Ority on U.N. Committee Favor Modified Partition; Shertok, Histadruth Heard
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Ority on U.N. Committee Favor Modified Partition; Shertok, Histadruth Heard

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A majority of the members of the United Nations (##)cial Committee on Palestine definitely favor the idea of partition “with aspects federalization” on the eve of their departure for Lebanon, where they will hear presentatives of Arab countries.

The majority have accepted the principle of a Jewish state but are now ruggling over the type of partition which will produce the smallest possible non-wish minority and, above all, which will have a chance of acceptance by the United (##)tions Assembly in September. They are considering a method of partition in which (##)th states will jointly take over neutral services, such as railroads and post offices. Bi-nationalism has apparently fallen by the wayside, with the exception of a (##)rity proposal which still interests some delegates.

Meanwhile, presentation of the Jewish case before the committee on Palestine (##)nt into its concluding stages today as the Histadruth offered testimony and Moshe (##)ertok, Jewish Agency political chief, began answering the many questions posed by (##)mbers of UNSCOP during the previous two weeks. Although the bulk of Shertok’s (##)stimony was completed today, he will wind up tomorrow.

Shertok painted a picture of the compelling necessity for the immediate establishment of a Jewish state and the tremendous promises such a solution held for (##)e country, for both parts of the population and for the neighboring states.


Turning first to Indian delegate Sir Abdur Rahman’s question as to how many Arab villages had been “wiped out” as a result of Jewish colonization, the Agency leader said that had never happened anywhere in Palestine. He cited the example of {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}adi Hawarith where 1,100 Bedouins had formerly lived on 40,000 dunams (10,000) of and, Now, he reported, there are 26 Jewish settlements with a population of 1,500 {SPAN}(##){/SPAN} the area as well as the Bedouins who have increased in numbers to 1,700. The same Bedouins have since built two new villages– “not mud huts, but stone and concrete {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ouses with tiled roofs.” Wadi Harawith is “very characteristic” of what Jewish {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}olonization has brought to the Arabs, Shertok asserted.

Replying to another of Rahman’s queries, he stated that the Jews had acquired about 78,000 dunams of land in aread prohibited to Jews since the passage of legislation restricting Jewish land purchases in most of Palestine. He carefully pointed out that none of the 78,000 dunams had been acquired in defiance of the law but that preliminary arrangments for their purchase had been made well before the measure was announced.

He added that the High Commissioner, in whose hands is the responsibility for enforcement of the law, has been exceedingly rigid in its interpretation, to a degree where the exchange of a few dunams which would have benefitted the Arabs was prohibited. He quoted the present Lord Chancellor of Britain, Lord Jowitt, who character the restrictions as “savage” and declared that they were carried out savagely. (##)harged that they were not a measure for social protection, as claimed by the gov(##)ent, but were actually racial discrimination.

In answer to the government’s charge that the disparity in the living stand-between the Jews and the Arabs was at the base of the present state of affairs the Holy Land, Shertok told the members of the committee that “there is no factu(##) statistical proof for that claim and we believe it cannot be proved. The dan(##) of this theory is not in its facts but in its implications,” he continued. “The (##)ication of the government’s theory is that Jewish development must be checked,” stated, whereas “Jewish development is the main agency of Arab progress.”

He outlined eloquently the chief reasons for Jewish interest in Arab progress. (##)tly, “for intelligently selfish reasons–we do not want to lower Jewish standards to raise the Arab for our own benefit.” He paused for a minute and then appealed (##)he U.N. delegates : “Gentlemen, I am not asking you to trust the altruism of the But trust the intelligence of the Jew in his appraisal of self-interest. Trust to be intelligently selfish. Selfishness is a better guarantee than altruism.”


Continuing, he declared that the Jews were interested in raising the level of Arabs because “we do not want the competition of cheap Arab labor. We do not the importation of cheap Arab labor from the neighboring countries. We want {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}urify the atmosphere in which we and our children live and have to live.” He also {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ted out that “a prosperous population is the backbone of our industry.”

He listed a number of developments whose convergence at this time, he said, (##)ed the “coming of age of the Yishuv,” and made continuation of the Mandate or a (##)teeship unnecessary. He pointed to the general political pattern in the Middle making it possible for a Jewish state to fit into the pattern in harmony. He (##) cited the imperative need for large-scale immigration and settlement to save Jews of Europe, to save the Oriental Jews and to “put our work in Palestine on soundest basis.” Finally, he said, the future of the Jews of the world is at (##)e– “whether the Jewish people will once and for all be helped to be rid of the (##)arge of homelessness.”

He concluded with still further assurances that an Arab minority in a Jewish (##)e would be “the happiest of all minorities throughout the world” because of the Jewish minorities in the neighboring Arab states, “our hostages in the Middle East throughout the world.”

Shertok was preceded this morning by Zalman Rubashev, Histadruth representa(##) and editor of its daily newspaper Davar, who asked UNSCOP to recommend free Jew(##) immigration, abolition of the White Paper and “the opportunity to establish the Jewish state in our homeland.” He appealed : “Help us establish contact with the (##) nations as equals.”

He declared that the Histadruth places itself completely at the disposal of Jewish Agency in the reception and absorption of immigrants. After reviewing the (##)ation of the Jews of Europe, he cited a survey among 8,000 Jewish refugees now king in Sweden as to whether they desired to remain there or go elsewhere. He (##)d that only 53 desired to remain while the other 7,947 begged to be allowed to (##)er Palestine. He added that “another appeal for help” was coming from the Jews the Arab countries.

Discussing the prospects for Jewish-Arab cooperation among the working class, (##)ashev stressed : “We are not calling or anyone to reduce either the rights or re-(##)rements of the Arabs in any shape or form. But we ask you not to restrict our (##)hts and not to prevent us from developing the untouched and neglected parts of (##)estine.”

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