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15 Religious and Labor Leaders Urge U.n.-supervised “curatorship” for Holy Places

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Fifteen leaders of religious, liberal and labor movements in the U.S. joined today in submitting to the U.N. General Assembly a proposal for the establishment of an “international curatorship” under U.N. supervision for all Holy Places in Israel and Arab Palestine territory. The memorandum was also forwarded to President Truman with a request that he instruct the American delegation to the U.N. to support the plan, which was described as a substitute for the proposals of the Palestine Conciliation Commission for internationalization of Jerusalem.

The memorandum asks for: “1. Establishment of an international curatorship for the Holy Places throughout Palestine, to be discharged by a U.N. commission composed of representatives of the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Moslem and Protestant faiths; 2. Establishment of two zones in the Jerusalem area–a Jewish zone, comprising those sections in which Jews now live, to be integrated with the Jewish state, and an Arab zone, comprising the areas in which Arabs now live, to be integrated with an Arab state.”

The proposal urges formation of a police unit to be attached to the commission, which would be responsible to the U.N. Security Council. The joint memorandum–which criticized the Conciliation Commission plan on the ground that it “does not protect the Holy Places, does not serve the interests of the people inhabiting the area and does not advance peace”–was signed by the following:

Dr. Henry A. Atkinson, secretary, Church Peace Union; Rev. Dr. Donald B. Cloward, executive secretary, Northern Baptist Convention; Bartley C. Crum, former member of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine; Rev. Dale DeWitt, regional director, middle Atlantic states, Unitarian Association; Dr. Frederick May Eliot, president, American Unitarian Association; William Emerson, president, American Association for United Nations; Rt. Rev. Henry W. Hobson, Episcopal Bishop of Southern Ohio; Freda Kirchway, president, Nation Associates; Dr. Arthur Cushman McGiffert, president, Chicago Theological Seminary; Rt. Rev. Norman B. Nash, Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts; Reinhold Neibuhr, professor of Christian Ethics. Union Theological Seminary; Very Rev. G. Bromley Oxnam, Methodist Bishop, New York; James G. Patton, president, Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union; Dr. Curtis W. Reese, dean, Abraham Lincolm Center; Walter Reuther, president, United Automobile Workers of America.

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