U.S. Sees Need for Minimum International Machinery in Jerusalem Backs Commission Plan
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U.S. Sees Need for Minimum International Machinery in Jerusalem Backs Commission Plan

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In order to ensure demilitarization of the Jerusalem area and provide protection for the Holy Places there, a minimum of international machinery is essential in the city, the representative of the United States told the United Nations Special Political Committee today in opening debate on the Palestine case.

Declaring that the United Nations cannot impose control on Jerusalem, John C. Ross, for the American delegation, nevertheless gave strong support to the plan for an international regime drawn up by the U.N. Conciliation Commission, describing it as a “golden mean” between two extremes. He said the plan was “consistent with the middle-of-the-road course to which we adhere.”

Following this 40-minute plea for adoption of the Commission’s plan by the General Assembly, the delegate of France, Ambassador Jean Chauvel, also referred to the plan as a compromise deserving the attentive examination of the Committee, although he added that it could not be considered free of defects and said France would criticize portions of it later. Expressing surprise at what he called Israel’s questioning attitude towards the powers of the U.N. Assembly in the matter, M. Chauvel agreed with the American delegate that “the region of Jerusalem must be neutralized to protect the Holy Places from political and military conflict.”

The Palestine debate began this morning with a plea to the 59 delegates from the Committee chairman, Ambassador Nasrollah Entezam of Iran, to stick to the present issue and refrain from “opening old wounds.” The Committee then heard a defense of the Commission’s plan as “workable, effective and appropriate” by the Commission’s acting chairman, Hussein Yaltchin, of Turkey.

Before debate began, a representative of Transjordan, Fauzi Mulki, was seated in the Committee when there was no objection to his request to participate in the debate without vote. Transjordan is not a member of the United Nations.


In supporting the plan, Mr. Ross specifically rejected what he called two other “extreme” courses–on the one hand, the assumption that the Assembly was wrong last year when it approved a resolution that Jerusalem should have a permanent international regime, and on the other, the assumption that the Assembly was wrong in departing from the 1947 concept of an international city as a separate entity. The first is essentially the Israel view, although Mr. Ross did not mention the Jewish state by name, and the second is embodied in an Australian resolution to be presented to the Committee.

Mr. Ross defended the plan in much the same terms as the Commission itself did in a recent statement of clarification. Recognizing that the state of Israel owes special obligations to the Jewish population of Jerusalem, he said the plan neither imposes any political regime nor deprives the people of Jerusalem of their inherent right to self-government. He also declared that the 14-member council proposed in the Commission plan would not be a super-government, but merely a forum for consideration of joint Arab-Jewish matters and that the international court outlined in the plan would not substitute for local courts.

Although he emphasized throughout his address the “fundamental considerations” of preserving full local autonomy, Mr. Ross stated that the U.S. believes that demilitarization of the area is necessary and that only the kind of control regime envisaged in the Commission plan could be regarded as fully adequate protection for the Holy Places.

Turkey supported the Commission’s plan as a compromise between the wishes of the Assembly and the “realities” which the Commission found in Palestine. Australia’s representative, John Hood, rejected Israel’s claim to sovereignty in Jerusalem and called for the establishment of a real U.N. commission on a more representative basis to implement the original Assembly decision. He called on Israel to abide with what he described as the overwhelming sentiment of the United Nations and world opinion. Mr. Hood said it would be “dangerous” to make a final decision now apart from the overall territorial settlement of the Palestine problem. The Committee adjourned until tomorrow when it will hear a statement by the International Red Cress on the question of refugees. The Syrian delegate said he has a long statement to make in the debate. The Israel delegation announced Aubrey S. Eban may also speak tomorrow.

(In Washington, 17 prominent Protestants, including university presidents, religious leaders and well-known anti-Zionists, yesterday petitioned President Truman and United Nations Secretary-General Trygve Lie to establish “a true, complete and effective international regime for the entire city (of Jerusalem) and its environs and the elimination of the sovereignty of any particular state.” They urged that “the necessary means” be provided to overcome resistance to internationalization. They added that they felt compelled to speak for “all Christians.”)


Israel yesterday gave its support to a joint United States and British resolution calling on all U.N. members to settle international disputes by peaceful means, and upon the five great powers to broaden the area of cooperation among them. The resolution is in opposition to a Soviet proposal condemning United States and Great Britain as warmongers and suggesting a five-power peace pact. Aubrey S. Eban of Israel made clear to the 59-nation Political Committee that it was the denunciatory aspect of the Soviet resolution that his nation could not support.

He also warned the great powers against the resurgence of German military power. Out of the rivalry among the powers, Mr. Eban said, “we see emerging the clear danger of competition in an effort to win German sympathies. The result may well be the disastrous resurgence of German military power which has twice in our generation inflicted untold suffering on mankind.”

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