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R. Judah Magnes Urges U.N. Committee to Recommend Bi-national State in Palestine

July 15, 1947
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The eventual establishment of a bi-national state (##)s the only workable solution of the Palestine problem was advocated today by Dr. (##)udah L. Magnes, head of the Ichud Party, testifying before the United Nations Special committee on Palestine.

Contending that bi-nationalism is not an ” overnight solution,” the head of Hbrew University asserted that “in the long run” it is a “bridge building to -Jewish understanding.” Such a set-up, he said, will remove Arab fears of Jewish nation, while at the same time guaranteeing Jews who must or desire to go to Pal(##)ne that they will be able to do so. He said he could not go beyond an outline of plan and fill in details, maintaining that they would develop in the course of and would be settled by the dictates of ” life.”

Asked by UNSCOP Chairman Emil Sandstroem what portion of the population held views, Dr. Magnes replied: “A large portion, and a still larger portion will ac(##) it when it is imposed. The Hashomer Hatzair, which is the third strongest poli(##)l party and the Communists also adhere to our ideal.”

He said that either the British Mandate would have to be continued for a peri(##)f five years or longer as the bi-national state was coming into existence or a trusteeship should replace the Mandate. Asked to suggest a likely trustee, he (##)red Britain, “chiefly because of her traditional liberalism with which she tries (##)olve the problems of empire such as India, Burma and others.” Asked by Czech (##)gate Karel Lisicky “after seeing the results of 25 years of British rule in Pales(##) would the Jews and your Arab friends be happy under such a trusteeship?” Dr. (##)es said the two peoples would like to have a British trusteeship.

He appealed to the committee to give “constructive proposals” a fair chance, (##)rting that neither the British Government nor Jewish and Arab leaders have ever (##) a determined and systematic attempt to further a real program of Arab-Jewish co(##)ation. “Many Jews as well as Arabs from all classes, some openly and many more vately, anxiously look for a courageous lead which will deliver this unhappy coun(##) from the evils of political tension and nationalist passion and mental and physi(##) terror, ” he declared.


He condemned all proposals for partition, saying: “We have no belief in parti{SPAN}(##){/SPAN} for many reasons–religious, historical and political. Indeed, we regard parti{SPAN}(##){/SPAN} as not only impractical, but as a great misfortune for both the Jews and Arabs.”

Quizzed by several of the committee members, particularly Sandstroem, how a bi(##)ional state could exist in view of the differences in living standards, thought, (##)tom and culture, he asserted that it was a “problem which we have to face and overs. It may take a generation as in America or even half a generation to level diffences,” he added, “but we cannot solve the problem by putting the Arabs in one apartment and the Jews in another in the same house.”

Earlier, the Ichud Party submitted a 12-page memorandum making the same propos(##) and recommending that Palestine become an independent constitutional state with (##) objective of “close cooperation” with the neighboring Arab states “within the homework of the United Nations.” It also urged the abolition of land purchase re(##)ictions.

The Haganah last night submitted a memorandum to UNSCOP declaring that its (##)ength is “adequate to defend Jewish Palestine against any attacks from the Arabs this country,” even though they may receive aid from the neighboring states. (##) memorandum, datelined “Somewhare in Palestine” and appearing mysteriously in the government printing office, also challenged the British. It asserted that Haganah (##)uld “resist any anti-Zionist regime,” adding that “we will use force if necessary.”

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