Ex-mufti of Jerusalem Sought Direct Talks with Jewish Agency, Arab Mediator Reveals

Several days before the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the resolution partitioning Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem–Israel’s enemy No. 1–approached the Jewish Agency with an offer of direct negotiations for solution of the Palestine problem, it was revealed today in the Arab daily Al Yom, published in Jaffa.

The Jewish Agency rejected the ex-Mufti’s proposal, the Arab paper says. It relates that on November 27, 1947, the ex-Mufti Haj Amin el Husseini sent to his emissary, Ahmed el Imam in Haifa, the following message: “The Mufti requests you to contact immediately Dr. Mordecai Eliash and ask him to propose secret talks between the Jewish Agency and the Mufti prior to the final decision of the United Nations General Assembly. These talks are to be conducted without the mediation of any of the Arab countries.”

According to Al Yom, the ex-Mufti also promised a compromising attitude with a view to bringing his proposed negotiations to a successful conclusion. The negotiations were to be conducted at the Mufti’s residence in Lebanon. In making his proposal, the ex-Mufti requested a reply from the Jewish Agency within 24 hours.

Dr. Mordecai Eliash, who after the establishment of Israel became Israel’s Minister to England, presented the ex-Mufti’s proposal to a meeting of the Jewish Agency executive in Jerusalem. The meeting unanimously rejected the idea of entering into any talks with the ex-Mufti and emphasized its readiness to negotiate with any Arab leader except the ex-Mufti, who not only provoked bloodshed against Jews in Palestine but also aided Hitler in his mass annihilation of Jews.

The reply of the Jewish Agency executive was handed over to the ex-Mufti by Sharif el Shanti, writer of the article in the Jaffa newspaper.

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