Lake Success (Oct. 13)
The Soviet Government today endorsed the partitioning of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, and thus virtually guaranteed that the UNSCOP partition plan will get the necessary two-thirds majority in the General Assembly.
The Soviet statement, delivered before the Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine by K. Tsarapkin, was welcomed by the American and other delegations and by Jewish leaders. Herschel Johnson, acting for the U.S. delegation, issued a statement raising the Soviet position and stressing that on basic principles it was “very similar” to the American stand.
Pointing out that “if the General Assembly will at this session decide on the question of the creation of an Arab and a Jewish state, it will be a great step forward in the solution of the Palestine question,” the Soviet delegate emphasized that while supporting in principle the UNSCOP majority recommendations, the USSR believes that there are a number of points which require “evaluation” and revision.
“Such serious questions as the question of the frontier between the two states of the measures during the transition period after the termination of the British mandate, as well as of the status of the city of Jerusalem, and a number of other more or less important questions, on which I do not consider it necessary to dwell at present call for further and thorough consideration,” the Soviet representative aid.
On the question of frontiers, Mr. Tsarapkin said that the UNSCOP proposals for the partitition of Palestine into a number of separate regions connected at certain points by narrow corridors cannot be considered a satisfactory solution of the question. The Soviet delegation,” he continued, “considers that further work on a concrete plan for the elimination of frontiers and on national separation of Palestine could be undertaken by the Special Committee so as to eliminate as far as possible the existing defects.”
SAYS AUTHORITY DURING TRANSITION PERIOD MUST REST WITH UN
The Soviet Government stipulated that the authority which will govern Palestine during the transition period must be responsible to the UN. “Everybody realizes that the transition period from the present state of mandatory government in Palestine to the beginning of the existence of two independent states has enormous importance from the point of view of preserving peace in Palestine as well as from the point of view of the future fate of both these two states, its statement added.
Members of various delegations at the U.N., impressed by the outspoken attitude of the Soviet delegation in favor of partition, commented that Palestine is the first issue at the U.N. on which the Soviet and the American delegations have taken similar positions. In supporting the partition plan in principle, Mr. Tsarapkin made it clear that his delegation reserves the right to speak in the future on separate concrete questions.
Pointing out that the U.N. must not forget that “nearly a half of the Jewish population in Europe was exterminated,” and that large numbers of Jews in Europe were deprived of shelter and means of susbistence, the Soviet spokesman said:
STRESSES JEWISH PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO A STATE OF THEIR OWN
“All this explains why the Jews try to create a state of their own, and it would be unjust to deny the Jewish people the right to fulfill this desire. The question of the creation of a Jewish state is a wholly mature and urgent problem. The Jewish people, as all other peoples, have the right to insist that its fate, its security and welfare should not be dependent on the mercy and good will of any state. And we can help the Jewish people in this–acting in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations Organization, which provides the insuring of the right of every people to self-determination and independence.”
The Soviet representative stressed the fact that under the present circumstances “when the relations between Arabs and Jews, already bad, have reached such a degree of tension that a conciliation of their points of view on the question of how the Palestine problem should be solved has become impossible,” it is not possible to put the UNSCOP minority proposal into effect and for that reason the Soviet Government has decided to support the partition plan. He demanded the termination of the Palestine Mandate as soon as possible and the establishment of a Jewish and an Arab state “in the shortest time possible.”
AGENCY HAILS SOVIET STATEMENT AS STEP TOWARDS “CONSTRUCTIVE SOLUTION”
The Jewish Agency warmly welcomed the Soviet stand. A spokesman for the Agency issued a statement which read as follows:
“We welcome the statement of the delegate of the Soviet Union. It is a logical and consistent development of the U.S.S.R. declaration of last May, following upon the intervening report of UNSCOP.
“We are heartened by the acceptance of the urgent necessity for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine as well as by the prospects of an agreement among the major powers on Palestine, which would go far to ensure a constructive solution of the problem and the maintenance of peace in that area of the world.”
U.S. INTRODUCES RESOLUTIONS AIMED AT SPEEDING ACTION ON MAJORITY PLAN
The United States in a late move today introduced two resolutions on the Palestine issue. The first was a joint American-Swedish resolution providing that the Palestine Committee resolve that the basic principles of the unanimous recommendations and the majority plan of the UNSCOP report be the basis for the Ad Hoc Committee recommendations to the General Assembly.
The second resolution calls for the establishment of a sub-committee of the Ad Hoc Committee to work out details of the plan in accordance with these basic principles and report back to the full committee Nov. 3.
The representatives of Pakistan and Egypt today attacked the American delegation’s support of partition. The former expressed the hope that the U.S. would alter its position, particularly in the light of the fact that it had placed certain conditions on its acceptance of partition. The Egyptian asserted that Johnson’s statement of Saturday was not consenant with the U.S. tradition of fair play.