Cabinet Votes Down Ben Gurion’s Demand for Proclamation of Jerusalem As Capital
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Cabinet Votes Down Ben Gurion’s Demand for Proclamation of Jerusalem As Capital

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A proposal by Premier David Ben Gurion that Jerusalem be proclaimed the capital of Israel has twice been voted down in the Cabinet recently, it was learned here today.

In the most recent Cabinet discussion on the problem, the Premier was supported by Minister of Religion Judah L. Maimon, Minister of Rationing and Supply Dov Joseph and Minister of Communications David Remez. The other Cabinet members argued for a waiting policy. They expressed the opinion that if the proclamation were countered by a U.N. General Assembly recommendation to the Israel Government to move back to Tel Aviv, the government would have no choice but to resign. This situation, it was felt, would create undesirable internal complications.

The earlier meeting at which the Cabinet discussed the Jerusalem proclamation was an emergency session called on the day that the remains of Theodor Herzl were reburied in Jerusalem. Mr. Ben Gurion advocated that the proclamation be read at the open grave, immediately after the coffin had been lowered. He was outvoted.


Meanwhile, reports are circulating here that if the city of Jerusalem is internationalized, Jewish resistance movements such as the Irgun and the Stern Group will resume their underground activities in the city. None of the reports, however, have yet been confirmed. One rumor has it that all members of the United Nations staff here have received anonymous letters warning of underground resistance to Internationalization.

The English-language Palestine Post today carried a dispatch from Paris to the effect that the French Government has prepared a plan for the internationalization of Jerusalem which would include the “Greater Jerusalem area” — the new city, the Old City, Ein Karim and Bethlehem. The existence of the plan and its details were admitted to the Post by a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry.

It is estimated that under this plan “Greater Jerusalem” would have a population of some 100,000 Jews and 150,000 Arabs. The city would be ruled by two municipalities, each responsible for its own area. Above this level an administrative hierarchy would be built based on a joint municipal council consisting of four Jewish representatives, four Moslems and four Christians. Above this body would be a United Nations High Commissioner.

Each municipality would maintain its own police force, but both forces would be available to the High Commissioner for the purposes of protecting religious rights. The newspaper reported that its Quai d’Orsay informant said that “the Arabs would never agree to internationalization of the Old City alone, therefore the new city cannot be left out” of the internationalization schema.

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