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Munists Ask Independent Jewish-arab State in Testimony Before U.N. Probers

July 14, 1947
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Immediate evacuation of British troops from Palestine and the establishment of a “democratic Jewish-Arab state” following a trans(##) on period under the supervision of a special United Nations committee was urged to(##) by the all-Jewish Palestine Communist Party during testimony before the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine.

Meir Vilner and Dr. W.S. Ehrlich, speaking for the central committee of the comunist Party, charged that British rule had been responsible for the animosity between Jews and Arabs and had prevented Arab-Jewish rapprochement. They cited a (##) list of “crimes: murder, rape and pillage,” committed by the Mandatory during (##) 30 years it has ruled this country, particularly in the years 1936-39 and 1946-47. (##) Communist leaders also listed examples of Arab-Jewish cooperation, particularly (##) the field of labor.

The Communist spokesman asserted that Britain was building a military strong(##) in Palestine as part of a “cordon sanitaire” against the Soviet Union, and not (##) the benefit of the country. They appealed to the United Nations to remove British “reactionary forces” in order to achieve peace in the Middle East and the whole world.


Questioned concerning their attitude to Jewish immigration, Vilner and Dr. {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}rlich stated that the problem of immigration was never a major problem with the {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}abs, who considered the removal of foreign rule more important. They expressed {SPAN}(##){/SPAN} belief that a future Palestine state would participate with other countries in {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}lving the problem of rescuing the surviving Jews of Europe who wish to leave that {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ntinent.

Several committee members, headed by Chairman Emil Sandstroem, closely ques(##)oned the Communist representative concerning what they meant by “equal rights for (##)ws and Arabs and a democratic unitarian state.” They replied that “the future (##)ate will see for itself how to arrange the problem on democratic principles.”

Sandstroem also wanted to know on what basis the Communist spokesmen said (##)ey spoke for the masses, what was the party’s membership and why there were separete Jewish and Arab Communist parties. Vilner replied that the problem of separate (##)rties was an internal organizational one, which was not connected with the present problem. He added that the Communists were entitled to speak for the masses because (##)hey know their needs and a spirations. Finally, he declared that the party’s membership numbered about 1,400 Jews, in addition to many sympathizers and that the Comunist newspaper Kol Haam (Voice of the People) had a circulation of 5,000.

The committee will resume cross-examining the Communists tomorrow. Meanwhile, (##) voted in closed session to ask the Palestine Government to submit written information concerning security measures and decided to hear Moshe Shertok, head of the political department of the Jewish Agency, and also a representative of the Jewish manufacturers Association.

Prior to their testimony the Communist representatives submitted to UNSCOP a (##)engthy memorandum outlining their position. It contained a severe attack on Britain (##) or its efforts at “divide and rule” and said that its administration had been “30 years of oppression” aimed at preserving as far as possible the economic, social and (##)ultural backwardness of the country.

Reviewing the various suggested plans for a solution of the Palestine problem, the memorandum said that in general they are but additional steps to perpetuate (##)perialistic rule.” It added that the present situation in Palestine is the result (##)a colonial regime aimed at fostering tension between the Jews and Arabs and point(##) out that although there are now one soldier or policeman for every 13 inhabitants, the security situation has steadily deteriorated. “The provocative acts of Jewish ter(##)ists are no justification whatsoever for the terror perpetrated against peaceful (##)izens,” the memorandum said.


The situation here is a threat to the entire world, it continued, since “the {SPAN}(##){/SPAN} military base the British Government is building up in Palestine greatly surpass{SPAN}(##){/SPAN} the need of even a colonial army of oppression directed against the people of Palestine and the colonial and semi-colonial countries of the Middle East.” The Communist statement said that British maneuvers in the desert last year were against an {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}aginary Red Army” which had invaded the Middle East, “giving a clear indication {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ainst whom British reactionary circles intend to direct these military preparations {SPAN}(##){/SPAN} Palestine.”

In a concluding paragraph summarizing their proposals the Communists made the following demands: 1. Constitution of Palestine as an independent united state of (##)th peoples, free of foreign rule and intervention. Partition is not a solution, (##) memorandum states. 2. Full political freedom and equality of rights for all the people of Palestine, irrespective of race, nationality, sex or religion. 3. Creation (##) conditions rendering impossible the domination of one people by another. 4. Termination of foreign capital concessions and their nationalization to serve as a basis for the country’s economic development.

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