Canada Calls for Armistice in Palestine: Resolution Supported by U.s., France. Belgium
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Canada Calls for Armistice in Palestine: Resolution Supported by U.s., France. Belgium

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The Canadian delegate on the U.N. Security Council today introduced a resolution calling for a formal armistice to replace the truce in Palestine. Before the afternoon’s debate was adjourned to be reopened tomorrow, the United States. France and Belgium had indicated support for the measure while the Soviet Union and Syria opposed it.

The resolution attempts to “eliminate the threat to peace and facilitate the transition from truce to permanent peace in Palestine” by the establishment of an armistice in all sectors of Palestine. It calls on the parties directly involved “to seek agreement forthwith by negotiations directly or through the mediator with a view to immediate establishment of an armistice, including: the delineation of permanent armistice demarcation lines beyond which armed forces shell not move and, such withdrawal and reduction of armed forces as will ensure the maintenance of the armistice during the transition to permanent peace.”

Acting mediator Dr. Ralph Bunche, who spoke early in the debate which followed the introduction of the Canadian resolution, declared that he wanted to create conditions which would insure a real armistice. These he listed as separation of the armed forces, retreat and a reduction of armed forces. The final step in this chain, he said, would be peace. Summing up the situation in Palestine, he pointed out that the Arab objectives in this campaign had not been achieved and that Israel was a “strongly entrenched” fact.

The present situation, the acting mediator asserted, has brought only disorder and useless suffering to both the Jews and the Arabs end is endangering peace act only in the Middle East but throughout the world. The time is ripe, he insisted, for direct negotiations for an armistice or to offer the good offices of the mediator for the same purpose.

Yocov Malik of the U.S.S.R., who followed Bunche, opposed the Canadian resolution and offered conditional support of Bunche’s proposals, urging that the negotiations–direct or through the mediator–be concentrated on establishing a permanent peace in Palestine. He turned thumbs down on the armistice resolution assorting that seeking an armistice was not enough because the time was ripe for peace in Palestine. He again reminded the Council that his country stood behind the November 29 partition decision.

The Russian insisted that direct negotiations were needed in all sectors on all problems. He said that his government opposed demilitarized zones as a continuation of the truce rather than an effort to arrive at a peace settlement. He appealed to the Israelis and the Arabs to settle the problem between themselves and confront the Council and the mediator with a fait accompli.


The United States’ Dr. Philip C. Jessup announced support for the Canadian suggestion which, he said, “looks forward not backward.” Dr. Jessup also stated that “we should no longer ask the parties to continue under an uneasy truce.” The establishment of an armistice, he maintained, would “inspire and assist the Political Committee” to reach a political settlement.

The American delegate found the Russian suggestion to amend Dr. Bunelie’s plan “impractical” at present, and urged the British to attempt to see the merits of the Canadian plan. To Syria’s Feris al Khoury who opposed the plan on the grounds that the truce should be implemented fired and who said the Arabs would never accept on armistice imposed in this fashion, Dr. Jessup appealed for recognition that the armistice represented progress not retrogression.

Dr. Alexandre Parodi of France declared that speedy, firm action was needed to prevent the Palestine question from getting out of control and endangering the peace of the world. He said that both belligerents consider the resumption of hostilities possible in the present situation. He favored the Canadian proposal for picking up most of the mediator’s suggestions.

When the debate opened this afternoon, the United Kingdom’s representative announced that he would not press his resolution for extension of the sanctions resolution from the Negev to the rest of Palestine. He proposed that the Council consider the British resolution simultaneously with consideration of Dr. Bunche’s original suggestion for armistice.


Israeli representative Aubrey S. Eban is scheduled to state his country’s position on the Canadian proposal at tomorrow’s session of the Council. Israeli delegation circles predict that he will attack the insertion in the Canadian resolution of a paragraph stating that the armistice resolution is not to prejudice the November 4 sanctions resolution. The suspicions of the Israelis was aroused by Dr. Jessup’s statement that regardless of the fate of the armistice resolution the withdrawal from the Negev should continue.

While disposed to welcome direct Arab-Jewish negotiations, delegation members are concerned about the intentions of the U.S. which today said the armistice resolution would “help pave the way” for a political settlement. It was also pointed out that the resolution calls for holding the negotiations within the framework of Article 40 of the sanctions chapter of the U.N. Charter. It is assumed that if they fail the next step would be for the Council to act under Article 41, which provides for punitive measures.

The Canadian resolution is framed in such a way that the Bernadotte plan can be fitted within its framework. However, it is believed that the U.S. has reversed its position and no longer favors complete amputation of the Negev from Israel but may back a division of the desert along the 31st parallel.

Although the Argentine delegate asked for the adjournment in order to consult with his delegation chief before voting, it is not expected that the resolution will meet with sufficient opposition to halt it. Four nations have already indicated firm support, while Britain is expected to swing behind it together with China which has been following the British lead on Palestine. Colombia is expected to be the seventh nation to support the resolution and guarantee its passage.

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