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Israel Rejects Claims on German Proporty in Jewish State, Eban Tells U.N. Council

February 27, 1950
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Israel Government refuses to acknowledge any claims on church or secular property in which Germany or Germans are beneficiaries, Israel representative Aubrey Eban told the U.N. Trusteeship Council in response to an American proposal that German church property in Jerusalem be returned to its former owners. The proposal was made last week by M. Nolde, in behalf of an American church group.

Speaking with visible emotion, Mr. Eban stated that Israel would make full restitution of all church property which it now controls, except that of Germans. The Germans in Palestine were, in many cases, experts in the “grisly art of extermination” of 6,000,000 Jews, he charged. Israel will do all “in her modest power” to prevent a rebirth of German power. He called on Britain, France and Belgium as repeated victims of German aggression to oppose this proposal by the U.S. delegate.

Mr. Eban recalled that only last week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that owners of enemy property seized by the U.S. during the war shall not have any claim against the U.S. Government, even where the owners had become American citizens. Why then, asked the Israel diplomat, should the U.S. single out Israel, of all countries, to make concessions to the Germans which the United States, itself is not prepared to make. He called on the Council president to rule the American proposal out of order on the grounds that it is controry to the U.N. Charter which states that the United Nations may not interfere with any measure taken by a member state against an ex-enemy country or its citizens.

Later, during a discussion of the protection of the Holy Place, Mr. Eban interjected a remark into the debate, pointing out that there should be a difference in definition between a Holy Place and a religious site. He again proposed a statute for the protection of the Holy Places, at which point Council president Roger Garreau asked the Jordan representative whether his country’s constitution guaranteed protection of the Holy Places.

Mr. Eban also taxed the Jordan representative with the fact that Jordan does not permit Jews to worship at the Wailing Wall in the Jordan-controlled Old City, nor does it permit Christian pilgrims to corss the lines from one part of Jerusalem to another, despite Jordan-Israel armistice agreement which guarantee as such freedom of movement.

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