Balfour Declaration and Mandate Did Not Preclude Jewish State, U.N. Body States
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Balfour Declaration and Mandate Did Not Preclude Jewish State, U.N. Body States

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“Neither the Balfour Declaration nor the Mandate precluded the eventual creation of a Jewish State,” the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine says, in a 165-page report to the General Assembly, made public today by the U.N. Secretariat.

“The mandate in its preamble recognized, with regard to the Jewish people, the ‘grounds for reconstituting their National Home,” the report says. “By providing, as one of the main obligations of the Mandatory, the facilitation of Jewish immigration, it conferred upon the Jews an opportunity, through large scale immigration, to create eventually a Jewish state with a Jewish majority.

“Both the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate involved international commitments to the Jewish people as a whole,” the report continues. “It was obvious that they were not limited only to the Jewish population of Palestine, since at the time there were only some 80,000 Jews there.


“This would imply,” the report points out, “that all Jews in the world who wish to go to Palestine would have the right to do so. This view, however, would seem to be unrealistic in the sense that a country as small and poor as Palestine could never accommodate all the Jews in the world.

“When the mandate was approved, all concerned were aware of the existence of an overwhelming Arab majority in Palestine,” the report continues. “Moreover, the King-Crane report, among others, had warned that the Zionist program could not be carried out except by force of arms. It would seem clear, therefore, that the provisions of the Mandate relating to the Jewish National Home could be based only on the assumption that sooner or later the Arab fears would gradually be overcome and that Arab hostility to the terms of the Mandate would in time weaken and disappear.

“This seems to have been the basic assumption, but it proved to be a false one, since the history of the last twenty-five years has established the fact that not only the creation of a Jewish state but even the continuation of the building of the Jewish National Home by restricted immigration could be implemented only by the use of some considerable force. It cannot be properly contended that the use of force as a means of establishing the National Home was either intended by the Mandate or implied by its provisions. On the contrary, the provisions of the Mandate should preclude any systematic use of force for the purpose of its application.”


Declaring that the Jews have performed “remarkable feats of development in Palestine,” the report says: “The fact remains, however, that there may be serious question as to the economic soundness of much of this achievement, owing to the reliance on gift capital and the political motivation behind many of the development schemes with little regard to economic considerations.

“That Jews would displace Arabs from the land were restrictions not imposed would seem inevitable, since, as land pressures develop, the attraction of Jewish capital would be an inducement to many Arabs to dispose of their lands. Some displacement of this nature has already occurred.”

Referring to the Jewish assurance that no political injustice would be done to the Arabs by the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, since the Arabs have never established a government there, the report says that this assurance “gains some support from the fact that not since 63 B.C., when Pompey stormed Jerusalem, has Palestine been an independent state. At the same time, the report also draws the attention of the U.N. General Assembly to the fact that “today in Palestine there are over 1,200,000 Arabs, two-thirds of the population, who oppose a Jewish State.”


Both the majority and minority groups of Unscop favor the continuance of Jewish immigration to Palestine. The Unscop report, therefore, recommends to the General Assembly that it “undertake immediately the initiation and execution of an international arrangement whereby the problem of the distressed European Jews, of whom approximately 250,000 are in assembly centers, will be dealt with as a matter of extreme agency for the alleviation of their plight and of the Palestine problem.” The majority of the committee recommends that 150,000 of the total be admitted to Palestine within two years, beginning this month.

The Unscop report points out that “it cannot be doubted that any action which would case the plight of the distressed Jews in Europe would thereby lessen the pressure of the Palestinian immigration problem and consequently create a better climate in which to carry out a final solution of the question of Palestine.”

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