En Gurion Asks Temporary U.N. Supervision to Precede Formation of Jewish State
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En Gurion Asks Temporary U.N. Supervision to Precede Formation of Jewish State

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Under a barrage of questions from members of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, David Ben Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, today redefined the Zionist demand for a Jewish state in (##)lestine, but again left the door open for partition.

Ben Gurion said that the Jewish Agency wanted to begin immediately to bring in 1,000,000 Jews and undertake large-scale economic development under United Nations (##)pervision. He predicted that it would take three to four years to get these protects going, after which the U.N. could withdraw and Palestine would become a Jewish state. However, if the U.N. should decide on partition, a viable Jewish state could be established immediately, he said.

The four-hour session was marked by bitter exchanges between Ben Gurion and Indian delegate Sir Abdur Rahman, who attempted to take over direction of the questioning from Emil Sandstroem, UNSCOP chairman. Rahman, Sandstroem, Canadian delegate (##) Cleveland Rand, Guatemalan delegate Jorge Garcia Granados, Czech delegate Karel (##)isicky and Uruguayan delegate Prof. Enrique R. Fabregat participated in the cross-examination, which will continue tomorrow.

Ben Gurion was subjected to searching questions on the meaning of the Man(##)ate, the intention of the Balfour Declaration, the duties of the Mandatory, the (##)eans of establishing a Jewish state and the problem of Arab-Jewish relations.

Replying to Sandstroem, who asked if the Arab-Jewish conflict were not the (##)root of all evil” in Palestine, Ben Gurion said that “we have no conflict with the (##)rabs.” To another question by the chairman, who asked what regime the Zionists (##)anted to replace the White Paper and the Mandate, the Agency chairman said: “We want the United Nations to find that we are in the right and to establish a Jewish state.”

Establishment of such a state, he continued, must be divided into a “materi(##)l” and a “legal” phase. The first part would entail the immigration of millions of (##)ews and economic development. When the United Nations has satisfied itself that the main purpose for which this country is destined–to solve the Jewish problem–(##)s being fulfilled, then the second, the legal, phase will be realized–by formal proclamation of a Jewish state, “Ben Gurion stated.


Asked by Sandstroem whether U.N. supervision would not be merely a continuation of the Mandate, Ben Gurion said, “No, because now there will be an unequivocal statement that Palestine is becoming a Jewish state.” He pointed out that development of the country would be in Jewish hands immediately, while the U.N. would only supervise security and similar matters for a limited time.

He added that the material phase would require not only development of Jewish cts and Jewish settlement, but development of Arab parts of the country, raising (##) Arab standard of living to the Jewish level.

Sandstroem then asserted that Ben Gurion had presented only the Jewish solution of the problem. “Is this a complete dismissal of the Arab case?” he asked. Ben (##)on answered: “That is not for me to reply. I am sorry that no Arab representations are here, because only they are able to answer it authoritatively.” He pointed (##) that two years ago, the Agency had rejected a British Labor Party suggestion that (##) Arabs be moved from Palestine to neighboring states.


Ben Gurion refused to answer “yes” or “no” to a question by Rahman as to {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}her his proposed solution of the problem would not lead to a bloody war with the {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}. Touching briefly on the Arab claim to Palestine on the basis of ancient resi{SPAN}(##){/SPAN} and a present majority, he pointed out that 27 years ago when the Mandate was {SPAN}(##){/SPAN} 50 nations of the world, represented in the League of Nations, approved Jewish {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}rations despite the fact that an even larger Arab majority existed then. “Every{SPAN}(##){/SPAN} that has happened since has only strengthened that decision of the world,” he said.

Ben Gurion replied in the negative to a question by the committee chair(##) as to whether he felt that 1,000 years of occupation by the Arabs was long enough (##)itiate Jewish claims to Palestine. Sandstroem then questioned Ben Gurion con(##)ing the meaning of the Mandate when it referred to a Jewish national home and (##) asked whether there were not reservations in the Balfour Declaration. The late replied that the only reservations were that the civil and religious rights of (##)er sections of the population be safeguarded and the status of Jews in other coun(##)s not be prejudiced. He said that there had been no trouble concerning the sec(##) reservation, and as to the first, the specific reference to guarantees of the (##)ts of other sections of the population, and not the Jews, implied clearly that (##) was meant was that a Jewish majority should be obliged to safeguard the rights (##) non-Jewish minority.

When Rahman asked whether Ben Gurion would be willing to allow the question immigration to rest with the Jews and Arabs, he replied that he would, adding that (##)m certain that were we allowed to return to our country, we would live in peace (##) the Arabs.”

The Agency spokesman said that in 1937 “we were ready to accept compromise (##) when we had the talks with the government (early this year) we said we would ac(##)t a viable Jewish state in part of Palestine.”


Granados asked whether the Jewish people would be able to defend themselves {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}inst violence. Ben Gurion replied that if the U.N. establishes a Jewish state, {SPAN}(##){/SPAN} Jews would approach the Arabs and atttempt to work out a modus vivendi for a {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ceful existence. However, if the Arabs threatened force, the Jews would take care {SPAN}(##){/SPAN} themselves.

Queried by Vladimir Simich, alternate Yugoslav delegate, who asked whether Jews would agree to a Jewish majority with parity in the government, Ben Gurion (##)d that would be impossible, and would lead to a permanent deadlock.

Sandstroem queried Ben Gurion concerning the Haganah, and asked whether it (##)med. Ben Gurion replied: “I hope so,” adding that “if you wish its represent(##) to appear, I am sure they are ready, but I do not know whether they could ap(##) publicly, since under present laws that may not be legal.”

The last half-hour of questioning was enlivened by frequent clashes between (##) and Ben Gurion and once between Granados and Rahman. The latter occurred when (##)n interrupted Granados’ questioning at one point and said: “We’re not interested (##)at.” The Guatemalan retorted sharply: “I’ll conduct my own questioning. You (##)ct yours.”


The Indian delegate, who made no attempt to disguise his hostility, told {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}urion: “I am going to ask you serious questions. I want them answered briefly.” {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}en began reading quotations from various sources, prefacing each with: “Are you {SPAN}(##){/SPAN} that…” Finally, Ben Gurion demanded: “What’s the purpose of these questions? {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ou are calling my attention to statements and interpretations written in books, {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ept your word that they are printed in books.” He protested that he was unable answer historical questions and Sandstroem suggested that Rahman reserve those {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}tions for when Dr. Weizmann testifies.

The Indian delegate asked whether it were not true that Jews from Germany (##)t for that country during World War 1. Ben Gurion said “certainly, and rightly (##) It was before the Axis.” At this point Moshe Shertok, who was seated next to (##) Gurion, leaned over and whispered something to him, and Rahman snapped “…in(##)ing Mr. Shertok.” Ben Gurion replied that Shertok, had been an officer in the (##)ish Army during World War I. Rahman attempted to prove by citing various refer (##)s that the Arabs had been opposed to the Jews as far back as 1914, but Ben Gurion (##) he had known Arabs during that period, and they were not engaged in political (##)sition to the Jews.

Sandstroem interrupted to ask Rahman whether he would be through soon, and (##) the latter replied that he would not, the chairman adjourned the session until (##)rrow morning.

At a closed session, after the public hearing closed, the committee voted to (##) no action on personal appeals from individuals to intervene to secure immigration visas for Jews or to secure the release of detainees.

Emil Ghouri, a member of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee, told corres(##)ents later that he agreed with Ben Gurion’s demand that the British leave Pales(##), and also said that the Arabs and Jews could live together peacefully, but only the Jews accepted their minority status. Yesterday, Jamal Husseini, deputy chair(##) of the Higher Committee, told an Arab conference in Haifa that an Arab uprising (##) inevitable, if Britain did not grant immediate independence to Palestine.

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