United Nations Commission Deadlocked over Future Status of Jerusalem

The United Nations Conciliation Commission is finding itself increasingly deadlocked over recommending the future status of Jerusalem to the General Assembly, which opens its meetings in New York next month.

It had been hoped that this would be the least difficult problem of all, and members of the Commission had expected to be able to present the General Assembly with a workable solution. But experts here today, primarily concerned with the Jerusalem problem, consider that it may be the last of the Palestine issues to be solved.

The trouble that has arisen over the issue is simple enough: the Commission members have found that there exists complete incompatibility between the demands of Israel and Transjordan, on one side, and on the other those of the major powers and the remaining Arab states. Two alternative positions have been advanced by these groups. One, partition of Jerusalem between Israel and Transjordan, which is supported by those two states; and, second, the long-standing proposal to internationalize the entire city of Jerusalem, which was proposed by the great powers and all the Arab states except Transjordan and, additionally, the Vatican.

EXPERTS CONSIDER PARTITION ONLY POSSIBLE SOLUTION FOR JERUSALEM

For some time, it has been know that the experts drafting the Jerusalem statute considered partition the only practical solution, but they now find themselves faced by almost insurmountable difficulties. They have been given to understand that so much opposition would be met in the United Nations and the neighboring Arab states that it would stand no chance of acceptance by the General Assembly at this stage.

Meanwhile, another problem arose. Members of the Commission had to consider the future prospect of the Kingdom of Transjordan and of Arab Palestine, and of either becoming a do facto guardian of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Commission has ruled out the prospect of a really independent Arab Palestine. It is assumed for the time being that Arab Palestine will become part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. But Commission members are not certain over its future.

The position of Transjordan, in the view of the Commission, is based almost entirely on the person of King Abdullah, No one here is willing to forecast what will happen when the question of his succession arises. Almost all observers, however, are agreed that there will not be maintenance of the status quo.

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