Lake Success (Nov. 19)
A demand that the Palestine problem be struck from the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly pending a decision by the International Court of Justice on the competence of the U.N. to partition Palestine and “to implement that partition by means of force” was advanced today in the report of the sub-committee on Arab proposals to the Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine.
The report also asked that the International Court of Justice be allowed to rule on the validity of the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate. With regard to U.N. jurisdiction, the Arabs cited paragraph one of Article Eight of the U.N. Charter as their basis for concluding that “neither the General Assembly nor any other organ of the United Nations would be competent to entertain, recommend or enforce any solution with regard to a mandated territory” unless and until the mandatory power should negotiate a trusteeship agreement.
“The United Nations,” the Arab document argued, “did not inherit the constitutional and political powers and functions of the League of Nations. Therefore the United Nations cannot be treated as successor to the League insofar as the administration of the Palestine Mandate is concerned.” Since the dissolution of the League did away with the legal basis for the Mandate and since the Mandatory intends to withdraw from Palestine relinquishing the Mandate, there is no further obstacle to the conversion of Palestine into an independent unitary state,” the Arab report asserted.
CHARGES USE OF FORCE TO ENFORCE PARTITION WOULD VIOLATE U.N. CHARTER
Declaring that under its charter, the U.N. would have no power to give effect to the partition plan, the Arab sub-committee report said that the enforcement of the UNSCOP majority proposal would be repulsed by the Arabs and would require the use of force, which is illegal and contrary to the primary object of the United Nations to maintain international peace and develop friendly relations among nations. The Arab report also claims that there is no justification in the U.N. Charter for the establishment of a permanent trusteeship for Jerusalem.
“A refusal to submit these questions for the opinion of the International Court of Justice would amount to a confession that the United Nations are determined to make recommendations, not because those recommendations are in accord with the principle of international justice, but because the majority of the delegates desire to settle the problem in a certain manner, irrespective what the merits of the question or legal obligations of the parties might be.”
The Arab document also recommends that the refugee problem should be considered an international responsibility rather than a part of the Palestine problem. It suggests that the Assembly recommend to its member nations that they accept a scheme of quotas for refugees and displaced persons to be resettled in their respective territories, and it strongly protests against further immigration of Jewish DP’s into Palestine.
In demanding the establishment of Palestine as an independent unitary state the Arab sub-committee argues that “since Palestine is the center of communication of the Arab world and has common frontiers with four Arab states, the forcible creation of a Jewish state in the heart of the Arab world would introduce a new and highly disturbing factor to the peace and security of the Middle East.
The report requests that until the independent state of Palestine is legislated, immigration into the country be suspended and the existing land restrictions remain in force. In offering to the Ad Hoc Committee the text of a proposed consti- tution for the unitary state the sub-committee emphasized that this constitution would recognize the right of the Jews to use Hebrew as a second official language in Jewish areas. It would also ensure adequate representation in the legislature for “all important sections of citizenry” in proportion to their numerical strength.