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U. N. Warned That 1,000,000 Jews in Arab Lands Face Massacre if Partition Approved

November 25, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A threat that Jews living in Arab countries will be massacred should the U.N. General Assembly decide to adopt the partition plan for Palestine was made today at the Ad Hoc Committee by Egyptian delegate Heykal ##sha. He warned the Committee, which concluded its debate tonight, that it was “playing with the lives of 1,000,000 Jews who are now living peacefully in Arab countries.”

At the same time, it was indicated that the Arab states and their supporters believe that U.N. approval of partition is inevitable. During a lengthy statement attacking partition, Sir Mohamed Zafrullah Khan, Pakistan delegate and chairman of the Arab sub-committee, nevertheless suggested seven amendments to the partition proposal.

Earlier, Soviet delegate Semyon Tsarapkin attacked British refusal to assist in the implementation of partition in an address in which he rejected the Arab plan for a unitary state as not conforming with the principles of self-determination and democracy and reiterated the Soviet delegation’s whole-hearted support for partition.


The Egyptian delegate warned that the General Assembly’s decision is fraught with the possibility of widespread bloodshed. “We now regard the 1,000,000 Jews in the Moslem countries as brothers, but your decision may make some of our citizens regard them as enemies,” he declared, adding that the Arab governments would do all they could to protect the Jews within their borders, but “mob violence is often hard to control.”

Heykal Pasha appealed to the United States to reconsider its support of partition and to refrain from advocating “a dangerous adventure which might imperil the peace of the world.” He said that “no force on earth could prevent blood from flowing in Palestine if the United Nations decides to amputate a part of Palestine in order to establish a Jewish state.” All the peoples of the Orient, he asserted, would come to the aid of the Palestine Arabs in a “race war.”

“Would the members of the United Nations be acting in a humanitarian fashion in placing in certain and serious danger a million Jews simply in order to save a hundred thousand in Europe or to satisfy Zionist dreams?” Heykal Pasha asked. He said that his statement should be considered a “fair warning to the world” by the government of Egypt.

Replying to a statement by Herschel V. Johnson, head of the U.S. delegation, that the U.S. refuses to believe that any member of the U.N. would defy the decision of the Assembly, the Egyptian said that the strongest attempt to maintain order might be ineffective.

Tsarapkin urged the Assembly to vote on the partition plan before adjournment. Any postponement of a decision on the Palestine question, he said, would only ?ad to a further deterioration of the situation. He announced that the U.S.S.R. delegation will vote for the partition plan as the only realistic and workable one and cause it fully conforms with the Soviet policy of self-determination of peoples.


In attacking the British refusal to participate in the implementation of the partition plan, Tsarapkin said that the Mandatory’s attitude offered a loophole for sabotage by all parties opposed to a settlement of the Palestine issue by the U.N. such an attitude on the part of the British Government, he said, was depriving the British appeal to the U.N. to solve the Palestine problem of all meaning.


1. The interim period shall start from the termination of the Palestine Mandate and not from the day of the General Assembly’s appointment of the Implementation Commission.

2. The U.N. Implementation Commission shall be composed of five members who shall be elected on as broad a geographical basis as possible, with no two members being nationals of the same state. This was interpreted to indicate a possibility of appointing to the Commission a Moslem outside of the countries of the Arab League, which have announced their determination to oppose partition under any circumstances.

3. A special commission on boundaries composed of three experts shall be appointed by the Security Council to recommend the final boundaries between the Arab and Jewish states. These recommendations should provide that the Arab state not include more Jewish-owned land than would constitute ten percent of the total area of the state exclusive of wasteland. Similarly, the Jewish state shall not include more than ten percent of Arab-owned land.

4. The lands cultivated by the Beersheba Bedouins within the Beersheba sub-district shall be regarded as Arab-owned land for purposes of demarcating the boundaries.

5. The recommendations of the three-man boundary commission shall become effective as soon as they have been approved by the Security Council.

6. The economic union of the two states shall operate on a fifty-fifty principle. This would eliminate the Jewish Agency request for a $16,000,000 ceiling to the subsidy to be contributed by the Jewish State to the Arab State.

7. The Mandatory Power shall not be under obligation to consult with the U.N. Commission on the disposition of Palestine assets.

While offering these amendments, the Pakistan delegate also warned that a situation may develop in Palestine which may set off “a conflagration which the United Nations would be unable to confine.” He regretted that the problem of the Jewish refugees was still involved in the Palestine situation and said that this is “a world problem” to be settled on an international scale, and not merely in connection with ## Palestine issue.


Leaders of the Jewish Agency are certain that partition will secure the necessary two-thirds vote at the Assembly as a result of energetic action on the part ?f the American delegation. An Agency estimate late in the evening, based on a most conservative poll, established that at least 24 countries have committed themselves {SPAN}##{/SPAN} partition, while the Arabs today claimed that 12 nations will vote against partition. This would guarantee a two-thirds majority for partition. However, it is certain that between now and the time of voting at the Assembly the number of votes in favor of partition will increase while the number of votes opposing partition is likely to decrease, since countries like Turkey, Mexico and Liberia, who are known to oppose partition, are likely to abstain from voting.

Whether the final vote will be taken by the Assembly before Thanksgiving was not clear today in view of the many amendments to the partition report introduced by various delegations. All the amendments must be voted on by the Ad Hoc Committee before the question is brought to the Assembly where further discussion is expected prior to the decisive vote. Jewish Agency leaders, however, expressed little concern over the possibility of the Assembly’s adjourning without voting, since, in that case, the Ad Hoc Committee would be empowered to act as a special assembly.


At the conclusion of today’s debate at the Ad Hoc Committee, Moshe Shertok made another plea for partition in an address in which he replied to Arab arguments advanced during the debate. Shertok rejected the Arab statement that Jews in Palestine and those immigrants to Palestine are “foreigners and invaders.” He declared that they are as deeply rooted in Palestine as their Arab neighbors. The Jews of Palestine will never submit to subjugation to the will of the Arab majority, he stated. Shertok warned that the entire Jewish community of Palestine, including every man, woman and child, will resist the imposition of Arab force.

“Jews will not be deterred by such threats as made by the delegate of Egypt,” Shertok said. Such threats make it absolutely essential to establish a Jewish state immediately, in order to prevent the 1,000,000 Jews in the Middle East from sustaining losses such as were occurred by European Jewry, he pointed out.

Jamal Husseini, spokesman for the Arab Higher Committee, who was the last speaker, today said that there will be an Arab uprising in Palestine if a Jewish state is established. “The Jewish state will have no chance of surviving,” he said. He added that “the proposed boundary line, if decided upon, shall be nothing but a line of fire and blood.”

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