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London Conference on Palestine Resumed; Arab Delegate Warns Against Partition

January 28, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Palestine Arabs will reject partition and fight it with all means at their disposal, Jamal Husseini, leader of the Palestine delegation, today told the Conference on Palestine, which resumed after a 16-week adjournment.

Today’s session, which was attended by 25 Arab delegates, representing the seven Arab League states and Palestine, lasted for an hour, adjourning immediately after Husseini’s speech. A British spokesman said that it would probably not reconvene until towards the and of the week.

The British, whose delegation was headed by Foreign Minister Ernest Bovin and Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech-Jones, apparently want some time to digest the Arabs’ demands, and, at the same time, consult informally with the Zionists. The next step will probably be a reply by the government to both Husseini and the proposals of the Arab League, which were outlined before the conference adjourned last October.


The Jewish Agency office here declined to reply to Husseini’s statement, declaring that the Agency is familiar with the views of the Palestine Arabs and does not intend to engage in an exchange of polemics. An Agency spokesman disclosed that David Ben Gurion expects to meet with members of the government within a few days, probably Wednesday.

Husseini’s statement, which was in English, denounced British rule in Palestine, as denying the right of self-government and having the “primary aim of assisting the Jews in their invasion.” He described the Balfour Declaration as “vague and one-sided” and said it was made to “alien Jews in the absence and complete ignorance of the Arab owners of the country.” He traced the growth of Jewish settlement in Palestine, declaring that their claims were inflated from the modest demand for a “spiritual home” to that of a Jewish state, which the Jews are now seeking to enforce by a campaign of terrorism.

The “futility, injustice and impracticability of partition” was indicated by a special commission of British experts,” Husseini added. “It is foregone conclusion that the Palestine Arabs are determined to reject partition and resist it by all means at their disposal.” Creation of “an alien Jewish state,” he continued, “means the destruction of territorial continuity and national homogeneity and creation of a running sore that would undoubtedly become a permanent source of trouble in the Middle East. Such a move, which in fact entails the creation of another Balkans in the Middle East, the Arabs can never tolerate.”

The Arabs, all of whom were in western dress, with the exception of the head of the Saudi Arabian delegation and the three Yemenite delegates, arrived at St. James Palace, where the conference is meeting, shortly before noon and ran a heavy gauntlet of guards and Scotland Yard detectives. Bevin, Creech-Jones and the rest of the British delegation arrived a little later, and entered by a separate entrance. A third entrance, which had been reserved for the Jewish delegates, was deserted.

Dr. Isaac Lewin of New York, personal representative of Jacob Rosenheim, world president of the Agudas Israel, arrived today in connection with the projected talks with the government on Palestine, which Agudah circles here expect will start this week-end.

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