UNITED NATIONS CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE

Beirut,

19 March 1949

Explanatory Note by Mr. Yenisey

regarding his views as expressed

in the Conclusions of the Report

of the Committee on Jerusalem to

the Conciliation Commission

——————————————–

Explanatory Note by Mr. Yenisey regarding his views as expressed in the Conclusions of the Report of the Committee on Jerusalem to the Conciliation Commission.

Mr. Yenisey feels that a report such as that presented by the Committee on Jerusalem should, by reason of its very nature and purpose, reflect the considered opinions of its writers. It should take concrete and established facts into consideration, while laying equal stress on the subjective deductions to be derived from such facts.

The Committee’s Report, in order to serve a useful purpose, should not merely state that the resolution of the Assembly cannot be implemented, but should at the same time clearly indicate the reasons why this is so. It would otherwise be nothing more than a chronological narration of facts without an indication of their underlying causes or of the conclusions to be derived there from.

During its tour the Conciliation Commission heard statements by the most authoritative spokesmen in the Arab capitals to the effect that the present conflict between Israel and the Arab States was in fact a conflict between the United Nations and Israel, since the Arab Governments had declared their readiness to, respect the decisions of the General Assembly of 11 December 1948 — thus implying inter alia their acceptance of the principle of internationalizing Jerusalem — whereas Israel was not ready to comply with those decisions.

During the Committee’s conversations and interviews with the Mayor of certain towns in the Arab area, several of them declared that they would accept the internationalization of the City of Jerusalem and the Holy Places, although they deeply wished that they might remain Arab.

The Conciliation Commission had itself become convinced that there would be no insurmountable difficulties in the way of inducing the Arab States to accept the internationalization of the City of Jerusalem.

The occupation of the Old City by the Arab Legion merely constituted, as King Abdullah made clear, a measure of reciprocity in the event of the full integration of the New City in the State of Israel, or, should the occasion arise, a means of forestalling total occupation of Jerusalem by the Jewish forces.

Furthermore, the declarations which Mr. Comay, representative of the Government of Israel, and the Mayor of Jerusalem made before the Committee merely confirmed the statements made by Mr. Sharett in his two interviews with the Commission. According to these declarations, the Tel Aviv Government is fully determined to include the New City within the frontiers of Israel and claims that it is not bound by the decision of November 1947 which had been accepted by the Jewish Agency and which provided for the internationalization of Jerusalem, and that its attitude is justified by the evolution of events since that date.

A purely objective examination of the facts of the case, based on the declarations of the two parties concerned, leads almost inevitably to the conclusion that the impasse in which the Committee finds itself is due solely to the negative attitude of the Government of Israel to the Assembly’s resolution of 11 December 1948.

Mr. Yenisey considers that, in order to fulfill its purpose, the report to be submitted by the Committee to the Commission should be written, not, as Mr. Benoist expressed it, in the fear of seeing it fall one day into the hands of the Jews and of the resultant difficulties as regards the carrying on of negotiations, but in a spirit of full and conscientious objectivity and with the aim of giving the Commission an exact idea of the intentions which prevail and of the predominating mentality in both Arab and Jewish circles concerning the question of Jerusalem.


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Document Type: French text, Note
Document Sources: United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP)
Subject: Jerusalem, Palestine question
Publication Date: 19/03/1949