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calendar   Wednesday - November 29, 2006

On This Day In History

1 IN THE BEGINNING, there was chaos, sand and camels. And the United Nations said “LET THERE BE A PARTITION”. And lo, the Jews were to be separated from the Arabs and each would govern his own and peace would be created in the region.

2 But on the next day, Satan approached the Arabs and said unto them “Why settle for half when you can have all? I will show you how.” And Satan enjoined the Arabs living in the region to wait until the dark of night and then leave their homes and hide in the desert while the warriors of the surrounding Arab nations crushed the sons of Abraham.

3 It was to come to pass that the evil plan was destined to fail for the twelve tribes of Judea had been warned by an angel of the Lord and were prepared for the Arab invaders who were sorely beaten and even thrashed by the hand of God on the next day.

4 And when the dust of the conflagration had settled the Arab armies were smashed and the Arabs who had livedd in the region were forced to flee and condemned to wander the Earth in poverty and shame as their Arab brethren turned their backs on them and refused them succor.

5 From that day forward, the desert bloomed with gardens and the sons of Abraham were fruitful in the land God had promised them in the Covenant.

6 But after time the United Nations became known to the world as a useless, corrupt and ineffectual entity and the Arabs licked their wounds and plotted secretly to destroy that land which God had summoned His people to.

ASSEMBLY VOTES PALESTINE PARTITION; MARGIN IS 33 TO 13;
ARABS WALK OUT; ARANHA HAILS WORK AS SESSION ENDS

(NEW YORK TIMES) - November 29, 1947

imageimageThe United Nations General Assembly approved yesterday a proposal to partition Palestine into two states, one Arab and the other Jewish, that are to become fully independent by Oct.1. The vote was 33 to 13 with two abstentions and one delegation, the Siamese, absent.

The decision was primarily a result of the fact that the delegations of the United States and the Soviet Union, which were at loggerheads on every other important issue before the Assembly, stood together on partition. Andrei A. Gromyko and Herschel V. Johnson both urged the Assembly yesterday not to agree to further delay but to vote for partition at once.

The Assembly disregarded last minute Arab efforts to effect a compromise. Although the votes of a dozen or more delegations see-sawed to the last, supporters of partition had two votes more than the required two-thirds majority, or a margin of three.

The roll-call vote was as follows: For (33) - Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, South Africa, Uruguay, the Soviet Union, the United States, Venezuela, White Russia.

Against (13) - Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen.

Abstentions (10) - Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.

Absent (1) - Siam.

All other questions before the Assembly were disposed of a week ago, and it ended its second regular session at 6:57 P.M. after farewell speeches by Dr. Oswaldo Aranha, its President, and Trygve Lie, the Secretary General. The Assembly’s third regular session is to open in a European capital on Sept. 21.

The vote on partition was taken at 5:35 P. M. Representatives of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen, four of the six Arab member states, announced that they would not be bound by the Assembly’s decision and walked determinedly out of the Assembly Hall at Flushing Meadow. The Egyptian and Lebanese delegates were silent but walked out, too.

Sir Alexander Cadogan, representative of Britain, which is to terminate the League of Nations mandate over Palestine and withdraw all British troops by Aug. 1, made a brief statement after the vote. He requested the United Nations Palestine Commission to establish contact with the British Government about the date of its arrival in Palestine and the coordination of its plans with the withdrawal of British troops.

The United Nations commission which will be responsible to the Security Council in the event that the Arabs carry out their threats to fight rather than agree to partition, will be composed of representatives of Bolivia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Panama and the Philippines.

This state, which is understood to have the backing of the United States, was proposed by Dr. Aranha and approved without opposition after the Arab delegates had walked out.

The commission, as proposed by the partition subcommittee, of the Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine, was to have been composed of Denmark, Guatemala, Iceland, Poland, and Uruguay, but the question was left to the Assembly because of United States opposition.

The Assembly, without discussion, also approved an appropriation of $2,000,000 for the expenses of the commission, which will take over authority in Palestine after the British terminate the mandate and will then transfer it to the “shadow governments” of the two states.

The walkout of the Arab delegates was taken as a clear indication that the Palestinian Arabs would have nothing to do with the Assembly’s decision. The British have emphasized repeatedly that British troops could not be used to impose a settlement not acceptable to both Jews and Arabs, and the partition plan does not provide outside military force to keep order.

Instead, it provides for the establishment of armed militia by the two nascent states to keep internal order and that any threats to peace by the neighboring Arab states are to be referred to the Security Council.

The Assembly decided Friday to take a recess of twenty-four hours to give the Arabs time to submit a comprise proposal, but this turned out to be what Mr. Johnson called a mere resurrection of the proposal for a federal Palestine, which had been recommended by a minority of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine.

The resolution to return the entire question to the Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine, introduced by Mostafa Adl, the representative of Iran, would furthermore have directed the committee to take into account the last-minute Arab proposal.

A simple procedural resolution returning the question to the committee would have had precedence over the partition proposal, but Dr. Aranha, after considerable reflection, ruled that the extraneous provisions barred it from being treated as a procedural motion and that it could not be voted on until after the Assembly’s decision on partition.

Camille Chamoun, the Lebanese representative, tried to meet Dr. Aranha’s ruling by demanding that the committee vote first on the eleven principles on the future government of Palestine, which had been approved unanimously by the Special Committee on Palestine last summer.

Mr. Chamoun remarked that the resolution before the Assembly did not mention these principles, but Dr. Aranha replied that they were covered by the plan substituted by the Palestine committee, to which the Assembly’s resolution will give effect, and rejected the final Arab attempt to postpone a decision.

Dr. Alfonso Lopez, the Colombian representative, who on Friday had submitted a complicated proposal that, among other things, would have returned the question to the committee, had arranged with another delegate to make a simple proposal to recommit. However, the delegate, sensing the mood of the Assembly, remained silent and Dr. Aranha called for the decisive vote.

The United States delegation played its part in persuading the delegate in question not to present the motion for recommittal, and supporters of partition agreed that, after long hesitation, it had sincerely done its best to obtain Assembly approval of partition.

It was still difficult to account for the fact that Greece, which otherwise followed United States leadership throughout the long Assembly, voted against partition and that some Latin American countries abstained.

Britain, which brought the Palestine question before the Assembly last March, abstained on all votes in the Palestine committee and in poling on the issue in the Assembly.

It was expected that had the Assembly failed to reach a decision the United States would have asked Britain to stay on in Palestine. Sir Alexander’s statement after the decision was taken was welcomed as being more cooperative than previous ones. It was generally expected that the United States and Britain would now agree on a working arrangement to facilitate the commission’s work.

The Arab delegates, particularly after the vote, referred bitterly to the “heavy pressure” exerted on other delegations. Other delegates interpreted these complaints as attacks on the United States.

The Syrian representatives led this attack. Faris el-Khoury, in a statement before the vote, charged that the proportion of Jews to the rest of the population in the United States was 1 to 30. Jews were trying to “intimidate the United Nations ... and hiss the speakers here,” which, he said was “proof that they are dominating here.”

This assertion drew hisses from the gallery, and Dr. Aranha pounded his gavel for order.

A few minutes before the Assembly convened Arab spokesmen announced that they had drawn up a new six-point program in twenty-four hours of conferences. The program involved this formula:

(1) A federal independent state of Palestine shall be created not later than Aug. 1, 1949.

(2) The Government of Palestine shall be constituted on a federal basis and shall include a federal government and governments for Arab and Jewish countries.

(3) Boundaries of the cantons will be fixed so as to include a federal basis and shall include a federal government and governments for Arab and Jewish countries.

(4) The population of Palestine shall elect by universal, direct suffrage a Constituent Assembly, which shall draft the Constitution of the future federated state of Palestine. The Constituent Assembly shall be composed of all elements of the population in proportion to the number of their respective citizens.

(5) The Constituent Assembly, in defining the attributes of the federated government of Palestine as well as of its legislative and judiciary organs and the attributes of the governments of the cantons and of the relation of the governments of these cantons with the federal government, shall draw its inspiration chiefly from the principles of the Constitution of the United States as well as from the organization of laws in the states of the United States.

(6) The Constitution will provide, among other things, for protection of the holy places, liberty of access to visit the holy places and freedom of religion as well as safeguarding of the rights of religious establishments of all nationalities in Palestine.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/29/2006 at 05:53 PM   
Filed Under: • HistoryMiddle-East •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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