Jewish Agency Asks U.N. for Immediate Establishment of Jewish Militia in Palestine
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Jewish Agency Asks U.N. for Immediate Establishment of Jewish Militia in Palestine

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The Jewish Agency today submitted a memorandum to the U.N. Implementation Commission requesting immediate steps for the recruitment, organization and establishment of a Jewish militia in Palestine consisting of between 30,000 and 35,000 men. The memorandum was drafted by Moshe Shertok and Aubrey Eban, Agency representatives now in this country.

Emphasizing that the use of an international force to implement the U.N. Palestine decision would be “highly desirable” and that the Jewish militia would cooperate with it if such a force is established, the Agency underlined the necessity of immediate planning in view of the fact “that the Jewish militia will have to be in a position to carry out onerous and responsible military duties within a period of four months from now.”

Since the militia is not yet in existence and present Jewish security forces, inadequately equipped and organized for regular security duties, are completely absorbed in day-to-day defense, the United Nations carries a grave moral responsibility for ensuring that the end of the Mandate does not find the inhabitants of the Jewish state inadequately defended against the aggression which has been openly threatened from many Arab quarters in and beyond Palestine,” the Agency declared, “As long as the Jewish militia is the only instrument available for implementation of the U.N. decision, the Jewish Agency feels bound to emphasize the grave political and moral implications of any delay in its formation or any deficiency In its equipment.”

In submitting the memorandum, the Jewish Agency also asked for a formal meeting with the U.N. Commission to discuss security problems. Apart from the militia question, the Agency’s representatives wish to raise the question of action by the Security Council in view of threats to the peace and breaches of the peace arising from Arab attempts to alter the General Assembly’s policy by force.


Advocating a general U.N. arms policy to implement the Assembly’s decision, the Agency suggested that the Security Council call upon its member states to “provide arms freely to authorized bodies working under the U.N. Commission for the implementation the Assembly’s resolution” and “withheld arms from those who might use them in an attempt” to defy that decision.

On the question of embargoes, the memorandum asserted that “it is anomalous that that embargoes should apply indiscriminately to the defenders and the opponents of a United Nations policy it is still more anomalous that for reasons of status there are legal ways for Arabs to obtain arms to obtain arms to cause a breach of the peace and not for the Jews to prevent the breach.” While opponents of the decision are able to acquire arms freely, the defenders of that decision will have no such facility to do so until the Commission intervenes.

The Agency termed the acquisition of arms and military stores “the most serious difficulty confronting the Jews of Palestine in the establishment of the militia and in their present defense duties. “The only community in the Near East seriously and immediately threatened by aggression is the only community in the Near East which has not been able to make adequate legal provision for its own defense,”


In its proposals on the acquisition of arms, the Agency stressed the need for air support which is particularly vital for quick frontier reconnaissance and defense of isolated settlements, as well as for the repulse of Arab air attacks from neighboring states.

The memorandum, which gave detailed estimates of manpower and equipment needs of the militia, maintained that the equipment of the Palestine police and the Trans Jordan Frontier Force should be turned over to the U.N. Commission for use by the Jewish and Arab militias which would be prepared to maintain law and order in the two states. This would be proper, the Agency declared, since the equipment is the properly of Palestine and not of the United Kingdom Government. The police equipment includes 150 armored cars or Bren carriers, 500 light machineguns and several thousand rifles. “To destroy this protective equipment in the condition of Palestine today would be equivalent to destroying food in an area of hunger.” Part of these supplies should be held for the Arab militia when it is constituted and ready to support the U.N. decision, the Agency added.

The memorandum also dealt with financial problems involved in the setting up of the Jewish militia. Security provisions did not include the City of Jerusalem which will be taken care of by a special police force to be recruited outside of Palestine. In this connection, the Agency draw special attention to the “intolerable situation” in regard to the security of Jerusalem, where “Arab gangs have their base of operations in the very cradle of the world’s religions.” Citing the “visible” failure of the Mandatory Power in the responsibility it holds for the prevention of disorder in the Holy City, the memorandum emphasized that Arabs are conducting the siege of the Old City “with the apparent acquiescence of the British forces.

“It is inconceivable that the conscience of mankind can allow any authority responsible for law and order in the future international city to remain passive while this situation endures or deteriorates,” the memorandum concluded.

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