Menu JTA Search

Assembly Will Not Adjourn Before Final Decision on Palestine, Aranha Assures Zionists

The current session of the U.N. General Assembly will not adjourn without taking a final decision on Palestine, Chairman Dr. Oswaldo Aranha assured Jewish Agency leaders today.

Meanwhile, the four-nation working group on implementation, undiscouraged by the British refusal to use its administration and armed forces to implement partition, continued to map plans for carrying out the expected Assembly decision.

It was learned today by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the American delegation, under pressure from the State Department, has reversed itself with regard to leaving the Aqaba area of the Negev in the Jewish state as recommended in the UNSCOP report. Earlier in the week, U.S. delegate Herschel Johnson announced at a public session of the partition sub-committee that the United States would not object to inclusion of the Aqaba district in the Jewish state, providing that the Jews agree to transfer the Beersheba area of the Negev to the Arab state. Moshe Sh##tok, on behalf of the Jewish Agency, agreed at that meeting to the suggested committee.

Without disclosing the reason for their reversal, members of the American delegation stated that the issue of the Aqaba area will be raised again and that the opinion prevailing in Washington is that this area must either be removed from the Jewish state, or that some past of it must remain open as a free corridor to the Red Sea from the Arab state.

Various important aspects of the Palestine issue were discussed here today by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who saw a number of leading number of delegates, including Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. Dr. Weizmann was here informally and did not participate in the open session of the partition sub-committee at which the status of the city of Jerusalem was discussed.

U.S. ASKS INTERNATIONALIZATION OF JERUSALEM; USSR. POLAND OPPOSED

While the delegates of Poland and Uruguay pleaded for inclusion of the Jewish section of Jerusalem in the Jewish state, the American, Canadian, South African and other delegates urged internationalization of the whole city under a U.N. trusteeship.

Speaking for the Soviet delegation, Boris Stein, alternate delegate on the Palestine Committee, opposed an international trusteeship for Jerusalem, suggesting instead a special regime which would protect the Holy Places and preserve religious interests. He argued that an international trusteeship as envisaged in the Charter was not applicable to the Arabs and the Jews, particularly to the Jews because of the cultural and political level which they have achieved. He further contended that it was inconsistent and “an amazing situation” to have independent Jewish and Arab states on the one hand, and on the other to place the citizens of these two states who live in Jerusalem under a trusteeship.

Gen. John H. Hilldring, speaking for the United States, said that it does not contemplate for Jerusalem the kind of trusteeship which the Charter specifies for backward people or for people not yet ready for self-government. He emphasized that the idea of a trusteeship does not raise the question of the ability of the people concerned to govern themselves. Hilldring announced that the Americans will submit a draft outlining the kind of trusteeship they wish for Jerusalem.

Chairman Ksawery Pruszynski of the sub-committee on partition proposed a popular referendum after a three-year period, in which the population of Jerusalem would indicate its attitude toward the political set-up under which the city had been administered during that period. In the event of a two-thirds vote against the current regime, the U.N. would reconsider its decision and partition Jerusalem into a Jewish enclave, and an Arab section and place the Old City under a U.N. trusteeship.

COMMITTEE DEFERS FINAL ACTION ON STATUS OF HOLY CITY

Dr. Stein questioned the validity of the proposed referendum, declaring that it had little likelihood of practical implementation, since it was obvious that the Jews and the Arabs would each vote according to their own views making a two-thirds vote impossible. British observer John Martin wanted to know what would be the immigration set-up during the three years.

Without going into detailed answers to all the questions raised, the sub-committee asked Karel Lisicky, the Czechoslovak delegate, to coordinate all the proposals made and all the opinions expressed and to bring a definite recommendation, or alternative proposals, to the next session of the sub-committee, which will then vote on his report.

Mr. Shertok stressed that the Jews stand by their demand for the inclusion of the Jewish section of Jerusalem in the Jewish state. However, if the UNSCOP recommendations for the internationalization of the whole of Jerusalem is accepted, the Jewish Agency would welcome the Polish proposal, he said, because it indicates that the internationalization is only a temporary measure. He also outlined the attitude of the Jewish Agency towards an internationalized Jerusalem as follows:

The Agency would prefer that Jerusalem be placed under a special international regime rather than under the U.N. Trusteeship Council; that, although under a unified administration, it be divided into three boroughs – Jewish, Arab and the Old City; that Jewish and Arab residents automatically become citizens of the Jewish and Arab states respectively with the exception of those who specifically do not Jewish it; that all citizens of the Jewish as well as of the Arab state should be free to settle in Jerusalem whenever they wish; and that the principle of non-discrimination should be practiced by the international administration of Jerusalem.

NEXT STORY