Gromyko Asks Partition if Bi-national State Impossible; Demands End to Mandate
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Gromyko Asks Partition if Bi-national State Impossible; Demands End to Mandate

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Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko today called for the establishment in Palestine of separate Jewish and Arab states, if the two peoples could not be brought to agree on the establishment of an independent bi-national state.

In a sensational address to the U.N. General Assembly which ripped away the ##veil that has surrounded Soviet policy on Palestine, Gromyko opposed “extreme and one-sided solutions” and lashed out at Britain for its violation of the Mandate, demanding that the international covenant be scrapped.

Emphasizing the present tragedy of the “hundreds of thousands of homeless Jewish survivors in Europe” and the fact that nothing is being done by the nations of the world to relieve the misery of the displaced Jews, Gromyko said that the Jews have a right to establish a state of their own “in view of the ugly fact that not a single country in Western Europe did anything between the two world wars to protect the Jews from Nazi oppression.”

Analyzing the various suggested solutions of the Palestine problem, the head of the U.S.S.R. delegation said that the Soviet Government would prefer to see Palestine a bi-national independent Arab-Jewish state with equal rights for both peoples. “However,” he added, “if this solution of the Palestine problem should not be possible, because relations between Arabs and Jews have worsened to an extent that makes such a state impossible, then, and only then, is a partition of Palestine into an Arab and Jewish state necessary.”


Gromyko said that “extreme and one-sided solutions” must be rejected, particularly the suggestions that Palestine be made an Arab state without due guarantees for the rights of the Jews, or a Jewish state without due guarantees for the rights of the Arabs. “Both Jews and Arabs,” he continued, “have historic roots in Palestine and to both peoples Palestine has become a fatherland. A just solution can only be found if the just interests of both peoples are taken into consideration.”

The Soviet statement came as a bombshell to the Arab delegates, but was received with great satisfaction by Jewish Agency officials. It seems obvious that the Czech and Yugoslav members of the inquiry commission will be guided by the sentiments expressed by Gromyko.

He insisted that whatever views one may hold with regard to a solution of the Palestine problem, it is clear that the Palestine Mandate is not workable and must be liquidated. The mandatory system, he declared, had not “passed muster.” The aims of the Mandate had not been achieved and all the high-sounding declarations made at the inception of the Mandate had remained on paper.

He quoted at great length from the report of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine and the report of the Peel Commission to prove that the Landatory had not succeeded in achieving the aims of the Mandate. He also quoted Sevin’s recent statement in Commons in which the Foreign Minister said that the Man##ate could not be carried out and that neither the Jews nor the Arabs are supporting the present mandatory system.


The fact that the British Government itself had asked the United Nations to take up the Palestine problem was very significant, Gromyko said. “It showed that the present situation in Palestine was untenable.” The United Nations inquiry commission should therefore consider the situation in the light of Bevin’s own statement that the provisions of the Mandate cannot be implemented, he suggested.

Bitterly attacking British policy in the Holy Land, Gromyko said that Britain and converted Palestine into a battlefield and a place of bloodshed. He quoted figures from the Palestine budget to show that the country has become a “cemi-military and police state.” The United Nations, he said, must take into consideration the fact that the Jews and Arabs, while in disagreement on all other points, are unanimous in demanding the termination of the mandate.

Prior to Gromyko’s address, the delegate from the Ukraine asked the Assembly that when it voted on the report of the Political Committee, a separate vote be taken on the terms of reference and on the composition of the inquiry commission. President Oswaldo Aranha said that would be done.


The Aseembly, which must approve the decisions taken by the Political Committee during its twelve meetings at Lake Success, opened with a statement by the Iraq delegate announcing that he would vote against the report of the Political Committee since the Committee had decided to omit Palestine independence from the terms of reference and because he was dissatisfied with other aspects of the decisions adopted.

The Syrian delegate Faris El Khouri associated himself with the Iraq statement. Lengthily reviewing Jewish history since Biblical times from the Arab viewpoint, he argued that the Children of Israel are only the Jews of Iraq, Yemen, and other Oriental countries, but not those of Europe, who, he said, are descendants of the Khasars and are not the original Jews. Thus they cannot claim Palestine historically. El Khouri concluded with the threat that “the Jews are digging their own grave in Palestine,” if they persist in trying to carry out the Zionist aims. The Egyptian delegate spoke in a similar vein.


Norway introduced a resolution appealing for a truce in Palestine during the period of the inquiry committee’s investigation and until the final decision of the Assembly in September. France supported the resolution. British delegate Sir Alexander Cadogan, speaking very briefly, expressed the hope that the resolution would be passed and said that any British statement on the ultimate solution for Palestine would, he hoped, be made in September.

The importance placed on the inquiry commission’s work was emphasized at a press conference today by U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie, who announced that a U.N. staff of fifty persons will accompany the commission headed by U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Victor Hoo. Lie also announced the appointment of Dr. Alfonso Garcia Robles, director of the General Political Division of the Department of Security Affairs, to serve as a principal secretary of the fact-finding committee. He is a career diplomat in the Mexican foreign service.

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