U.N. Assembly Votes 37-12 to Admit Israel; Sharett Hails Step As Great Moment for Jews
Menu JTA Search

U.N. Assembly Votes 37-12 to Admit Israel; Sharett Hails Step As Great Moment for Jews

Download PDF for this date

Israel tonight became the 59th member of the United Nations following a vote taken at the U.N. General Assembly at 7:30 P.M. with 37 nations voting in favor of its admission to the world body and 12 voting against. Nine delegations abstained.

As soon as the result of the voting was announced, the six Arab delegates walked out of the Assembly. President of the Assembly Dr. Herbert Evett, in a statement, said he looked forward to the day when all the wounds would be healed in the Middle East and when Israel and her Arab neighbors would cooperate to their mutual advantage.

He then introduced the Foreign Minister of Israel, Moshe Sharett, who delivered a brief statement before the Assembly. He said: “This is a great moment for the state of Israel. It is a great moment for the Jewish people throughout the world. One is awed by the responsibility which it entails. One is uplifted by the vision it reveals for the future. The admission of Israel to this Assembly is the consummation of a people’s transition from political anonymity to clear identity; from inferior to equal status; from mere passive protests to active responsibility; from exclusion to membership in the family of nations.”

Sharett expressed Israel’s deep gratitude to all the nations which, in the years when “we had no voice in world councils,” championed the right and aspiration of the Jewish people to nationhood. The Jewish state, he added, arose from the convergence of two factors: catastrophe in Europe and achievement in Zion. He said it was particularly fitting that Israel should join the United Nations which was born cut of a common battle against Nazi oppression in which the Jews of all the Allied nations, no less than the Jews of Palestine; had fought side by side with all other freedom-loving peoples.


The Israeli Foreign Minister said he was not aware of any serious conflicts between Israel and the Arab states which could not be resolved through peaceful negotiations. The fact that a war has been fought changed the pattern of settlement foreseen in the partition resolution, he stated. He pledged full cooperation with the United Nations in seeking to solve all the problems still outstanding between Israel and the Arab States. He declared that poverty and ignorance were enemies of peace and said that Israel was determined to root out these evils and thereby lay the groundwork for peaceful and cooperative relations with all countries in the Middle East.

Thunderous applause greeted Sharett’s final sentence, spoken in Hebrew, in which he recited the vision of the prophet Isaiah that the time will come when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they war any more.” Following his speech, he was ceremoniously conducted to his seat in the Assembly chamber by a U.N. official.

The 12 states which voted against Israel’s admission to the U.N. are: Afghanistan, Burma, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen. The nine abstainees are: Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, El Salvador, Greece, Siam, Sweden, Turkey and United Kingdom.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund