Nazis arrived.
Mr. HOOD (Australia): May I ask what the position of the Yemen is in this respect? What is the reason, for example, for the presence at Aden now of a considerable number of Jews from the Yemen?
Mr. Ali Al MOUAYED (Yemen) (Interpretation): The Jews who are in the Yemen enjoy the same rights as all other inhabitants of the country. Further, they are not even taxed as much as the Moslems. They are prosperous and very happy there, and there is no reason to blame the authorities in Yemen for their being maltreated or molested.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): The question asked by Mr. Hood included one more point. He wanted to know what the reason was for the presence in Aden of many Jews.
Mr. All Al MOUAYED (Yemen) (Interpretation): Some of the Jews left the Yemen to go to Aden because they wanted to go to Palestine. But once they arrive in Aden they changed their minds and stayed where they were.
Emil Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): The number of. Jews who left the Yemen could not be very much higher than five or six thousand. But, on the other hand, there are many Arabs who leave the Yemen and try to immigrate somewhere else. I must say that I have found there are about 12,000 of those Arabs in Cardiff, in the north of England. Therefore, I do not think it should be considered extraordinary that they should leave their own country to find work somewhere else.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) (Interpretation from French): I would like to return to the point of clarifying the causes the troubles in Iraq. I think we came to an agreement that they were caused by the Nazi ideas which were at that time poisoning the minds of certain parts of the population there. Now, let us suppose that an Arab state is created in Palestine. Unfortunately, according to certain documents, and according to what was said by the Allies during the war, there are many members of the Arab Higher Committee who during the war had Nazi tendencies. Further, I think, from what I have seen in Palestine, that the members of the Arab Higher Committee are members of the most influential political party in Palestine, and therefore it is most likely that they would come into power. Do you not think that the same trouble might occur since we know that they had Nazi ideas during the war?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I think that to say the members of the Arab Higher Committee have Nazi ideas is an entirely unfounded accusation. First of all, the men who judged war criminals have not conceded that the members of the Arab Higher Committee are war criminals. The United Kingdom did not ask that the Mufti be extradited from Palestine as a war criminal. Secondly, if certain members of the Arab Higher Committee took refuge in Germany during the war it was not because they sympathized with the Nazi movement, but because they were fighting against the Jews and therefore they came to fight against Great Britain and could not find refuge anywhere but in Germany. After they left Palestine, the members of the Arab Higher Committee went, first of all, to friendly countries, such as Iraq, then to neutral countries, such as Iran, and finally when Iraq and Iran were occupied by the Allies, and particularly by the United Kingdom, they had to flee, and the only countries where they could take refuge were Italy and Germany. Further, I can state here very firmly that the Arab Higher Committee of Palestine was never at the service of any foreign power. Their only aim was to save Palestine from Zionism. We can also declare that the Arab Higher Committee, if it should take up the Government of Palestine, would certainly commit no acts of violence against the Jews. If we examine the present situation, we can see very clearly that the ideas of violence did not come from the Arab side, but that terrorism has been introduced and is being practiced systematically by the Jews.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): I would like to add that when all the representatives of the Arab countries attended the London Conference on Palestine, in their plan they gave guarantees for the protection of Jews in an Arab State.
Mr. FABREGAT (Uruguay): In connection with this question is it possible to establish in numbers the Jewish population in the Arab States in the last twenty years, including Palestine?
Mr. Riad SOHL (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I shall give an answer to it at the next meeting.
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): I think every one of us could give a statement of the number of Jews they have in their country. I can say that in Iraq we have approximately 150,000.
Mr. FABREGAT (Uruguay): I would like the comparative numbers of the last twenty years.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Mr. Chairman, Mr. Arslan has referred to statements in the London Conference in his reply. Could we have copies of those statements, made by the representatives in London, in which such guarantees were given?
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): You heard Sir Abdur Rahman’s question; what is the reply?
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): The answer is in the affirmative. We can obtain copies of this declaration.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): We now leave question number five. For question number six we have in view the fact that the Mandatory Power found it necessary to have considerable armed forces to maintain order and peace in Palestine. Therefore, in the case of Palestine becoming an independent Arab State, how will law and order be maintained having in view the fact that the Mandatory Power needs considerable armed forces for that purpose under present circumstances?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French ): The representatives of the Arab Governments consider that there should be created in Palestine an independent state with police forces sufficient to prevent any attempt at disorder from whatever side it would arise. The Governments are further convinced that if sufficient firmness is used it would not be necessary to have a very considerable number of police forces.
CHAIRMAN: (interpretation from French): You know as well as we do that certain disorders in Palestine now are caused by Jews and that the Jews have considerable underground forces, such as Haganah, and so on. Do you not think it would be necessary to have a rather strong police force to maintain order in that case?
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): We are convinced that the United Kingdom is maintaining large armed forces in Palestine but is not using those forces.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I said that we foresaw the necessity for such police forces, and if you wish to ask for details we could give you a study, as I think we could establish exactly what forces would be required. Up to now the United Kingdom has not taken very severe steps against the Underground. If I am correctly informed, there are official reports from the Government of Palestine saying that it would be possible to end those acts of terrorism within a comparatively short time; but up to now — probably in order not to shock public opinion in the world — they have not wanted to use reprisals against the Jews. I think the present troubles in Palestine have one aim; that it to excite the world in favour of the Jews. I think when the United Nations has said there should be an Arab State, and when that Arab State has been established in Palestine, the Jews will understand that they are doing their own cause more harm than good and they will try to come to an understanding in order to cooperate in that State.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Who, according to you, wou1d establish those police forces which you mention?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): The Palestine State, under the auspices of the United Nations.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from. French): Are there any questions from the Members of the Committee?
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) (Interpretation from French): Could we receive this study of the numbers of the police force which, according to you, would be required to maintain order in the Palestine State?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I said we were not ready to give those details just now, but I think if we could be given some time, and basing our studies on the Arab States which became independent, we could give the approximate number.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): Would it not be the same problem if an Arab State were established in Palestine? They also would like to move public opinion in the same way.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I think this Government would act with justice and firmness and therefore would not have to take any measures which would be likely to move world public opinion.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) (Interpretation from French): I must say I do not see the difference between an Arab Government and a United Kingdom Government. Why should an Arab Government not move public opinion by taking such steps as the United Kingdom Government are taking?
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): The Government of the United Kingdom may have political reasons foreign to Palestine, which a Palestinian Government would not have.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): I think we already have an answer to question number 7.
I think we discussed rather fully the security of Jewish communities in Arab States. Therefore, we can go to the third part, which is in relation to reactions regarding certain solutions of the problem. In order not to forget it, I shall start with question number four, under “I”; that is, why should a Jewish State not be viable — which was a statement given in the memorandum yesterday.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): This Jewish State would not be viable because it would be surrounded by hostile countries. The surrounding Arab countries would never accept surrendering part of their territory for the creation of a Jewish State.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): These are political reasons. Would there be any economic reasons?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): The economic reasons are the following. Zionist Palestine is not playing a fair game in world economy. Their economy aims entirely at settling immigrants, whatever the cost of the settlement. Their interest is not in the creation of a prosperous economy and in becoming rich; they want to acquire territories. In Lebanon, Syria, and in the south there have been attempts at veritable invasions. Therefore, we had to take severe legislative measures regulating the transfer of land. In order to avoid a possible fissure, we even had to establish rules regarding the transfer of land between Lebanese and Syrian citizens; Lebanese within Lebanon, and Syrians within Syria. The Zionists claimed that they created a very powerful industry, but it has been proved that this industry could survive only through foreign help, even during the war, and it is now steadily moving towards ruin. Already there have been many bankruptcies. The Arab States took the only possible measure in that situation; that is to say, they decided to boycott Zionist goods. This measure was decided upon a year and a half ago and has been in practice for fourteen months. You know that Palestine industry, if it is to fight against a boycott, cannot find its balance again because it has no longer any markets in its neighbouring countries. The Arab countries are really the only likely market for Palestinian goods. Even Zionists, I think, would not try to find an outlet for their products anywhere but in Arab countries. Can one imagine Palestinian goods in the United States or Europe? Once our own markets are closed against Palestinian goods they will go steadily towards ruin, and this is one reason why a Jewish State would not be practicable.
I should like to say that I base my remark that Zionist economy aims only at settling people in Palestine on the report which has been presented by the Government of Palestine to your Committee. It is said on page 43 that the capital invested in one acre of the land in the Negeb — and you know that importance they attach to that part of the country — varies between 300 and 500 guineas, and that the cost of irrigating one acre of country in that area varies between 50 and 80 guineas, You have seen what has been produced in the Negeb and you know that all that has been done there is only in order to help the Jews to settle in that region. If those same sums had been spent anywhere else, I think one could have irrigated ten times more land for the same eighty guineas and bought ten times more for the same five hundred guineas. Therefore, this economy is not an economy in the usual sense of the word, but it is really practice in order to occupy the land, in order to settle Jews in the country. Therefore, it is only a political aim.
I should like to state here that we can say, after twenty-five years’ experience with Zionism, that Zionism has been able to survive only through foreign support, and I should like, very respectfully, to ask a question of the Committee. What would happen to Zionism and Zionist economy if this financial support should fail?
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): I suppose this is a purely rhetorical question and you are not expecting an answer.
I should like to ask a question of detail. You know that in Palestine the Jews have established a rather prosperous diamond industry and the export of diamonds — the half of it — goes to the United States.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): You know that half of the diamond factories are closed now and many of them are already bankrupt.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): May this be attributed to the boycott or to the situation in the United States?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): It can be attributed primarily to the boycott. A further example; you know that eighty-three percent of the Jewish population in Palestine lives upon other resources than agriculture. That is to say, only seventeen percent can live on the soil. I wonder how the other eighty-three percent could survive in the present situation — that is to say, while we are boycotting their goods.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Do the Arab states not suffer also from boycotting Jewish industry? That is to say, is it not a fact that they cannot obtain certain goods from Palestine and therefore have to buy them at greater expense somewhere else?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): You know that industry in Palestine was created particularly during the war when it was easy to obtain the necessary machinery. Secondly, since we started the boycott we have been developing our own industry very carefully and very strongly. Thirdly, even if we could have the goods from Palestine at lower prices, we could not buy them because they are of inferior quality.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): I should like to know whether you would not sell less to Palestine on account of the boycott.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): We do not sell less because we are now creating a system of exchange between Arab States, and very soon, following the pact concluded at Cairo, we shall have trade agreements between Arab States.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Are there any other questions on this point? I have one further question. If, under the auspices of the United Nations, a Jewish State were to be created, would it not be contrary to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations to maintain this boycott?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I should like to say that we do not intend to go back on our decision to boycott Zionist goods. The question was put at Geneva, where the problem is being dealt with now, and we were asked to sign Article 23 of the Charter, which forbids boycott between signatory States. We asked for one condition; that is that we be assured of the following interpretation — that Zionists are not a State and are not members. Further, we are determined not to accept this Article.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation in French): The idea of the boycott came from the Zionist members who started boycotting Arab workers and Arab goods. For example, in order to boycott the fishermen from Jaffa, they went to get fish from the Tigris in trucks belonging to Jewish companies.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): In the constitution — that is to say the organization of the Jewish Trade Unions — there is one provision saying that any Arab worker in a Jewish enterprise can be replaced by any Jewish worker who asks for the same job. Secondly, I should like to say that in the whole of Tel Aviv there is neither a single Arab worker nor a single Arab employee.
Mr. Fadel JAVALI (Iraq): I may to add one word. They also have in the constitution of the Jewish Land Regulations that Arab labour shall not be employed on Jewish National land. That is another act of discrimination which they have practiced long before the Arabs thought of a boycott.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): I would like to underline that in Palestine we have been told that there are an important number of Arab workers in the orange groves.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): I would like to say first of all, that those workers are not paid the same wages as Jewish workers. This is a first discriminatory measure. Secondly, those Jews came to Palestine, and contrary to what they say, they learned this industry, this work, from the Arabs.
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): May we ask if the other Members of the Committee have found many Arab labourers in the Jewish colonies in Palestine?
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): I should like to answer that in the potash factory at the Dead Sea there are quite a number of Arab workers. I think it is even half of the total number.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): This potash industry at the Dead Sea is a mixed enterprise. They are shareholders, and some are British shareholders. It may be that the British find it convenient to have Arab labour, but apart from that, in purely Jewish enterprises, there are no Arab workers.
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): The following passage from the report of Sir John Hope Simpson merits attention: “Ever since the Keren Hayesod*** came into existence, there has been no difference in the policy of colonisation between the P.I.C.A. and other Zionist agencies. The effect of this policy has been to exclude the Arabs in every way possible from any benefit from the land. Since that date (1930) the class of landless Arabs has grown at an alarming rate.
“Paragraph C of Article 3 of the constitution of the Jewish Agency runs as follows: ‘C. The Agency shall promote agricultural colonisation based on Jewish labour and in all works and undertakings carried out or furthered by the Agency, it shall be deemed to be a matter of principle that Jewish labour shall be employed.’
“Article 23 of the lease agreements of the Keren Hayesod goes even further ‘Article 23. The lessee undertakes to execute all works connected with the cultivation of holding only with Jewish labour. Further to comply with duty, the employment of non-Jewish labour shall under the lease be liable to the payment of a compensation of ten Palestinian pounds for each default. The fact of the employment of non-Jewish labour shall constitute adequate proof as to the damages and the amount thereof and the right of the Fund to be paid the compensation referred t…and it shall not be necessary to serve on the lessee any or other notice. When the lessee has contravened the provision of the article three times the Fund may apply the right of restitution of the holding without paying any compensation whatever.’
“We might also mention the conclusions of Sir John Hope Simpson which are to be found on page 54 of his report: —
“Attempts are constantly being made to establish the advantage which Jewish settlement has brought to the Arabs. The most lofty sentiments are ventilated at public meetings and in Zionist propaganda’”.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): It is perhaps not necessary to translate this passage. Do you ask for an interpretation?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon): No.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): I should like to say you are right, that is to say, that generally in Jewish industry there are not Arab workers. Does this also apply in the opposite sense?
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): Some Arab merchants used to employ Jews but they have ceased to do so since the boycott.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): It was stated yesterday in the memorandum that the security of the Arab States would be jeopardized by the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. Do you consider that even if this State consisted of a small part of Palestine it would still constitute a danger? And how would security be threatened?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): A Jewish State, however small, would constitute a danger for the Arab world both from the interior and the exterior. From the interior it would create friction, exert a certain economic pressure and would gradually infiltrate in order to create disorder. From the exterior, a Jewish State would constitute a bridgehead against the Arab world. Such is the collective answer of the delegations of the Arab States would like to add same words myself.
I think that the question of creation of a Jewish State cannot be taken without two other connected problems; that is, the question of immigration and that of foreign subsidies. A Jewish State would, of course, be master of the immigration into Palestine. It might decide that immigration would be without limits and the economic argument, which would be that it is impossible for a very large number of people to live in a very small territory, would become void if the Jewish State can still reckon with foreign financial support. Therefore, with the doors of the country wide open to immigration, and financial support from outside the Jewish State would become extremely populated. Therefore, it might not be one million, but two, three, four million, since it would not depend on its own economy or its own production. As soon as it goes beyond a certain limit in numbers, it is no longer a State where Jews can come and be safe but it becomes a bridgehead against the Arab world. This is what we absolutely want to avoid. A Jewish State would not be accepted by the Jews if they had to put an end to immigration. Further if the go on obtaining subsidies, this very highly populated country, enjoying foreign financial support, would certainly constitute a. military danger for the Arab world.
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): If you will permit me, I will simply add a few words. You may have the impression that the Arab States may be afraid of the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. This is not the case. The Arabs have never been afraid of the Jews and will never be afraid of them. What we are afraid of in the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine is that it will create friction which will endanger the security of the whole of the Middle East. That is the most important problem. Taking into consideration the fact that Zionism is based on aggressive action, you know exactly what we may fear. In fact, we may also be afraid that any Jewish State, however small it may be, will be led by the terrorist elements whose acts you have seen.
Mr. Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): We must not forget that the question of establishing a Jewish State in Palestine is for the Arabs a question of national dignity. We shall never permit the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine. Otherwise, if any country would admit that a State may be created within its own national boundaries, it would not be necessary to send a committee, for instance, to the Balkans. There the dispute between Greece and Bulgaria is only a question of boundaries, of frontiers. But here in Palestine, it is not a problem simply of frontiers. Zionism wants to create a Jewish State within an Arab State. I do not think that any other country would admit such a thing.
Mr. ENTEZAM (Iran) (Interpretation from French): I would like to raise a question in connection with the explanation which has been given by the representative of Lebanon; that is to say, if I understand correctly, the danger which would be constituted by the creation of a Jewish State, however small, is that this Jewish State would be able to permit unlimited immigration, and reckoning with the financial support abroad, it would become exceedingly populated. Therefore, the problem of vital space would arise; that is to say, that this country might want to go beyond its own limits.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): According to us, this is absolutely certain. It is only necessary to watch the requests of the Jews to see how they are growing. I recalled yesterday that the Jewish delegation to the Peace Conference did not dream of asking for the creation of a Jewish State. Every time the Jews obtain something, they establish themselves firmly upon what they obtain, and then want to ask for more. If I remember correctly, the Jewish National Home had been defined in 1919 by such responsible persons as Mr. Pichon from France, at the Peace Conference he said that it was to be a cultural national home. Lord Balfour also, the author of the famous Declaration, said something similar in 1922. At present it is no longer a question of a cultural home but a real national home, and the Jews demand the creation of a Jewish State in the whole of Palestine. Some go even further and say in the whole of historical Palestine; that is to say from Sinai to the Euphrates.
If, on the other hand, the idea is to have that Jewish State created on a smaller territory, then it is inevitable that it will become overpopulated and it will be impossible for that population to live on such a small territory. This would be certainly a reason for friction which the United Nations are trying to avoid. The United Nations are trying to avoid causes for new wars, but this might be a cause for a new war.
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): I want to say what His Excellency the Lebanese Foreign Minister said. I will simply elaborate on the matter. To appreciate the danger to peace of a Jewish State in the Middle East, one has only to study the nature and history of Zionism, their method. They start with a small, very modest demand and then that grows bigger and bigger. They never first spoke of the Jewish State. I know very well that Dr. Weizmann acquiesced in the letter published in 1922 by the Colonial Office, saying their intention was not to have a Jewish State. I listened to Dr. Weizmann before the Anglo-American Committee last year when he stated that he always said “Don’t mention a Jewish State, the Jewish State will come.” Now Dr. Weizmann is satisfied with partition, a small State, but that small State, part of Palestine, will ask for all of Palestine. But that is not enough. Transjordan would come. And that is not enough. Part of Southern Syria, Southern Lebanon, part of Egypt. And that is not enough. From the Nile to the Euphrates. That is what the terrorists say today. And even that is not enough. For the statements have appeared that they want actually the economic, if not political, penetration of the whole of the Middle East. We know these things. We are quite familiar with them. And history is proving and vindicating our views.
So, if that is not a cause of irritation and provocation, and if that is not a danger to peace, I do not know what could be a danger to peace and security in the Middle East. It is not that we are going to stand still or acquiesce or become passive. Not at all. But there is the danger. Struggle will be coming.
If you will permit me, I would like to give one very interesting example: A very modest and wise Jew who always preaches unity with the Arabs, Dr. Magnes. I have watched with great interest the gradual development of Dr. Magnes’ views. I used to read his writings in 1929-1930. Then Dr. Magnes was against immigration, against any political intentions. He simply wanted a spiritual home in Palestine. That is all. The Jews did not want anything more than that. Later on, Dr. Magnes, in 1936, when the Arabs were revolting, said: “Why not let us come to a final understanding; let us agree that the Jews will never exceed forty per cent and the Arabs sixty per cent.” Later on, more recently, he has come to the idea of parity, numerical parity. “That will settle the question”, he says. But this is not the end. He says later on the Arabs may acquiesce that that parity may also be exceeded.” And there we are. This is the most modest and the most peaceful Jew whom we see. Watch his growth, the growth of his demands. I do not know after parity has succeeded what official program of the Zionists will follow.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): In 1922 I had the great advantage of travelling with Lord Milner, who drafted the Balfour Declaration. He declared there was only one member of the Cabinet of Great Britain at that time who refused to accept the Balfour Declaration, and that was Montague, a Jew. When he was asked for the reasons for his refusal, he said: “I think that this Declaration will be a great evil for the Jews because I know the Jews much better than you do and I know that if they were given this Declaration, they could bring about a great danger and a great evil.”
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): May I have your views, gentlemen, as to whether the creation of a Jewish State, even in a part of the country, is in accordance with the framework of the Charter of the United Nations? Do you not have to take Palestine as an entity, as it exists now, and decide that question?
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): Mr. Chairman, we are all unanimous, I think, that the creation of a Jewish State is contrary to the spirit and letter of the Charter, contrary to democratic principles, and contrary to human rights.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): The second part of my question is: Must not Palestine be taken as one entity, in order to consider the question, and not as capable of being divided into two parts to be taken as two different entities?
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): The destiny of Palestine cannot be decided by outsiders. It is against the Charter. The destiny of Palestine shall be decided by its own people. The people of Palestine shall decide the destiny of Palestine. Any effort to impose any solutions contrary to the wishes of the people, democratically expressed, the legal people, the rightful people, would be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Charter.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE: (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): In answer to the question put by Sir Abdur Rahman, I think it was never the intention of the Charter to agree to a partition of the country. I think this would be absolutely against all the principles of the Charter.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): We can proceed now to question 2. I think we had answers to that question in the discussion of question number 1.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): Any foreign element within the Arab world would constitute a threat to that world, and this is all the more true in the case of Palestine. This is the general answer of the Arab delegations. I would like to add further, for the information of the Committee, that the Arab world has solved almost all of its political problems and has concluded an agreement at Cairo. Now the only political problem which remains to be solved is that of the presence of Zionism in Palestine. And, of course, it would be all the more difficult to solve if Zionism in Palestine should be transformed into a Zionist Palestine.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Question number 3 is as follows and refers to a statement in the memorandum on page 12. “For the security of our own country, it is our right, and even more our duty, to resist Zionism by all the means at our disposal.” Further, on page 13, it is said that to a Jewish State established by violence the Arab States would answer by violence; this is the only possible answer. Now, the question is as follows: Would the Arab States have recourse to violent measures by all the means at their disposal?
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): All the Arab States consider that the establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine would constitute a violation of their rights, their aspirations, and their interests. Therefore it would be difficult, first of all, for them not to defend themselves, and further, to prevent an even more violent movement being the reaction.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Would you consider even the Jewish State constituted under the auspices of the United Nations as established by violence?
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): We have confidence that the United Nations will not make such a decision. It will exceed the terms of the Charter of the United Nations to impose such a foreign State on Arab land. It will be against the will of the population.
Mr. Abdel Rahman HAKKI (Egypt): May I add that the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine will end in being a danger to the Arab States surrounding it. It will not only be as His Excellency the Iranian delegate said, an over populated country which will be in need of lebensraum in the Arab countries surrounding it; it will be a situation in which you have a concentration of forces. As a matter of fact, it would be a standing army which would be living on help from outside and it would be a danger to the surrounding countries. The Arab States, if they take measures, would take measures which any State would take if it finds a million armed persons at its frontiers. That is a situation which would be created, and the Arab States would have to react to a situation the same way as any other country would do if it found a million armed persons at its frontiers.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): I would like to return to my question. The representative of Saudi Arabia said that he hoped the United Nations would not make such a decision. But if, against his hopes, it should be the case, then would you still consider that this Jewish State had been established by violence?
Mr. FOUAD HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): I still persist, Mr. Chairman, that the United Nations would not make such decision; firstly, because that would be contrary to the Charter itself; these are hypothetical questions and we prefer not to say anything until such a decision is made.
Mr. Fadel JAMAII (Iraq): I would like to state, Mr. Chairman, that the example of the League of Nations is before us. When the League of Nations supported a Mandate which was against its own Covenant, against the terms of its covenant and against the principles of democracy and self-determination, the decision of the League of Nations did not preclude violation in Palestine. Since the Balfour Declaration was issued violation started, and that violation involved the Arab world. Ever since, one revolution followed another and the Arab States surrounding Palestine were involved, whether officially or semi-officially, and yet the League of Nations was in existence. This was one of the grave mistakes of the League of Nations, in having passed the terms of a Mandate which were against the very terms of the Covenant. So we do hope that the United Nations will not make the mistake of the League of Nations by going against the spirit of its own Charter because that will certainly lead to [MISSED WORD(S)].
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): I would like to explain my ideas a little further. We have committed ourselves to the Charter of the United Nations. We cannot go beyond that Charter. If the United Nations go beyond that, certainly the very existence of the Jewish State will make us free to make our own decisions there.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): We proceed now to question number 4. Several solutions have been mentioned: (a) A bi-national State with a limited immigration, (b) A federal State, comprising two or more part States, each having the power to determine whether or not immigration would take place, (c) Partition, involving establishment of two independent States which as a matter of course would be at liberty to decide on the immigration question. What are your reasons for disregarding these solutions?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): The reasons we have for refusing certain solutions are as follows: We consider that the establishment of a new State, or the establishment of a bridgehead, would be incompatible with our own rights.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Do you consider all those solutions as having the same number of disadvantages? I would like to know if you adopt a certain order in those solutions?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): No. We all refused them because they all have the same disadvantages.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Now, gentlemen, just look at the situation we are confronted with. There are six hundred to seven hundred thousand Jews in Palestine, and there are twelve hundred thousand Arab Christians and Moslems. We have to find a solution. Would you, considering the Jews to be a nation and considering the Arabs to be another nation, discard the idea of a bi-national State? I am not talking of parity just now because the words in the question do not refer to parity or non-parity. I am saying that given twelve hundred thousand Arabs and six hundred to seven hundred thousand Jews, would you really not consider the formation of a Government composed of these two peoples? I am leaving parity out of my question, for the time being. That is one part of the question. The other question that was involved is limited immigration. Now, immigration can be for two reasons: One political, and the other, religious. I am a Moslem, and some of you are Moslems. Suppose I, in my religious zeal, wish to come and visit Harem esh Sharif and wish to settle down, would you stop immigration altogether? I am saying that there are two aspects of immigration — political and religious. Your answer was in such general terms that I wish to stop and discuss with you in a little more detail as to what you are really trying to convey. Would you stop immigration even for the purpose of religious zeal if people wish to come to Palestine and wish to settle down there for that reason, whether they be Christian, Moslem or Jew? I am asking you that question, now. My question consists of two parts. Take both of them separately, please. Take first of all the creation of a State composed of two peoples — Jews, six or seven hundred thousand, and twelve hundred thousand Arabs. Now, we have been called upon to find a solution. Would you, without the question of parity being taken into consideration, discard the question of the composition of the Government composed of these two peoples in Palestine? The second question refers to immigration. Deal with them separately. I should like to have a little more detailed information from you on that point.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): In the draft we presented in London to the British Government this question was studied very carefully; that is to say, the question of creating a State in Palestine where Jews would have a right to parliamentary representation and to positions in the Government. On the second part of the question there is a very important difference between immigration, immigrants, and visitors or pilgrims. It was stated yesterday, I think, and I repeat it, that access to Holy Places would be perfectly free. But on the other hand, if you suppose that a million Moslem individuals would like to come and settle in Palestine because they want to be near the Holy Places, then we would certainly refuse them. And since we would refuse that to Moslems who, after all, constitute the majority of the population, I see no reason why we should not deal with the Jews in the same way.
Mr. Camille CHAMOUN (Minister for the Interior of the Lebanese Republic) (Interpretation from French): As has been said before, this question bas been studied very carefully at London during the Conference that took place on Palestine. If I understand the representative of India correctly, his question has two objectives. First of all, is there any possibility of establishing a unitary state in Palestine where Arabs and Jews would take part in the Government? And secondly, there is the question of full limitation of immigration.
On the first point, which was dealt with in detail in London; we insisted upon the safeguarding of the Arab character of Palestine, and within the framework of the Arab character we proposed that Jews, proportionately to their number in the country and the number who acquired Palestinian nationality should be asked to cooperate in the Government of the country. There should be called a constituent assembly composed, proportionately again, of Arabs and Jews who would define the constitution of Palestine. The result of this assembly would be the setting up of a Government composed of Arabs and Jews proportionately. Further, Jews and Arabs would also be represented proportionately in Parliament; all this in order to bring about the fullest possible cooperation between the two elements of the population. On this point I think we can give a satisfactory answer to the question put by the representative of India. We are not opposed to a reasonable solution through the creation of a State where Arabs and Jews would be proportionately represented, and further, we were the first to propose that Jews should be asked to cooperate in the Government of anew Palestinian State.
Beyond those proposals of a political character we proposed certain guarantees of a religious and cultural character, and further that certain special courts should be established for the Jews to solve certain questions of personal status. Our opinions given in London were perfectly constructive and certainly in accordance with the principles of the United Nations and in conformity with the Charter, which aims at the maintenance of unity in Palestine. This is my answer to the first question.
Now for the second question. We were of the opinion, during that Conference on Palestine, and also here, that it is the affair of the future Government of Palestine to take any decisions about immigration. Up to now immigration has been only one way; that is to say, it has been only Jews who have immigrated into Palestine, and no Arabs at all. There have been cases where Arabs who wanted to immigrate into Palestine have been refused permission. Zionist immigration, therefore, has been one way and with only one aim, and that is to dominate Palestine. Therefore it is quite understandable that we want to be extremely circumspect and careful with regard to immigration and to regard it as the affair of the future Government of Palestine to decide upon this moot point. We certainly do not think the doors of the country should be closed, but there should be a certain definite control. Other countries control immigration. Why do such large countries as the United States, Brazil, Canada, and Australia impose certain limitations to immigration? It is to preserve their own national unity. Therefore, it is all the more important, in the case of a small country like Palestine. Immigration must be controlled and I think it is the duty and the full right of the future Government of Palestine to refuse entry into the country to certain subversive characters who would have a political opinion which might do harm to the country. I believe there will certainly be immigration in the new State, but it will be limited by the laws then existing in the country.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): I should like to adjourn now and to ask if you would come back at 3:30 p.m.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): Before you adjourn I should like to make two statements. Yesterday it was mentioned in our memorandum that Canada accepted only five thousand Jews. I have been told by the representative of Canada on this Committee that this was only the first series — the first slice, if I may say so — and I must apologise for this mistake, which was due to misinformation from the press.
On the question of displaced persons I should like to say that we have decided to cooperate in the solution of that problem within the United Nations, as Members, of the United Nations and in a spirit of cooperation.
The other statement I have to make is about Trans-Jordan. You may have wondered why Trans-Jordan is not present with the other Members of the Arab States. The President of the Council of Lebanon has just received a telegram from the King of Trans-Jordan saying that if he did not come here it was because he is expecting a visit from the Committee — or certain Members of the Committee — to Amman. This is the only reason there was no representative of Trans-Jordan here. Further, it is stated in this telegram that as far as Trans-Jordan is concerned, it will adopt the same attitude, as always, in regard to the solution of the problem of Palestine as the other Arab States.
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): I wanted to ask whether it would be a special session or an open session, because I asked yesterday for the opportunity of making a statement in a public session of the Committee.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Would it not be sufficient if your declaration were given later to the press?
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): I should like to state it before the Committee.
Mr. Abdel Rahman HAKKI (Egypt) (Interpretation from French): As regards the conditions among the Jews in the Arab countries I have been informed that the Secretary-General of the Rabbinate of Egypt has arrived in Beirut and would like co make a statement before the Committee on whether the Committee.. I should like to know if that is possible.
CHAIRMAN: (Interpretation from French): I should like to have the opinion of the Committee whether the Committee would like to hear him if he arrives here in time.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) (Interpretation from French): We have heard the declaration of the representative of Egypt on the situation of the Jews in this country, and I think we can accept that statement. In this case I must say, considering how little time we have, I do not see the urgency or the necessity of hearing this representative, and I do not think it will be very useful.
Abdel Rahman HAKKI (Egypt) (Interpretation from French): If documents were available, we might forward them to the Secretariat of the Committee.
CHAIRMAN: (Interpretation from French): There will be a private meeting at 3:00 o’clock, and at 3:30 p.m. the representatives of the Arab States will arrive.
The meeting is suspended.
(The meeting was suspended at 1:20 p.m. and was resumed at 3:30 p.m.)
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): The meeting is: called to order.
There are two questions left on the first list. The first of those is question five under the Roman numeral III. What would in your opinion be the chances of such solutions being accepted by the Palestinian population?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): We answered that question this morning, Mr. Chairman. The point of view of the Arabs of Palestine is well-known. They absolutely reject all those solutions.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) (Interpretation from French): Do I understand correctly that when you say that the Arabs of Palestine reject those solutions you are referring to the Arab Higher Committee?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): Yes, but it also means all the Arabs, and they have already declared that they were of the same opinion as the Arabs of Palestine.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) (Interpretation from French): I ask these questions because while we were in Palestine we were approached by certain Arabs who were not of the Arab Higher Committee and whose opinions differed slightly from those of that Committee.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I think I can declare that the Arab Higher Committee represents the opinion of Arabs in Palestine, but there may be a few individuals who have different opinions.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) (Interpretation from French): Since you insist upon a democratic solution, I suppose that the Arab Higher Committee has been elected in a democratic manner?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): The Arab Higher Committee is elected regularly; not officially, but it is elected regularly and represents all the Arabs of Palestine. If the people who approach the Committee had any really relevant opinion to propose, then they would have set them forth openly and not privately, as seems to have been the case.
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): Besides that my honourable colleague has stated, I may add one word. The Arab Higher Committee is, in fact, elected regularly, in a regular way, by the people of Palestine, and it is recognized as such not only by the British Government but by the United Nations.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) (Interpretation from French): In a conversation we had with an official of the British Government of Palestine he textually said that the Arab Higher Committee was self-appointed. I can only repeat those words.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): Whether that point comes from persons, whether British or not, does not enter into the question.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) (Interpretation from French): I did not say a person, I said a high official.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): The proof of this is that the Arabs of Palestine have accepted the decision of the Arab Higher Committee not to appear before your Committee; furthermore, the British Government always approaches the Arab Higher Committee as representing the Arabs of Palestine. As I said, this Committee has not been elected officially, but the Chiefs of the Arab world in Palestine have met and elected their representatives. Further, I remind you that the British Government invited the representatives of the Committee at the Conference in London last September.
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): I just want to remind the representative of a little matter that he will remember occurred in the United Nations in the Political Committee when Sir Alexander Cadogan, the representative of the United Kingdom, was asked whether the Arab Higher Committee did represent the views of Palestine, and he answered in the affirmative. I just want to remind him of that.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): I would like to add that the number of Jews who reject the Zionist plan is much higher than the number of Arabs whose views differ from those we have just set forth.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): The last question is whether it would be necessary to have some safeguards or guarantees for access to and worshipping at the Holy Places; if in the affirmative, what would those guarantees be?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): Mr. Chairman, we believe in the freedom of worship, and we even put it highly into practice in our own countries. This is also assured in Palestine. Therefore, I think that the only thing to do would be to maintain the status quo. I do not think that any more guarantees would be, required, and therefore the Arabs would be ready to guarantee this status quo.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Gentlemen, would you have any objection if a provision is made in the constitution safeguarding the Holy Places?
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): We have no objection to giving any reasonable guarantees in the constitution.
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): I was just going to answer that the Arab delegations to the London Conference did stipulate freedom of worship and the maintenance of the status quo; they guaranteed that, and they are ready to guarantee it in the constitution.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Are there any questions from Members of the Committee?
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Then this first list is exhausted and we come to the questions which have been communicated by Sir Abdur Rahman. Will you, Sir Abdur Rahman, please put the questions yourself, dropping, I suppose the questions which have, already been answered.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Now, referring to the Feisal-Weizmann Agreement — I know the contention that King Feisal was not authorized by Arabs. I also know the contention that the condition made by him had not been given effect to and that independence was not secured. I know all that. It is not necessary for me to ask you that. What I am asking you is, since most of the countries have obtained independence would it be too much now to enforce that Agreement that was made by King Feisal and Dr. Weizmann?
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): I wish to say that as I had been a counsellor to the late King Feisal I had the opportunity of speaking of this draft Agreement with him. It was presented to him by Lawrence, himself. After this draft Agreement had been read to him and translated, he added with his own hand: “Under the condition that all the Arab nations be united under one same regime.” Since this was the condition that could not be realized either by Weizmann or Lawrence, of course the Agreement fell by itself. Therefore, what is called an Agreement is not an Agreement at all.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): I did not ask you that question at all. What I did ask you is what objection would there be in enforcing that Agreement now that most of the Arab countries have obtained their independence? That was the point I meant.
Mr. Riad SOLH (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): It would be necessary then that Palestine also should be independent. Therefore we come back to the same point.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): That takes me to the next question. Was Palestine also to be independent before the document was to take effect, or was Palestine not to be included as was stated by Dr. Weizmann in his statement?
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): It is self-evident in the draft Agreement itself that all the Arab nations should be independent and unified.
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): The fact that the Committee is meeting here to investigate the question of Palestine shows that Feisal’s part of the agreement had not been fulfilled. And, moreover, His Majesty, the late King Feisal, in his lifetime on several occasions rejected Zionist claims on that Agreement. Moreover, that Agreement never took a final, official shape, and was never ratified by any State, any government, or any permanent body.
Mr. Chairman, what the Jews have already achieved in the numbers in which they have come, puts them certainly beyond the promise of King Feisal, and much beyond his expectation. I would like Sir Abdur Rahman to be very sure of that.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Now, do you know the terms of the London Peace Conference? Do you know the peace terms offered in the London Conference? They were subsequently withdrawn by the Arabs. Are you prepared to stick by them now?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): We are ready to communicate to the Committee the minutes of the London Conference, as well as the text of the Arab proposals.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Will you give those texts to the Committee?
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): Those texts will be handed to the Committee tomorrow.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): What I want to know is whether they are prepared to accept those terms even now?
CHAIRMAN: (Interpretation from French): You want to say, Sir Abdur Rahman, the terms offered by the British, or by whom?
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): The Arab offers. The terms were withdrawn by them later on. I am asking in regard to those terms whether they are prepared to accept them now.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria): We kept the right to withdraw them.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): You withdrew from them?
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): No, we kept the right to withdraw them.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Now, do you view the bringing of Jewish colonies near the Egyptian or Syrian frontiers with any concern?
Mr. Abdel Rahman HAKKI (Egypt): Well, the Egyptian Government certainly views with grave concern the establishment of Jewish colonies near the Egyptian frontier. That is only an indication of the first step towards the execution of Jewish ambitions towards Sinai which is already mentioned in the different proclamations, and certainly the Egyptian Government has taken measures against this danger which is getting nearer and nearer to the Egyptian territories.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): Do you have any other questions? Sir Abdur Rahman?
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): No, not on that point. Is the Negeb a matter of importance to the adjoining Arab States?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I thought we had already answered this question, but if you want further developments, here they are. The Negeb, as you know, is rather arid country. It is very little inhabited except for Bedouin tribes and these Bedouin need this part of the country because they have no possibility of establishing themselves anywhere else. Further, the Arab population of Palestine increases every year by several thousands, and therefore they will need those areas all the more. In any case, this part of the south of Palestine is for us a strategic point and we shall never yield it. We need it for the Arabs.
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): I am sorry to be a little open about this in answer to Sir Abdur Rahman. We were talking about Palestine — that the Arabs will never tolerate a Jewish State in Palestine nor in any portion of it. So when the question is put that way it may be considered as dragging us into the position of accepting a part of Palestine. Although Negeb itself is part of Palestine, we were talking in general about Palestine itself.
Sir Abdur RAMAN (India): Is it of any concern to the adjoining Arab States?
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): Of course; it is very important strategically and for communication purposes.
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): It is important strategically, and for future development with regard to the Arab population I am sure the Arabs will have to bring much of the Negeb, which is now desert, into cultivation when the population increases.
Mr. Hamid. FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I think we showed this morning that the Jews have done some work in this region of Palestine, but this work was not economic in the usual sense of the term. If they insist upon having the Negeb it is because they want to place the new immigrants there. If you remember, I stated that an acre of land in this region costs some 300 to 500 pounds and that irrigation costs are 50 to 80 pounds per year.
I should like to add that the significance of the Negeb is that it is part of the Arab world as far as communications go. Travelling by land means one day’s passage through the Negeb to Egypt. And after all, the Negeb is a part of our country. It maybe a poor part, but it is like a weak child; if you have a weak child you do not want to give him away. We have that sort of affection for our desert as much as for our mountains and rivers.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) (Interpretation from French): There is one thing I do not understand and that is what you mean by the strategic importance of the Negeb to the neighbouring Arab countries. I think the Arabs are in the same position as the Latin Americans. We can consider ourselves as brothers. But if we were asked whether a part of Colombia, for instance, had strategic importance for us, I should say no. Part of my country may have strategic importance for my country, but not for another country. I could understand if you said the Negeb had strategic importance for Palestine, or for Britain, but not for the neighbouring countries.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): I think there was a war which is quite famous in modern times; that is, a war between two States of Latin America, which was brought about by a country which is certainly not less desert than the Negeb.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I think it is our fullest right to do so in order that this land which is of great strategic importance should not be within enemy hands.
CHAIRMAN: Are there my other questions?
Mr. Abdel Rahman HAKKI (Egypt) (Interpretation from French): I think perhaps the reason for putting that question is the idea that if a Jewish State be created in the Negeb it would be no danger to the surrounding countries. We have shown that a Jewish State created within Palestine, whether in Haifa or Tel Aviv or the Negeb, would be a menace to the surrounding countries on an equal footing. It is always a danger, whether it is created in Tel Aviv or in the Negeb. So I do not see any reason for that question.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): The meaning of the question was merely that it adjoins the Egyptian frontier. The meaning was obvious if you care to follow what was in my mind. I wanted to know whether the Negeb, from the point of view of strategy would be of any importance, as a brother State to the Egyptian Government.
Mr. Abdel Rahman HAKKI (Egypt) (Interpretation from French): It is always a danger to the surrounding countries, whether Egypt or any other place in Palestine, for the reasons already explained.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): What do you think of the standard of living in Palestine as compared to that of neighbouring States?
Mr. Herald FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I do not think the standard of living in Palestine is better than in the neighbouring countries, such as Lebanon and Syria, for example. The standard of living in those countries is continually improving, thanks to progress and everything that is being done to that and: social reforms, etc.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Is it not improving in Palestine itself?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): Unfortunately, the standard of living is improving more slowly in Palestine than in other countries because the Arabs there have to face such serious problems. They have to maintain their land by fighting against Zionism and they have to fight for their independence. Therefore they cannot give sufficient attention to the development of their material progress and the development of social and economic reforms. It has been proved that every time an Arab country in the Middle East becomes independent there quickly follows material progress and also progress in the field of educational and social reforms. Therefore we hope that if Palestine becomes independent the standard of living, of both the Arabs and the Jews — particularly the Arabs — will be improved.
I should like to add that the British Government in Palestine controls public education in the Arab part of Palestine and leaves public education to the Jews in their own land.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): What do you think of the claims of the Jews that the Arabs’ standard of living has improved in Palestine on account of what they have been doing in Palestine themselves?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation-from French): We consider that the improvement in the standard of living of the Arabs in Palestine, if any, is the result of the same movement — the general improvement in the standard of living in the Middle East since the First World War. I do not think the Arabs in Palestine have made any more progress than other Arabs.
I should like to give one example, and I should like to quote my own country — not that this is a habit, but it is the best example I can give. The standard of living is higher here than that of both Arabs and Jews in Palestine. What you have been able to see of our progress, our machinery, our productive capacity, and the standard of living of the citizens of this country, is not the result of any foreign help or foreign financial support. If you had had more time to visit our country we would have taken you to visit our factories and schools and anything else that might have been interesting to you. I do not think we are to be considered as backward people compared with Palestine, and I should like to insist once more that what we have achieved we have achieved without any help from foreign countries, and there is no reason why the Arabs of Palestine should not progress.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): Do you think that the Mandatory Power has been doing its best to improve the conditions of the Arabs?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): The Mandatory Power has given so much time and so much energy to the establishment of a National Home for the Jews that it has done very little towards increasing or improving the standard of living of the Arabs in Palestine. And as regards the Jews, I can say they have no influence at all on the improvement in the standard of living of the Arabs in Palestine.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): Generally speaking, both Mandates — French and British — have given too little importance to social, economic and cultural questions. I should like to give one example. Until 1938 — that is to say, until the time when a more or less authoritative government was established in Syria — we had in the secondary schools in Syria only 2,500 pounds in funds. Today we have 16,400 pounds. The French Mandate had at least accepted the creation of two local governments in Lebanon and Syria, but Palestine depended on the Colonial Office. Orders were taken only from the Colonial Office. Even under the French Mandate Lebanon and Syria were attached to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. While Palestine was attached to the Colonial Office, and the Arabs of Palestine considered this as one of the reasons why the social and economic conditions have not been as fully developed as they could have been.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): During the course of our investigation I happened to come across a letter written by Dr. Herzl to the Prime Minister of the Ottoman Government asking for colonisation of the Jews in Palestine and saying that if permission was not granted they would colonise elsewhere. Could you let me have a copy of that letter?
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): We shall try to provide you with this letter. All I can say is that a few years before the end of the Imperial Regime, Dr. Herzl proposed to the Ottoman Government a loan of 3 million pounds without interest, for Jewish colonisation, limited to a certain number in the south of Palestine, and that was refused. Later Dr. Herzl’s suggestion was accepted for the establishment of a National Home for Jews.
Sir Abdur RAHM.AN (India): As a matter of fact the Jews did not accept the suggestion.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from French): Dr. Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress in Vienna, but the majority of the members of the Congress refused this proposal of Herzl’s, which was therefore rejected by a majority. Herzl had to resign.
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India) That is all. I am quite sure in my mind that there are no differences between the Arab States on the question of immigration, land laws, partition, and the form of government, but I wanted to be doubly sure that there were no differences on these points between any of the States who are appearing before us. The Yemenite representative, particularly, has not been able to follow the languages used here, and I wanted to be quite sure in mind on this point.
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): In London Mr. Bevin asked similar questions, and in order to assure him we had everyone of us to make a statement and repeat the same statement to this effect. Does Sir Abdur wish us to do so here?
Sir Abdur RAHMAN (India): No.
CHAIRMAN: Are there any other questions?
Mr. HOOD (Australia): May I ask a supplementary question to the last one? What is the form and method of consultation between the Arab League and the Arab Higher Committee?
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): At the time of the foundation of the League a special status was foreseen for Palestine because Palestine had been considered as an independent State, but it has been considered that its independence is not now manifest. Therefore the League is always in contact with Palestine, and it was under the aegis of the Arab League that the Arab Higher Committee was established. A representative of Palestine can always attend meetings of the League when there is a question concerning Palestine being discussed.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia) (Interpretation from French): On page 6 of the memorandum which was presented to us yesterday, there is a mention of contradictory promises made by the Allies to the Arabs and to the Jews. This means that we must not consider contradictory promises to two different parties and we must find a way out. Therefore, I think this is a typical position where a compromise must be sought.
I would like to know what, in the opinion of the Arab States, is the type of political compromise that could be achieved. I have heard your claims, and it seems to me that what you would be willing to accept as a compromise would be about the following: We ask for one hundred percent of our claims and the others can share the rest. I think this sounds more or less like the squaring of the circle.
Mr. Fadel JAALI (Iraq): Mr. Chairman, the Arabs are not basing their rights on promises. We believe that Palestine is an Arab country not because Britain promised it to be so but because it is Arab country. Promises were given; yes, but what is the value of those promises? What is the moral or legal value of those promises? The promises were given to the Arabs first. They came to confirm a basic, existing right. The promise made later on to the Zionists was not based on right. We have not come to the United Nations in order to make a compromise of right and wrong. We want solutions that are just. And solutions that are just are not always based on compromise.
I would like to know if the honorable member would like any compromise if anyone assaulted his country and took part of it. Would he be prepared to compromise?
Emir Adel ARSLM (Syria) (Interpretation from French): First of all, as has been said by the representative of Iraq, the promise made to the Arabs was made between 1915 and 1916. At that time, the United Kingdom had given no promise at all to the Jews. The Balfour Declaration was proclaimed in 1917. If we come back now to the origin of the question, we ought to speak of the Sykes-Picot Treaty, which was negotiated in 1912 and signed at the beginning of 1914, without the knowledge of Russia. After the war, the Tsarist Government came to know of this treaty and protested against it, asking that it be abolished. The French President of the Council, Mr. Ribot, at a meeting of Parliament, said more or less textually that after protests from our great Russian Ally the Sykes-Picot Treaty should be considered as null and void. This treaty had been concluded between the United Kingdom and France and it gave Palestine to the United Kingdom as a zone of influence. In 1916, at the beginning of Arab revolts, I think it was then, the Kerensky Government began to publish certain secret documents of the Tsarist Government, and the text of this treaty was communicated to King Hussein. He then wired to London to obtain confirmation of the existence of this treaty, and Lord Balfour himself replied denying the existence of such a Treaty. Therefore, it is plainly seen that both contracting parties, the United Kingdom and France, considered that this treaty had been abolished.
In 1917, to the surprise of everyone, there came the Balfour Declaration. Now, in its White Paper, the Government of the United Kingdom recognized that the situation in Palestine — that is to say, that several hundreds of thousands of Jews were now in Palestine — meant that the promise given to the Jews had been executed and therefore this is quite clearly stated in the White Paper.
Now, if the point is to find a solution, as has been said by the representative of Czechoslovakia, I think that it is not the Committee that should tire itself in trying to find such a solution. I think that the United Kingdom is the only one responsible for the contradictory promises it made, and if anyone must look for a solution, I think that it is the United Kingdom. And the opinion of the United Kingdom is that the promise has been executed, that a national home has been created.
Sir Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I should like to add one word, Mr. Chairman. I would have understood that a compromise solution should be sought if neither of the two promises had been carried out, but now the Jewish National home exists whereas the other promise has not been fulfilled. Therefore, I think this is no time to look for a compromise.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) (interpretation from French): I think that a very interesting point of international law has just been raised. Before putting any question to the representative of the Arab States, I would like to ascertain certain facts. Is it true that in 1918 Palestine and all Arab countries belonged to not belong to Turkey?
Mr. RIAD SOLH (Lebanon) (Translation from French): No, we did not belong to Turkey, we were part of the Ottoman Empire. There is a great difference between belonging to a State .and being part of it.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) (Interpretation from French): Legally, these territories belonged to the Ottoman Empire. We have seen in history that after war the defeated countries had to cede some parts of their territory to the victorious countries. I need not give you many examples, but Europe has been formed to a great extent in this way. Russia obtained territories from Sweden, from Turkey, from Poland, from Austria; Germany from Austria and so on. In 1918, Turkey was beaten and had to sign the Treaties of Sevres and of Lausanne. By these treaties, Turkey surrendered the territories, now known as Arab territories, to the Allies.
Mr. FOUAD HAMZI (Saudi Arabia): They were ceded to the Allies by the Treaty of Sevres but that clause was modified in the Treaty of Lausanne; the phrases “the Allies” was substituted by the phrase “the parties concerned”, i.e. that inhabitants of the country.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) (Translation from French): Yes, but the Treaty of Sevres ceded these territories to the Allies who were, during this time, settling the question of the Balfour Declaration and of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, in accordance with this Treaty of Sevres, signed in 1918.
Mr. FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Translation from French): The Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917 and the Treaty of Sevres was signed in 1918.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala) (Translation from French): Yes, but the Allies began to put the Balfour Declaration into effect in accordance with the Treaty of Sevres. They brought that question before the League of Nations and declared that Palestine would be the Jewish National Home, again in accordance with the Treaty of Sevres. Later they signed the Treaty of Lausanne. But by that time the Jewish National Home had already been created. This involves an important point of international law, which it would be interesting to discuss.
Mr. FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Translation from French): There is one point which I should like to make clear.
CHAIRMAN (Translation from French): We are not going to discuss that legal question here. I recognize Mr. Frangie, who wishes to make an explanation.
Mr. Hamid FRANGIE (Lebanon) (Interpretation from French): I should like to recall that the Sevres Treaty was signed in 1920 and was never ratified. It therefore has no legal value. In 1920, the Balfour Declaration had already been in effect for three years. Therefore, one cannot say that it is supported in any way by the Sevres Treaty. Further, I would like to say that we never belonged to Turkey but that we were a province of the Ottoman Empire, as were the other provinces. Finally the question had to be solved. If it was solved by the Lausanne Treaty; that is to say, that certain territories were yielded to the parties concerned, to the inhabitants of the countries. This explains why the Mandate aimed at the final independence of those States concerned. Unfortunately, Palestine was a state which received a different type of Mandate.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): That is a question of interpretation.
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): It seems to me that the honourable member from Guatemala implied disposition by right of conquest by Great Britain to this territory. I think this is irrelevant, because at the time when the country was occupied, the Arabs had already become associated with the Allies. In fact, they were called “the Allied and Associated Powers”. The Arabs were considered an Associated Power of the Allies. Therefore, the disposition by right of conquest does not apply. This is a point of fact that I want to mention.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Interpretation from. French): I should like to add further proof that the Arabs signed the Armistice with the Allies. The representative of the Arab States signed on the same footing, as France and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty with the Turks. Therefore, we were really allies of the Allies. Therefore, it is impossible to say that Palestine had been conquered; there is no question of conquest there. Now as regards the Sevres Treaty, the best proof that it was never put into force is that Turkey was not partitioned, was not divided, and the Treaty was signed at a time when Istanbul was occupied by the Allied troops. It also gave rise to the Kemalist movement, and it was also because of that Treaty that Turkey deposed its Sultan. The Allies further recognized the right of the Turks to decide their own fate, and that gave rise to the Lausanne Treaty. Therefore, on this occasion, there was no question of Palestine or of the Balfour Declaration. The Lausanne Treaty recognizes the right of the Arabs to decide their own fate for themselves. Therefore, the right of the Arabs to decide their own fate has been recognized.
Mr. Farid ZEINEDINE (Syria): It is very difficult it was to me, to speak about the right of conquest. For, in regard to any justification of the situation by reference to such right, — it must be remembered, first, that there is a Charter of the United Nations, or even when there was no Charter of the United Nations, there was the Covenant of the League of Nations. These two Charters were based on something very different and quite contrary to the right of conquest. Even so, as has already been explained, that right of conquest cannot apply because it is the Arabs who were the allies of the Allies, and therefore, they have helped to effect this conquest, if it can be called that. It was a liberation, not a conquest. Furthermore, the Treaty of Sevres, as has already been explained, was the basis according to which the Mandates were distributed, because the Ottoman Empire, according to that Treaty, ceded its territories to the principal Allied and Associated Powers. But the Treaty of Sevres was not ratified. The Treaty of Lausanne took its place. From Article 16 of the Treaty of Lausanne it is clear that it ceded them to the interested parties. It should be noted — and this is the main consideration I should like to bring forth — that in the Treaty of Lausanne there are no principal Allied and Associated Powers. Therefore, the Mandate given under the Sevres Treaty was never confirmed or accepted by the Treaty of Lausanne which never gave any right whatsoever to the principal Allied and Associated Powers to dispose of Palestine or any other Ottoman territory. Therefore, this is one of the reasons why the Mandate juridically speaking is non-existent.
CHAIRMAN: I think we can leave the discussion on this point here.
Mr. Garcia GRANADOS (Guatemala): I would like to make an observation on a matter of fact. I think the gentleman who spoke before is wrong in saying that the Arabs signed on an equal footing with the Allies. I think that is not the fact.
CHAIRMAN: I think we can discuss that in Committee. I think we have heard enough about the different Treaties.
Emir Adel ARSLAN (Syria) (Translation from French): It was General Houri Pacha, who is now president of the Senate of Iraq and was at that time head of the military staff of the Arab army, who, on behalf of the Arabs, signed the Armistice with Turkey.
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): On behalf of the Hedjaz?
CHAIRMAN: Are there further questions to representatives of the Arab States?
Mr. LISICKY (Czechoslovakia): I would like to ask a practical question. We have heard very interesting points of view and very useful observations of the Arab States. Now, we are going to Geneva and there we shall certainly have to meet the situation where a consultation with the Arab States would be extremely useful. I am wondering whether it would be possible far the Arab States to consider sending someone to Geneva who would be on the spot to give us any explanation of their own point of view on any subject. I think that the French are right when they say that “Absentees are always wrong”.
Mr. Riad SOHL (Lebanon) (Translation from French): We thank the representative Czechoslovakia for the advice he has just given us. We shall certainly send a representative.
CHAIRMAN: (Translation from French): You would be prepared to send a liaison officer, if the Committee requested you to do so?
Mr. Riad SOHL (Lebanon): Yes.
CHAIRMAN: (Translation from French): I thank you, Gentlemen, for giving us such enlightening answers to the questions we have put to you. I believe Mr. Jamali wished to make a statement before the Committee. I recognize Mr. Jamali.
Mr. Fadel JAMALI (Iraq): I have the honour on behalf of the Iraqi Government to subscribe to all that has been included in the memorandum submitted by the Arab States and beg permission to emphasize and to elaborate sore of its points in this additional statement. My statement consists of four headings:
1. Arabs’ right and aspirations and the Palestine Mandate
2. Zionist aims, claims, and methods
3. What is involved in the Palestine issue
4. Conclusions and proposals
(1) Arabs’ rights and aspirations and the Palestine Mandate.
Palestine is an integral part of the Arab world, and it is a vital part thereof. Geographically it is in the heart of the Arab world. To travel on the normal routes from north to south or from east to west of the Arab world one has to cross Palestine. Thus a traveller to Egypt from Iraq, or Syria, or Lebanon, or a traveller from Lebanon or Syria into Saudi Arabia and Hejaz for pilgrimage passes through Palestine. Palestine is only the southern part of the whole of natural and historical Syria. Nationally the indigenous people of Palestine are one and the same people as those of Syria, and culturally and nationally united with the rest of the Arab world.
The Arabs joined the Allies in World War I under the leadership of His late Majesty King Hussein and his sons (of whom King Feisal the First, the founder of the modern state of Iraq, was one) and fought for the liberation and unity of the Arabs, including the Arabs of Palestine. The Allies on their part made clear promises to the Arabs that they would support the Arabs in the attainment of their nationalistic aims, and they declared that their armies were coming to liberate and not to conquer the Arab lands, and it was taken for granted that the principle of self-determination would be applied to the liberated territories including Palestine. Palestine was no exception to the areas which were promised freedom and independence. But even without these promises are not the inhabitants of Palestine like the rest of the Arab world entitled to freedom and independence in their own home? The Arabs of Palestine, like the people of the rest of the Arab world, were hoping to attain their national aspirations. What was the result? The result was a great frustration and disappointment towards the end of World War I for in 1917 the Balfour Declaration was issued promising the Jews a Jewish national home in Palestine without the knowledge or consent of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, a great violation of all moral and human rights, and this is the root of all the trouble. When the Declaration was made, one of three assumptions must have been made: Either that Palestine was an empty country, a sort of no-man’s land; or that the inhabitants of Palestine represented an enemy population whose territory could be dealt with at will; or that Palestine was inhabited by a people whose territory could be colonized and exploited without recognizing their right to say anything. All and each of these assumptions are wrong for Palestine is not a land without a people to be given to a people without a land. It has its own indigenous population, the inhabitants of Palestine. Many of its men took part in the Arab revolt in World War I on the side the Allies and therefore they were entitled to their right to freedom and independence as friendly allies and not as enemies whose country could be disposed of without their knowledge or consent. Finally the people of Palestine, together with the people of the rest of the Arab World, are a people of great history and nature. They are not of the type to submit to foreign domination and colonization. The fact that some alien dreamers formed designs to come and occupy Palestine cannot be regarded but as a move of aggression and a violation of the principles of peace, justice and democracy.
Unfortunately; the Balfour Declaration was included in a Mandate designed by the League of Nations giving it an apparent international character. But this was a glaring mistake of the League of Nations. It was a move by the League of Nations that led to the violation of world peace and stability in this part of the world for the last 30 years. The Mandate violated in general all the principles of democracy and self-determination which were contained in the Covenant of the League of Nations. In particular, it violated the very spirit and letter of Paragraph 4, Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations which reads as follows:
“Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized, subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities was to be a principal consideration in the selection of a Mandatory.”
This paragraph of Article 22 of the Covenant clearly recognizes the right of the Arabs of Palestine to independence and to the choice of the Mandatory power by the inhabitants. These rights the Mandate for Palestine ignored, just as it ignored the real object of the Mandate, that of holding people as a trust with the object of helping them toward self-government and independence and not with the object of imposing an alien body whose object is to dominate the country and establish a state therein. Thus we find that the Mandate over Palestine has no moral or legal foundations for the League of Nations had no legal or moral authority to violate the letter and spirit of its own Covenant.
What was the result? As was to be expected the Arabs from the very beginning never recognized the legality or the validity of the Mandate over Palestine. The day of the Balfour Declaration is a day of strikes and demonstrations every year throughout the Arab world. The Arabs of Palestine never stopped to resist or to protest against the imposition of the terms of the Mandate. Palestine turned into a land of struggles, strife and bloodshed instead of being a land of peace and harmony, and very naturally so, for no self-respecting people in the world can permit in any circumstances aliens to be introduced into their country by force and with the intention of dominating it while they have no say in the destiny of their own country.
The Arabs of Palestine resisted and revolted on several occasions in self-defence and the situation today is no better than what it was 30 years ago. The Arabs today, not only in Palestine but throughout the Arab world, are in a state of tension over the issue of Palestine.
They are all convinced that it is not right or just that the Arabs of Palestine should have been deprived of their rights to self-government and self -determination. It is not right that the independence of the country should have been withheld while surrounding Arab States like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Trans-Jordan, which were in the same category as Palestine and were all integral parts of the Ottoman Empire, have attained their independence. The Arabs of Palestine are as well developed as the Arabs of these States which have achieved independence. The wishes of the inhabitants of Palestine for independence and their rejection of Zionist penetration were formally expressed to the same King-Crane Commission appointed by the late President Wilson as early as 1919.
We in Iraq are directly concerned with the problem of Palestine not only because we are bound with the Arabs of Palestine by all the bonds that go to make one nation, but also because Palestine is so situated geographically as to be of vital importance to Iraq economically and strategically. Besides we have about 150,000 Jews in Iraq whose interest and welfare is bound up with the interest and welfare of our country as a whole. In Iraq Moslems, Christians, and Jews have lived happily together for centuries. Zionism, however, may poison the atmosphere of harmony between Iraqi Jews and their non-Jewish brethren, and we have to see to it in Iraq that Zionism does not disturb the good relationship prevailing between all the citizens of Iraq. As evidence of the importance we attach to Palestine this is the platform of our present Cabinet. Paragraph 3 reads as follows:
“Since Iraq considers the cause of Palestine to be its own cause the Government will endeavor by all means under its disposal to safeguard this part of the Arab World from the dangers besetting it.”
(2) Zionist Aims, Claims and Methods.
Right from the promulgation of the Balfour Declaration the Arabs expressed their apprehension and repugnance to Zionist demands. The Mandatory Power did its utmost to allay Arab fears of Zionist intentions, but time and experience justified Arab fears and apprehensions. The Zionists, coming first with modest demands, began to unfold their ambitions from year to year. Official Zionism today where the extremists stood 30 years ago — for a Jewish State in Palestine. The extremists today are not satisfied with Palestine alone. They want Trans-Jordan to be attached to Palestine to form one Jewish State immediately. This Jewish State might extend from the Nile to the Euphrates at a later stage and some pronouncements have appeared to the effect that Zionist ambitions do not fall short of the economic, if not political, penetration of the whole Middle East.
The Biltmore programme, which represents the original Zionist programme today, consists of turning Palestine into a Jewish Commonwealth, opening the gates of Palestine for unlimited Jewish immigration, vesting the Jewish Agency with the power of controlling immigration and upbuilding the country. Certainly this declaration shows that the Zionists have moved a long way beyond the Balfour Declaration and the terms or the Mandate. This is exactly what the Arabs had anticipated from the Mandate and the Balfour Declaration. The Mandatory Power insists that they never understood the Mandate to promise a Jewish State and had no such excessive Zionist demands and ambitions in mind. But there they are. I submit that there would be no problem in Palestine today were it not for Zionist ambition and Zionist aggression. These are the roots of all the trouble and unless the Zionists are definitely and finally told to abandon their political dream, there can be no peace in the Middle East. Palestine is being invaded today by armed illegal immigrants carried by ships. Terrorism is rampant. If this is not an act of aggression and an infringement of international peace we do not know what aggression is.
The Zionists have used many arguments to justify their intended domination of Palestine. The first is their historical connection with Palestine. This argument is not valid because historical connections with lands today inhabited by other peoples cannot justify movements in the world’s population. If this were to be permitted, most or the countries or the earth should exchange populations. South American citizens of Spanish descent cannot return to Spain today without the permission of the Spanish Government nor are the citizens of U.S.A., Canada and New Zealand of English descent entitled to go back to England without the consent of the Government of the United Kingdom. The historical connections or these people are relatively modern and not two thousand years old. Even if this principle were accepted the Jews are not historically more entitled to Palestine than its present-day inhabitants. The Jews actually ruled part of Palestine not more than 240 years and they lived there not even eight hundred years, the length of time which the Arabs lived in Spain, without the Arabs claiming any right to it today. The Arabs of Palestine, on the other hand, are mainly descendants of people who lived in Palestine before the Jews went there and have actually been in Palestine for the last fourteen hundred years.
As for the continued spiritual connection of the Jews with Palestine: This argument does not entitle them to return to Palestine either, for spiritually Palestine is holy to the Christians, Moslems and Jews alike. There are more than five hundred million Christians in the world and some three hundred million Moslems, all of whom are as much spiritually interested in Palestine as are the Jews. There is no reason why Palestine should be claimed as Jewish because the Jews have spiritual connections with it. The fact is that spiritual connections with a place do not necessarily entail political connections. All the Moslems in the world have spiritual connections with Hedjaz, but politically Hedjaz belongs to its own inhabitants. Moreover, the Moslems, with their traditions of liberalism and religious toleration towards the people of the book, namely the Christians and the Jews, have demonstrated how harmoniously Christians and Moslems live together in Palestine with freedom or worship enjoyed by all. The Jews as such have enjoyed such freedom of worship and toleration under the Moslems and they shall continue to do so. But Zionism poisons the atmosphere. Zionism has turned Palestine from a place of peace and spiritual life for all mankind into a place of material strife, struggles and bloodshed.
Another claim of the Zionists that the Arabs are backward, and that Zionists coming to Palestine help them materially and raise their standard of living. This is a very old imperialistic argument. It is the argument of the white man’s burden, the fallacy of which is already exposed to the world. One aggression after another, one war after another, were waged on the strength of this argument and the world is sick of it. The truth is that this is an excuse for domination. The Arabs do not want that rise in their standard of living which leads to the loss of their own country and to the inflow of foreign elements who have come in to dominate it; the Arabs are not a backward race; they have a glorious historical record. They do not need the Zionists to bring them civilization and culture. They certainly do not welcome many of the things brought by the Zionist into Palestine in the name of civilization and culture. The Arabs want to develop in the modern world in their own way and from within for no real culture can be achieved by imposition or superficial imitation. The Arabs facing the modern world are hoping to achieve a new cultural synthesis which is completely consonant with their great philosophy and world mission, a culture has on a human brotherhood with no racial or religious discrimination or superiorities. Zionism, very much like Nazism, is based on racial and religious discrimination and cannot provide the culture which the modern Arab wants. It has already discriminated against Arab employment on so-called Jewish national land where no Arab can be employed. As for material development, the Arabs can develop better without Zionist intervention. We in Iraq are finding our own way towards material and cultural progress. No Zionists were needed to open a thousand elementary schools, send hundreds of students to European and American institutions, establish hundreds of hospitals and health centres in Iraq, and introduce great irrigation projects. We still have a long way to go, but we need no Zionists. Thus the Zionist argument of carrying the white man’s burden in Palestine is totally rejected.
Another argument used by the Zionists is that the Arabs have vast areas of land and that the Jews are homeless and they need land. The first part of the argument can be easily dismissed, for no matter how vast a people’s country might be it is their own right to decide whether they will accept any newcomers or not, and whom to accept.
The Arabs are not the only people who have vast areas. The United States, Canada, Australia, the countries of South America, all possess vast areas of land that need development, but no one sneaks of imposing any immigration on these countries without their consent, and especially an immigration which has an alien political domination as its aim.
But the most serious part of the argument is the question of homelessness. This is a very dangerous concept. Why should the Zionists assume that the Jews are homeless?
I submit that the home of every Jew is the country in which he is a citizen. The home of the Iraq Jew is Iraq, and I should hate to think that he felt homeless in Iraq. The home of the English Jew is England, and the home of the French Jew is France and of the Czechoslovak Jew, Czechoslovakia. There should be no Jewish homelessness and by spreading this concept Zionism is rendering a great disservice to Jews all over the world for delicate if right is to overcome wrong.
Here are some of the powerful means used by the Zionists to make their ambitions and aggressive intentions appear in be right. First, economic pressure. Zionists use great economic pressure to make the Arab sell his land. They allure him and they weaken him by offering an exorbitant sum of money, for his land. The weak Arab succumbs and soon finds himself a landless, homeless fellow. Economic pressure is used in gaining support and in averting attacks. We know of some well-known non-Jewish men who have been employed by Zionists and paid large sums of money to promote their cause. We also know of anti-Zionist people who cannot raise their voices fearing Zionist economic threats and boycotts. But money and economic pressure cannot make wrong right. With money goes political influence. In some countries Zionists have direct access to influential public men. With pressure of influence, with business partnership the Zionists gain supporters in many countries. Such support cannot make what is wrong right and what is unjust just.
Probably the most effective means which they have used to attain their goal is propaganda. The Zionists have a well-organized machinery of propaganda with which the Arabs cannot possibly compete today. They have access to the press in most of the Western countries, besides providing their own press. Through the press Zionists try to prove their wrong right, and the right of the Arabs wrong. They usually follow three lines of propaganda: One is that there is nothing in the way of their achieving their own aims except the Nazi effendis and feudal lords; the masses of the Arabs do not mind Zionist domination and flourish under it. To this line of propaganda I need riot add a word. You need only travel round the Arab world to discover for yourself whether it is only the effendis who are opposed to Zionism. I wish to assure you here that since the days of the Prophet Mohammed — may Prayer and Peace bless his soul — until today the Arabs have never been united on anything as they are in their unity to oppose Zionism. This is true not only of the Palestinian Arabs, but also of the Arabs throughout the Arab world.
I have just not a new book by a Dutch writer, Dr. Van der Neulen. It is called “Aden and the Hadhramut”, a journey to Southern Arabia. I will read one paragraph to show you how these Arabs feel about Palestine: “Palestine policy had to contend with some fundamental errors, the bitter truth of which we saw in these far Arab lands. The distrust that had arisen would only disappear with the passing of time and the implementation of a wise policy of justice to the original Arab inhabitants of Palestine. When we talked to the Arabs we found it possible, while acknowledging their acquired and ancient rights, to stress the desirability of cooperation with the Jews, that might be profitable to both parties, and to point to the wonderful benefits which Jewish immigration to Palestine had already produced. From the discussions of political difficulties in that county, so rich in Jewish, Christian and Moslem tradition, I found it possible to state that these errors have had repercussions in the most distant tribal Arab countries which show that even the Bedouin in far distant lands are interested in the question of Palestine.”
The second line of propaganda is that of Displaced Persons Camps. The question of displaced persons is a humanitarian matter which the Zionists try to exploit for their own political ends. The question of displaced persons should be settled on an international level, and the United Nations has already created a special organization to deal with the matter. This problem should not complicate the situation in Palestine arising from the Zionist struggle for political domination. To assist Zionist political domination in Palestine with the pretext of D.P.’s to create trouble in the Arab world. This is an anti-humanitarian act. One should not attempt to remove an injustice by committing a greater injustice.
The third line of Zionist propaganda is that of boasting of their own achievements in Palestine — sandy deserts turned into paradise, modern farms established, many factories erected, huge hospitals built, etc., etc. To this line of propaganda we have two observations to make. The first is that given an unlimited source of dollars from the Zionists in the United States and Western science and technique, any amount of construction and development could be done by anyone. The Arabs are doing their utmost with the limited resources at hand to work their own development. The second remark is that the Zionists fail to speak of the great losses incurred in what they have achieved. It is now a known fact that Zionist economy in Palestine is not self-supplied. It is running on a deficit of something like 40 percent paid from donations. But, one might ask, are the Zionists fools Why should they take such risk? The answer is quite The Zionists have not come only for Palestine, which is mainly a barren, rocky and sandy country. Palestine is just a stepping-stone to the economic exploitation of the whole Middle-East. In the long run, the Zionists dream of big economic returns which will make up for the temporary losses. Hence, the whole world needs critically to examine Zionist propaganda and Zionist influence on the world press if we are to achieve peace in a democratic world. Great donations of money in a humanitarian guise for terrorism and aggressive invasion of Palestine must stop if we are to achieve peace in this part of the world.
A new method used by extreme Zionists in post-war years has been a resort to force. Some Zionists in this War probably joined the Allied Forces with a double end in view — the defeat of Hitler and the conquest of Palestine by force. They certainly learned some of the deadliest and most treacherous Nazi methods of warfare. They are applying them in Palestine today.
These are some of the Zionists methods by which they wish to dominate Palestine but the fact remains that it would have been better for all concerned if the Zionists came with a direct force for the invasion of Palestine as the Crusaders did in the past. These round-about methods and these false pretences and camouflaged tactics cannot serve the purpose of peace. The undisputed truth is that the Arabs are unanimously opposed to political Zionism and that the Zionists can never establish a State in the Arab world. Such an attempt is doomed for it is unnatural to graft a foreign state on the Arab.
What is involved in the Palestine issue?
What is involved in the Palestine issue is whether the principles of peace and justice can prevail or whether domination by the force of money, distorted propaganda, political pressure and terrorism will succeed.
What is involved is the loyalty of the Jews in every city in the world — are they to be uprooted or helped to live in a free democratic world?
What is involved is the future of the United Nations and the maintenance of the principles of the Charter, for the illegal immigrants invade Palestine and the terrorists practise violence under the very eyes of the United. Nations Committee.
What is involved is the relationship between East and West for the East looks at Zionism as a Western desire inspired by old imperialistic methods which showed no respect for the rights and wishes of the people of the exploited country.
What is involved is the spiritual serenity of Palestine — whether it is to be a cradle of peace and holiness where the spirit of man can find a refuge, or a place where struggle and bloodshed between peoples of different religions and races prevail.
Much is involved in the question of Palestine and yet the question is so simple and the remedy is easy to apply:
It is simple in spite of Zionist claims and propaganda which have created a complex problem out of a simple matter of invasion and desire for domination. It is easy in spite of terrorist violence for we believe that terrorism could easily be squashed with firmer handling of the situation.
In conclusion, may I summarize my views and recommendations in the following:
Palestine is an integral part of the Arab world and the Arab population are the rightful owners of the country, and the Arabs will never yield Palestine or any part thereof. There is nothing between Arabs and Jews; as such they can live together harmoniously as they have done for thousands of years past.
The Mandate has no moral or legal foundation; it has introduced an element of trouble in Palestine which will continue to grow from year to year and disturb peace and stability throughout the Middle East unless the United Nations checks the source of trouble finally and completely.
The source of trouble is political Zionism with its ever-growing ambitions. Unless these political ambitions are finally and completely abandoned there can be no peace in Palestine or the Middle East. This can be done very easily if the United Nations declares that Zionist political ambitions are dangerous to peace and security in the Middle East, for Arab nationalism and political Zionism can not go well together in Palestine. Either one or the other must disappear. The Arabs being the rightful inhabitants in Palestine are not ready to give up their Arab nationalism which is directly connected with all the Arab world. They will sooner or later fight for their political existence and defend their own country if aggression is permitted to continue. The Zionists should be advised to content themselves with the cultural and spiritual home which they have already achieved and abandon their aggressive political designs.
The Zionists should all understand that a Jewish State was never promised and can never be established in the whole or part of Palestine. Such a State can never survive with hostile people surrounding it and will always be a cause of war and struggle. We do not believe that the Jews need a State for they belong to the States where they reside. If it is deemed that a Jewish State is a human necessity it should be dealt with outside Palestine where no trouble will ensue.
A unitary democratic state should be established in Palestine where the people of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion, shall work together and live together peacefully and in harmony. Those who do not wish to live in such a state should be advised to leave Palestine.
Some Zionists who want a Jewish State, no matter how small to begin with, and some non-Jews who are not familiar with the situation, speak of partition as a solution. I wish to make it clear that no partition in any form or guise will be acceptable to the Arabs. They will fight it and resist sooner or later for no Jewish State in any size or form will ever be tolerated by the Arab world. Moreover, partition cannot work for more than one reason for it can never separate the Arabs from the Jews completely, and the State derived therefrom can never stand on its own feet economically. But these are from the Arab point of view, secondary considerations compared with their firm determination to fight the idea of partition as well as the idea of the Jewish State. I hope the Committee will give due consideration to this point.
Palestine is already relatively over-crowded if due consideration were given to the barrenness of the country and the natural growth of the population. That is why immigration should be completely stopped. If immigration ever were possible it should not take place without the consent of the Arabs of Palestine and their view of the absorptive capacity of the country should be paramount. Even then immigration should not be discriminatory and there is no justification for having Jewish immigrants mainly. The quota should be fairly distributed amongst all Moslems, Christians and Jews who wish to come Palestine to lead a spiritual life.
An independent democratic Palestine shall be recognized by the Members of the United Nations, and as such it shall be a Member of the Arab League and of the United Nations.
An experience of thirty years proved that flagrant injustice was done to the political rights of the Arabs of Palestine. That injustice led to strife and unrest throughout this period. Many committees and commissions were sent and made reports, with no avail. The Arabs have become desperate and they have lost hope in committees. May this Committee at last, guided by the principles of the Charter, make such recommendations which will finally remove the source of trouble and injustice, bring about clarity and finality in the situation so that peace and harmony may prevail in the Land of Peace and in all the Middle East.
CHAIRMAN: I thank you, Mr. Jamali.
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): I had intended to read a statement which I had, but as the hour is late and we have a long journey before us, I think it would be more convenient if I delivered the memorandum to you.
CHAIRMAN: We shall put it into our records and it will be considered as read.
(The memorandum prepared by the representative of Saudi Arabia follows).
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): There is hardly any need for me to elaborate much further the joint memorandum and statements presented to you by the Arab Governments. The Saudi Arabian Government, who stands by the side of the sister Arab states and the Arabs of Palestine, wishes to explain a few outstanding points as to what is being thought by the Arabs in their different countries.
Never in the history of human conflicts have any people or country suffered an injustice so grave as the injustice and calamities suffered by the Arabs of Palestine. They have always been a peace loving nation against whom force and aggression have been directed, with a view not only of imposing the rule of a foreign regime, but of foreign an alien people upon their country; an alien people aiming at ousting the Arabs from their homeland or at best imposing their domination and rule upon them. The extent of Arab suffering and bitterness is not to be minimised.
The members of your honourable Committee represent free and democratic nations of whom some have tasted foreign rule and struggled through long years to retrieve their lost liberty and independence. You can therefore best appreciate our position. We have no doubt that the members of this honourable committee will conduct their investigations as best meets with the dictates of conscience, and that every effort will be made to find a lasting settlement which will remove the cause of injustice.
Might we here remark that any effort to assist persecuted people cannot be sincere if such assistance is to be at the cost and detriment of others. Consequently the world refugee problem must be treated on its own merits and not in relation to Palestine. It should in our opinion be kept distinct and separate and not serve as justification or cause for dispossessing the Arab people of Palestine of their rightful heritage, and replacing their corporate and national structure with an artificially created entity.
Zionism has no rightful claim on Palestine. In the implementation of their programme, they have exclusively relied on the support of a foreign power regime conducting itself arbitrarily and unjustly. Their forces have been forces of repression.
Zionists claim that foreign rule in Palestine and the influx of Jews into the country with their capital have contributed to the raising of the standard of living of the Arabs of Palestine. These allegations cannot bear the test of objective scrutiny. The whole of the administrative machinery of the Government of Palestine had been geared chiefly to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish National home and not for the promotion and development of the Arabs. In this respect nearly half the total budget of the Palestine Government spent on maintaining non-existing security. What the Arabs, given a chance to develop peacefully and normally, are capable of doing can be evidenced in the Arab neighbouring countries. That in itself is a refutation of Zionist allegations. In fact we go as far as to assert that Zionism has been a direct cause of the retardation of Arab development in Palestine: given a chance to develop under favourable conditions they would have travelled far on the road of progress. Even if the Zionist allegation were held to be true, it should net serve as a basis or a pretext for dispossessing the Arabs of their own country.
We have full confidence in this honourable Committee. We are firmly convinced of the justice of the Arab case. Our belief is strong in the desire of the United Nations to carry out a just course in the interests of peace and security in this part of the world.
Thus in resting our case upon your sense of justice we sincerely hope for the establishment of permanent peace You will thereby have rendered service to a just cause in the interests of humanity. You will have rendered service to the Arabs who will long remain.
Mr. Fouad HAMZA (Saudi Arabia): As you have been making a record, I wonder if, before you go, you might let us have a copy of your record so that we can revise it and give it to you before you go.
Mr. HOO (Assistant Secretary-General): We will send you a copy from Geneva, and if you have any corrections, you can send them to us and they will be placed in our final record.
CHAIRMAN: The meeting is adjourned.
(The meeting adjourned at 5:50 p.m.)
*The French text circulated at the Thirty-Eighth meeting. For reference cited see document A/AC.13/PV.38, p. 14.
** See document A/AC.13/P.V. 38, page 14.
*** Palestine Foundation Fund.
Document Type: Verbatim Record
Document Source: General Assembly, United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP)
Subject: Demographic issues, Economic issues, Electoral issues, History, Holy places, Land, Legal issues, Negotiations and agreements, Palestine question, Population, Refugees and displaced persons, Security issues, Self-determination, Statehood-related
Publication Date: 23/07/1947