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Ben Gurion Asks Independence in Jewish Parts of Palestine, Present Mandate Elsewhere

May 23, 1947
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David Ben Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, today demanded the immediate establishment of an independent Jewish state taking in those parts of Palestine that have been settled by Jews, as well as the Negev, and continuation of the British Mandate in the sections which Jews have not colonized.

Ben Gurion’s proposal, which is a departure from the plans broached heretofore by Zionist leaders, was outlined to the Assefath Hanivcharim (Jewish National Assembly), which meets here to consider recent political developments. Reviewing the U.N. session on Palestine, the Agency chairman expressed satisfaction that the General Assembly had repulsed “the anti-Zionist onslaught,” and had high praise for Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko, “who arrived at the conclusion that there is a necessity for a Jewish state.” Ben Gurion cautioned against over-optimism, pointing out that Britain has not promised to implement the recommendations of the U.N.

At the concluding session, the Assembly adopted resolutions calling for the immediate establishment of a Jewish state and an agreement with the Arabs. It welcomed the stream of ships that are transporting immigrants from Europe and said that the Yishuv was willing to use force to safeguard immigration and colonization, but rejected the present British rule of force. It hailed those states which supported Zionist aspirations in Palestine and expressed special pleasure at the Gromyko statement.


On the question of terrorism, which was one of the chief reasons for convening; of the Assembly, the representatives called on Jews here and abroad to deny financial assistance to the extremist groups and scored terrorism as placing obstacles in the path of Jewish achievements and for creating Arab-Jewish tension. The Assembly stressed, however, that the fight on terrorism can be organized only by the Jewish community, without governmental assistance. The deportation of terrorists to Kenya was protested.

In the debate, which preceded adoption of the various resolutions, Rabbi Meir Berlin; Mizrachi leader, vigorously attacked all proposals for partition or a bi-national state. Goldie Meirson, Agency political chief here, challenged the contention of the Aliyah Hadasha (New Settlers Party) that the only point of difference between Britain and the Jews was the question of terrorism, citing the restrictions on immigration and land settlement.

In a statement issued here, A.L. Altman, Revisionist leader, challenged the authority of the present Assembly to speak for the Jewish community, since the Revisionists, the Sephardic community and some of the General Zionists were not represented, having boycotted the 1944 elections. He demanded new elections.

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