Articles

UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE - History

UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE - History

UN on Partition DAy

In the Spring of 1947, Britain, in frustration over the question of Palestine, turned to the UN for help. The UN appointed a special committee to investigate the situation. The committee was made up of representatives of 11 neutral states. It recommended partition of the country into two states on November 12, 1947.

On February 18, 1947, British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin announced in the House of Commons that the British government did not see any prospect of a solution to the problems of Palestine. On April 2, the British delegation to the United Nations requested that the UN Secretary-General summon, as soon as possible, a special session of the UN General Assembly to decide the fate of Palestine. The British decision to turn the problem over to the United Nations was arrived at for a number of reasons and should be understood in the context of a post-World War II British Empire that was crumbling. Although Britain had been one of the winners of the war, the economic and human cost of the victory had been very high, and the British were becoming more and more dependent on the United States for economic maintenance. The negative publicity that the British were receiving for their rejection of illegal immigrants was making it more challenging to obtain vitally needed financial aid. In addition, the cost of the occupation of Palestine was becoming greater and greater -- both in economic and military terms. After sustaining devastating casualties in World War II, the British people were not inclined to stoicism in this matter.

A special session of the United Nations began meeting on April 27. The first issue on the agenda was whether the Jewish Agency should be allowed to present the Jewish people's case. After the initial objections that there was no provision for a non-governmental body to present before the UN, Jewish Agency representatives were allowed to make presentations to the United Nations first committee. Abba Hillel Silver, Moshe Shertook, and David Ben Gurion, all presented the case for the Jewish Agency. The major item on the agenda was the membership of the special committee of inquiry. After extensive debate, it was agreed that the make-up of the United Nations committee should come from eleven small states, and not from any of the five large countries.

During the summer of 1947, the United Nations committee held extensive hearings and meetings in Palestine to assess the conditions there. Thirteen public meetings and 18 closed sessions were held in Palestine, with 34 witnesses called. From Palestine, the committee moved to Beirut, where it heard the opinions of the Arab governments. The final stop for the committee was Geneva, where sub-committees toured camps for displaced persons, reporting that almost all of the displaced persons wished to go to Palestine. The committee issued two analyses; a majority report and a minority report. The majority report -- which was supported by representatives from Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, and Uruguay -- called for the establishment of two independent States in Palestine, one Jewish and one Arab. The minority plan, supported by India, Iran, and Yugoslavia, called for the establishment of a confederation of two subordinate states; one Arab and one Jewish.


UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE - History

UNSCOP: The United Nations Special Committee On Palestine

Following the British example, but not learning from it, the Security Council decided to establish the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) to be made up of 11 members, none of them permanent members of the Council, and most of them having little knowledge of the Middle East, let alone of Palestine. The Committee members were: Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, India, Iran, The Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay and Yugoslavia.

The United Nations was born in October 1945 with 51 founding members for the sole purpose, after WW2, of maintaining international peace and preventing wars - something which its predecessor, the League of Nations, failed to do. Ironically, the UN's inaugural meeting took place in London on 6 January 1946, the birthplace of the Balfour Declaration nearly 30 years earlier. At the time of issuing its Resolution 181 calling for the partitioning of Palestine in November 1947, this body was less than 2-years old and its membership no more than 57 (in 2015, the number reached 193).

Before UNSCOP reached the shores of Palestine on June 18 1947, the British, in a desperate attempt to ease Jewish immigration into Palestine, asked the US government to take up an initiative by Congressman William Stratton in April 1947 to allow a one-off immigration, from Europe to USA, of some 400,000 Jews. This was categorically rejected by the US Administration.

The Jewish Agency, through it Mossad arm, made sure that UNSCOP&rsquos arrival in Palestine coincided with the arrival of the Jewish refugee ship The Exodus 1947 (dubbed 'the ship that launched a nation'). The British decision to capture and return it to Germany reinforced the link, in the minds of UNSCOP Committee members, between the survival of European Jews and their eventual settlement in the land of Palestine.

UNSCOP visited Palestine from June 18 to July 3, 1947. They embarked, courtesy of the Jewish Agency's hospitality, on a tour of several regions in Palestine. The Agency ensured a welcome reception and arranged, through two of its prominent members David Horowitz and Aybrey Eban, to tour that Jewish settlements where they ensured that members of those settlements visited, spoke the language of the Committee members. The Arabs boycotted UNSCOP because they knew that its aim was eventually to recommend the partitioning of their country. For a detailed reading on the events of this period, please refer to The International Diplomacy of Israel's Founders (2015) by John Quigley.

UNSCOP members were so impressed by the Jewish Agency's arguments, that they invited Horowitz and Eban to join them as they left Palestine heading to Germany, Austria and finally Geneva. During their last stretch of this trip, and under Zionist insistence, UNSCOP visited some of the Nazi concentration camps - a move which no doubt swayed many of UNSCOP members and lead to the conclusion that Palestine can be he only safe haven for Jews. As the Committee retired in Geneva to write its final report, the images of the concentration camps and the Holocaust could not have been far from their mind. That link was key to UNSCOP's proposed recommendation for the partitioning of Palestine. This aspect of UNSCOP's work - the visits to the camps - was not in its terms of reference when they set out on their mission.

It is crucial to note that, as records show, the Jewish Agency, worked feverishly to ensure that Jews from the camps who wanted to immigrate were not accepted by the countries to which they desired to go. The Agency wanted them to head for Palesine.

It took UNSCOP exactly two and a half months to complete its Report. It met in the conference room on the first floor of the Palais des Nations in Geneva where they signed the official Report on the last hour of the last day of August 1947, just minutes before its term of office expired.

Please click on this link for UNSCOP Report in full:

It is in this emotional atmosphere that UNSCOP was discussing the fate of the Palestinians. The Arab Higher Committee was convinced that the independence of Palestine was not UNSCOP&rsquos main priority. Interestingly, we now know that the Jewish Agency provided UNSCOP, in May 1947, with a map of Palestine which showed a future Jewish state in over 80% of Palestine. This is even less than the total land that today's peace negotiators are willing to offer Israel under a two-state solution.

Jewish Agency Proposal - August 1946 (copyright George Kirk)

UNSCOP's Report included a Majority Proposal for a Plan of Partition with Economic Union and a Minority Proposal for a Plan for a Federal State of Palestine.

The general recommendation of UNSCOP stated: "In the appraisal of the Palestine question, it be accepted as incontrovertible that any solution for Palestine cannot be considered as a solution of the Jewish problem in general."

Before dealing with the Majority Report which was eventually submitted to the General Assembly for a vote, it would be essential to provide a summary of the UNSCOP Committee's Minority Report which, broadly speaking, can be considered today to be the brainchild of the One State solution.

UNSCOP's Sub-Committee 2 which produced the Minority Report was chaired by Sir Mohammed Zafrulla Khan (Pakistan) who also acted as Rapporteur of the Sub-Committee 2. Its aim was to concentrate broadly on 3 main issues:

(1) The legal questions connected with or arising from the Palestine problem

(2) The problem of Jewish refugees and displaced persons and its connection with the Palestinian question

(3) The termination of the Mandate over Palestine and constitutional proposals for the establishment of a unitary and independent state.

An Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question was established by the General Assembly shortly after the issuance of the UNSCOP report. It released the report of its findings on November 11, 1947. It observed that with an end to the Mandate and with British withdrawal, "there is no further obstacle to the conversion of Palestine into an independent state", which was the objective of the Mandate in the first place. It found that "the General Assembly is not competent to recommend, still less to enforce, any solution other than the recognition of the independence of Palestine, and that the settlement of the future government of Palestine is a matter solely for the people of Palestine."

It concluded that "no further discussion of the Palestine problem seems to be necessary or appropriate, and this item should be struck off the agenda of the General Assembly", but that if there was a dispute on that point, "it would be essential to obtain the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on this issue. and that the partition plan was "contrary to the principles of the Charter, and the United Nations have no power to give effect to it."

Consequently, three resolutions were presented by the Sub-Committee to UNSCOP's Ad-Hoc committee which were:

1) A draft resolution referring certain legal questions to the I.C.J. [the International Court of Justice]

2) Draft resolution on Jewish refugees and displaced persons, and

3) Draft resolution on the constitution and future government of the State of Palestine.

Through heated debates and numerous voting sessions, these recommendations were rejected by the Ad-Hoc Committee who voted 25 to 13 with 17 abstensions, to recommend partition. Four days later, the General Assembly approved a final resolution infamously known as GA Res 181 by a vote of 33 to 13 with 10 abstentions [1 member state was absent from the proceedings] .

Thanks to UNSCOP, more committees and more sub-committees, the fate of Palestine was formally sealed. The tragic consequences are felt to this day.


UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PALESTINE - History

(The Press Officer with the Committee is George Symeonides)

It has taken exactly two and a half months (15 June to 1 September) for UNSCOP to carry its task to completion. This entailed a 2200 mile 15 day tour of Palestine, a five day trip to the Lebanon and Syria, a one day visit to the King of Transjordan in Amman, a 2700 mile 7 day tour of DP camps in Germany and Austria, the holding of 13 public hearings in the course of which 37 persons representing 6 Arab states and 17 Jewish organizations
gave evidence, and the holding of 4 private hearings. A total of 39 private meetings were held by the Committee its 4 sub-committees and its 3 working groups held additional formal and informal private meetings. In Palestine, about 200 correspondents belonging to 20 different nationalities were accredited to UNSCOP.

The Committee arrived in Palestine on 15 June 1947 and remained there until 20 July 1947. It first held two hearings in the course of which representatives of the government of Palestine submitted copies of the report "Survey of Palestine" and replied to questions from members of the Committee Mr. Moshe Shertok, head of the political department of the Jewish Agency, handed copies of "the Jewish Case" and replied to questions from members
of the Committee.

The Committee then embarked on a tour of Palestine which lasted from 18 June to 3 July 1947, and comprised, besides the Christian, Jewish and Moslem shrines of Jerusalem, as well as the Hebrew University and hospital of Jerusalem, the following: Haiffa, the Dead Sea, Hebron, Beersheba, Gaza, the Arab communities of the Negev, Ramle, Beit Dajan, Jaffa Tel Aviv, the Jewish communities of the Negev, Ramalla, Nablus, Tulkarm, the district of Galilee, Acre, Rehovot, as well as several Jewish agricultural settlements.

The third stage of the Committee's work in Palestine was marked by the holding of 12 public hearings (4 to 17 July 1947) in the course of which evidence was given by 31 Jewish persons representing 17 Jewish organizations.

On July 20, the Committee proceeded to the Lebanon, and on July 21st the Committee paid an informal visit to Damaskus, capital of Syria. On July 22nd, in Beirut the views of the Arab states on the Palestine question were communicated to the UNSCOP by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lebanon, Mr. Hamid Frangie.

At the invitation of King Abdullah of Transjordan, who was not represented at the Lebanon meetings, the Chairman and members of the Committee (Canada, Czechoslovakia, Iran, Netherlands, Peru, Yugoslavia) paid a visit to Amman on 25 July 1947, where they had
an exchange of views with the King and members of his secretariat. In Geneva work started on the drafting of the report on 28 July 1947.

A sub-committee visited displaced persons camps between 8 and 14 August 1947. During its tour the sub-committee visited Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg and Hanover, and met the Austrian Chancellor, the Military Governor of the United State zones of Germany and Austria, several American and British officials in charge of displaced person's affairs, as well as officials of the Preparatory Commission of the International Refugee Organization.

The sub-committee visited the children's camp of Indersdorf (near Munich) comprising 168 children between the ages of 8 and 16 years camp of Landsberg (Bavaria) comprising about 3,000 displace persons, infiltrees, refugees of which four-fifths were from Poland the camp of Bad Reichenhall (near Berchtesgaden) comprising about 5,000 displaced persons, infiltrees and refugees of which four-fifths also were from Poland Rothschild hospital (Vienna) sheltering about 4,100 refugees almost entirely from Romania camp of Dueppel (Berlin) comprising about 3,400 displaced persons and refugees almost entirely from Poland camp of Hohne (near Belsen) comprising about 9,000 displaced persons and 1,800 infiltrees chiefly from Poland, the rest from Hungary and Romania. 42 DP's were interrogated in detail.

Two of the members of the sub-committee also visited the following assembly centers in the United States zone of Germany: Fohrenwald, Aimring and Neu Freimann Siedlung the U.S. zone of Austria Franz Joseph Kaserne in Salzburg, and interrogated 58 DP's.

The report of the Committee comprises a preface, eight chapters, an appendix and a series of annexes.

The factual information presented in the first four chapters is intended to illustrate the various phases of the Committee's work and to serve as a background to the problem with which it dealt.

Chapter I describes the origin and constitution of the Special Committee and summarises its activities in Lake Success, Jerusalem, Beirut and Geneva.

Chapter II analyses the basic geographic, demographic and economic factors, and reviews the history of Palestine under the mandate. The Jewish and Arab claims are also set forth and appraised.

Chapter III deals with the particular aspect of Palestine as the Holy Land sacred to three world religions.

Chapter IV consists of an analysis and recapitulation of the most important solutions put forward prior to the creation of the Committee or presented to it in oral or written evidence.

The following three chapters contain the recommendations and proposals which are the main result of the work of the Committee during its three months of activity.

In Chapter V eleven unanimous recommendations on general principles are put forward. A further recommendation of a similar nature, which was adopted with two dissenting votes is also recorded.

Chapters VI and VII contain respectively a majority and a minority plan for the future government of Palestine, including provisions for boundaries.

The final chapter provides a list of the reservations and observations by certain delegations on a number of specific points, The text of these reservations and observations is in the appendix to the report.


Ad Hoc and Special Committees (established on the recommendation of the Sixth Committee)

In accordance with the GA resolution 75/140 of 15 December 2020, the 2021 session of the Special Committee was held from 16 to 24 February 2021.

Opening of the annual session (16 February 2021): morning | afternoon

Introduction

At its twenty-ninth session (1974), the General Assembly decided to establish an Ad Hoc Committee on the Charter of the United Nations to consider, inter alia, any specific proposals that Governments might make with a view to enhancing the ability of the United Nations to achieve its purposes as well as other suggestions for the more effective functioning of the United Nations that might not require amendments to the Charter (resolution 3349 (XXIX) of 17 December 1974 entitled &ldquoNeed to consider suggestions regarding the review of the Charter of the United Nations&rdquo).

At its thirtieth session (1975), the General Assembly considered the report of the Ad Hoc Committee together with the item on the strengthening of the role of the United Nations. At that session, the Assembly decided to reconvene the Ad Hoc Committee as the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization to examine suggestions and proposals regarding the Charter and the strengthening of the role of the United Nations with regard to the maintenance and consolidation of international peace and security, the development of cooperation among all nations and the promotion of the rules of international law (resolution 3499 (XXX) of 15 December 1975 entitled &ldquoSpecial Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization&rdquo).

Since its thirtieth session, the General Assembly has reconvened the Special Committee every year, considered its successive reports and renewed and revised its mandate on an annual basis in its resolutions on the topic of the Report of the Special Committee.

Mandate

Under the terms of General Assembly resolution 70/117 adopted on 14 December 2015 (operative paragraph 3), the Special Committee was mandated, inter alia, to continue its consideration of all proposals concerning the question of the maintenance of international peace and security in all its aspects in order to strengthen the role of the United Nations2016, including strengthening the relationship and cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations or arrangements in the peaceful settlement of disputes. It was also mandated to continue to consider, in an appropriate, substantive manner and framework, including the frequency of its consideration, the question of the implementation of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions under Chapter VII of the Charter based on all of the related reports of the Secretary-General and the proposals submitted on the question keep on its agenda the question of the peaceful settlement of disputes between States consider, as appropriate, any proposal referred to it by the General Assembly in the implementation of the decisions of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the sixtieth session of the Assembly in September 2005 that concern the Charter and any amendments thereto and continue to consider, on a priority basis, ways and means of improving its working methods and enhancing its efficiency with a view to identifying widely acceptable measures for future implementation.

Product of the Special Committee's work

Since its establishment, the Special Committee has negotiated several texts resulting, inter alia, in the adoption by the General Assembly of the following instruments:

  • Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes (GA resolution 37/10 of 15 November 1982, annex)
  • Declaration on the Prevention and Removal of Disputes and Situations Which May Threaten International Peace and Security and on the Role of the United Nations in this Field (GA resolution 43/51 of 5 December 1988, annex)
  • Declaration on Fact-finding by the United Nations in the Field of the Maintenance of International Peace and Security (GA resolution 46/59 of 9 December 1991, annex)
  • Declaration on the Enhancement of Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional Arrangements or Agencies in the Maintenance of International Peace and Security (GA resolution 49/57 of 9 December 1994, annex)
  • United Nations Model Rules for the Conciliation of Disputes between States (GA resolution 50/50 of 11 December 1995, annex)
  • Decision on Resort to a commission of good offices, mediation or conciliation within the United Nations (GA decision 44/415 of 4 December 1989, annex)
  • Conclusions of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization concerning the rationalization of existing United Nations procedures (GA resolution 45/45 of 28 November1990, annex)
  • Resolution on Prevention and Peaceful settlement of disputes (GA resolution 57/26 of 19 November 2002).
  • Introduction and implementation of sanctions imposed by the United Nations (GA resolution 64/115 of 16 December 2009, annex).

The Special Committee was also instrumental in the preparation, by the Secretariat, of the Handbook on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes (1992).

Working methods

The Special Committee has adopted the pattern of holding one session per year over a two week period, usually in the first half of the year. The Committee works with the assistance of its Working Group of the Whole.

The General Assembly, in its resolution 50/52 of 11 December 1995, decided that the Special Committee should henceforth be open to all States Members of the United Nations and that it would continue to operate on the basis of the practice of consensus.

At its 48th meeting, held on 18 February 1981, the following agreement was reached regarding the election of officers:

&ldquothe Committee would have a Chair, three Vice-Chair and a Rapporteur, and those officers would represent the different regional groups and, as far as possible, the various points of view held in the Committee. It would have a single, open-ended Working Group with the same Chair and officers as the Committee. The Chairmanship of the Committee, and hence also that of the Working Group, would be rotated and would go first to the Latin American Group, then to the Eastern European Group, the African Group, the Group of Western European and other States and the Asian Group. &rdquo

(source: Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization, Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-sixth session, Supplement No. 33, document A/36/33, para. 7)


Scope and content

These files are divided about equally between those of the Special Assistant to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, and general departmental (non-registry) files, 1947.

Files contain correspondence, memos, reports, working papers, minutes of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) and its sub-committees, press releases, clippings, accounts, maps, and photographs.

These concern UNSCOP's work in helping to resolve conflicting claims concerning the Holy Places, the partition of Palestine, and other matters that arose following the end of the British Mandate, as well as the administrative matters of UNSCOP.

Correspondents include the Arab Higher Committee Jewish Agency for Palestine the British government various Arab governments the government of Palestine and many other Jewish and Arab individuals and political, religious, educational, and other organizations in the Middle East, America, and Europe. Of note are ca. 4 cubic ft. (3.3 linear ft.) of memoranda, and written statements and testimonies submitted to UNSCOP by governments and organizations and a notebook containing Personal Representative of the Secretary- General Ralph Bunche's notes on meetings.

Also included are reference materials, in the form of books, pamphlets, and maps.

Fonds consists of the following Series:
S-0613 Subject Files
S-0612 Reference
S-0611 Administrative
S-0610 Correspondence Files of the Office of the Special Assistant to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Dr. Ralph Bunche
S-0609 Subject Files of the Office of the Special Assistant to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Dr. Ralph Bunche
S-0608 Special Committee Files of the Office of the Special Assistant to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Dr. Ralph Bunche
S-0607 Reference Files of the Office of the Special Assistant to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Dr. Ralph Bunche
S-0606 General Assembly Files of the Office of the Special Assistant to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Dr. Ralph Bunche
S-0605 Administrative Files of the Office of the Special Assistant to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Dr. Ralph Bunche


  • Australia
    • John Hood, representative
    • S. L. Atyeo, alternate
    • Justice Ivan Rand, representative
    • Leon Mayrand, alternate
    • Karel Lisicky, representative
    • Richard Pech, alternate
    • Dr. Jorge García Granados, representative
    • Lic.Emilio Zea Gonzalez, alternate and secretary
    • Sir Abdur Rahman, representative
    • Venkata Viswanathan, alternate
    • H. Dayal, second alternate
    • Nasrollah Entezam, representative
    • Dr. Ali Ardalan, alternate
    • Dr. N. S. Blom, representative
    • A. I. Spits, alternate
    • Dr. Alberto Ulloa, representative
    • Dr. Arturo Garcia Salazar, alternate
    • Justice Emil Sandström, representative
    • Dr. Paul Mohn,
    • Professor Enrique Rodriguez Fabregat, representative
    • Professor Óscar Secco Ellauri, alternate
    • Edmundo Sisto, secretary
    • Vladimir Simic, representative
    • Dr. Jože Brilej, alternate

    The Irgun was a Zionist paramilitary organization that operated in Mandate Palestine between 1931 and 1948. The organization is also referred to as Etzel, an acronym of the Hebrew initials, or by the abbreviation IZL. It was an offshoot of the older and larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. When the group broke from the Haganah it became known as the Haganah Bet, or alternatively as haHaganah haLeumit or Hama'amad. Irgun members were absorbed into the Israel Defense Forces at the start of the 1948 Arab–Israeli war.

    Zionist political violence refers to acts of violence or terror committed by Zionists. The period of Zionist political violence started on June 30, 1924, and continued on a sporadic basis.

    Haganah was the main paramilitary organization of the Jewish population ("Yishuv") in Mandatory Palestine between 1920 and 1948, when it became the core of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

    The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was a proposal by the United Nations, which recommended a partition of Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate. On 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted the Plan as Resolution 181 (II).

    The Yishuv or Ha-Yishuv or Ha-Yishuv Ha-Ivri is the body of Jewish residents in the land of Israel prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The term came into use in the 1880s, when there were about 25,000 Jews living across the Land of Israel, then comprising the southern part of Ottoman Syria, and continued to be used until 1948, by which time there were some 630,000 Jews there. The term is used in Hebrew even nowadays to denote the pre-1948 Jewish residents in the Land of Israel.

    The Haifa Oil Refinery massacre took place on 30 December 1947 in Mandatory Palestine. It began when six Arabs were killed and 42 wounded after members of the Zionist paramilitary organisation, the Irgun, threw a number of grenades at a crowd of about 100 Arab day-labourers. These Arab day-labourers had gathered outside the main gate of the then British-owned Haifa Oil Refinery to look for work.

    The 1947� civil war in Mandatory Palestine was the first phase of the 1948 Palestine war. It broke out after the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution on 29 November 1947 recommending the adoption of the Partition Plan for Palestine.

    The Jewish Resistance Movement, also called the United Resistance Movement (URM), was an alliance of the Zionist paramilitary organizations Haganah, Irgun and Lehi in the British Mandate of Palestine. It was established in October 1945 by the Jewish Agency and operated for some ten months, until August 1946. The alliance coordinated acts of sabotage to undermine the British authority in Mandatory Palestine.

    During the 1948 Palestine War in which the State of Israel was established, around 700,000 Palestinian Arabs or 85% of the total population of the territory Israel captured fled or were expelled from their homes by Israeli forces. The causes for this mass displacement is a matter of great controversy among historians, journalists, and commentators.

    The Jewish insurgency in Mandatory Palestine, known in the United Kingdom as the Palestine Emergency, was a paramilitary campaign carried out by Zionist underground groups against British rule in Mandatory Palestine. The tensions between the Zionist underground and the British mandatory authorities rose from 1938 and intensified with the publication of the White Paper of 1939. The Paper outlined new government policies to place further restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchases, and declared the intention of giving independence to Palestine, with an Arab majority, within ten years. Though World War II brought relative calm, the tensions again escalated into an armed struggle towards the end of the war, when it became clear that the Axis powers were close to defeat.

    Operation Hametz was a Jewish operation towards the end of the British Mandate of Palestine, as part of the 1948 Palestine war. It was launched at the end of April 1948 with the objective of capturing villages inland from Jaffa and establishing a blockade around the town. The operation, which led to the first direct battle between the British and the Irgun, was seen as a great victory for the latter, and enabled the Irgun to take credit for the complete conquest of Jaffa that happened on May 13.

    The 1948 Palestinian exodus, also known as the Nakba, occurred when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs – about half of prewar Palestine's Arab population – fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Palestine war. Between 400 and 600 Palestinian villages were sacked during the war, while urban Palestine was almost entirely extinguished. The term nakba also refers to the period of war itself and events affecting Palestinians from December 1947 to January 1949.

    Events in the year 1947 in the British Mandate of Palestine.

    Mandatory Palestine was a geopolitical entity established between 1920� in the region of Palestine under the terms of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.

    The Arab Higher Committee or the Higher National Committee was the central political organ of the Arab Palestinians in Mandatory Palestine. It was established on 25 April 1936, on the initiative of Haj Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and comprised the leaders of Palestinian Arab clans and political parties under the mufti's chairmanship. The Committee was outlawed by the British Mandatory administration in September 1937 after the assassination of a British official.

    This is a timeline of intercommunal conflict in Mandatory Palestine.

    The 1947� Palestine war, known in Israel as the War of Independence and in Arabic as the Nakba, was fought in the territory of Palestine under the British Mandate. It is the first war of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the broader Arab–Israeli conflict. During this war, the British Empire withdrew from Mandate Palestine, which had been a province (eyalet) of the Ottoman Empire before British occupation in 1917. The war culminated in the establishment of the State of Israel by the Jews, and saw the complete demographic transformation of Palestine, with the displacement of around 700,000 Palestinian Arabs and the complete destruction of most of their villages, towns and cities. The Palestinian Arabs ended up stateless, displaced either to the Palestinian territories captured by Egypt and Jordan or to the surrounding Arab states many of them, as well as their descendants, remain stateless and in refugee camps.

    Black Sunday, 1937 refers to a series of acts undertaken by Jewish militants of the Irgun faction against Arab civilians on 14 November 1937. It was among the first challenges to the Havlagah policy not to retaliate against Arab attacks on Jewish civilians.

    The London Conference of 1946�, which took place between September 1946 and February 1947, was called by the British Government of Clement Attlee to resolve the future governance of Palestine and negotiate an end of the Mandate. It was scheduled following an Arab request after the April 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry report.

    The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, also known as the Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine or just the Ad Hoc Committee was a committee formed by a vote of the United Nations General Assembly on 23 September 1947, following the publication of the report of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) on 3 September 1947, which contained majority and minority proposals.


    Members of the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine pose on the steps of the Rothschild Hospital during their visit to Vienna.

    Bronislow Teichholz, the director of the hospital, is pictured in the center.

    About This Photograph

    Event History UNSCOP, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, was established in April 1947 to investigate the cause of the conflict in Palestine and to devise a solution. It arose in response to the declared intention of the British to abandon the Mandate and turn over the question of the future of Palestine to the United Nations. The committee consisted of eleven members representing the governments of Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, India, Iran, The Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay and Yugoslavia. The Arabs in Palestine and the Arab Higher Committee refused to cooperate with UNSCOP, demanding that the UN immediately grant Palestine its independence. UNSCOP performed its investigations in a two and half month period between June 15 and August 31, 1947. Its itinerary included visits to Palestine (June 15-July 20), Lebanon, Syria and Trans-Jordan (July 21-25), and to numerous Jewish displaced persons camps in Germany and Austria (August 8-14). Among the DP camps the committee toured were: Kloster Indersdorf, Landsberg, Bad Reichenhall, Rothschild Hospital (Vienna), Schlachtensee, Bergen-Belsen, Foehrenwald, Ainring, Neu Freimann and the Franz Josef Kaserne (Salzburg). The committee worked on its report in Geneva from July 28 to August 31, 1947. It was formally submitted and published on September 1. In its report the majority (7 members) endorsed the partitioning of Palestine into independent Jewish and Arab states with an internationalized Jerusalem, all three linked in an economic union. The minority (3 members) favored a federal, unitary state with Jerusalem as its capital. The partition plan was subsequently approved by the UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947 in Lake Success, New York.

    [Sources: MidEastWeb Historical Documents. "Report of UNSCOP 1947" (9 May 2004).]

    Between July 1945 and May 1948 approximately 250,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors fled from eastern Europe to displaced persons' camps in Germany, Austria and Italy, in what was the largest organized, illegal, mass movement in modern times. Both the movement and the organization that directed its flow are known by the name Bricha [flight]. The Bricha was born when groups of Zionist partisan survivors from eastern Europe, who had attempted unsuccessfully to reach Palestine via Romania, made contact with Jewish Brigade troops stationed in Italy. The soldiers offered them the possibility (although limited and illegal) for reaching Palestine via Italy. Together they established the Bricha in Poland, an organization that quickly came under the direction of Haganah (Jewish underground) emissaries from Palestine. Bricha guides led groups of survivors on specially laid out routes from Poland to Italy and Germany. The transit expenses were covered by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which also provided food and shelter along the routes. Generally, the Soviet authorities turned a blind eye to the illegal migration, the British were hostile, and the Americans were accepting, because they could not use force to stop the flow. The largest wave of the Bricha occurred in the two months following the Kielce pogrom (July 4, 1946) in which 42 Jews were killed in the wake of a ritual murder charge. Over 90,000 holocaust survivors fled in a movement so sudden that the organization could not contain the flow. The goal of the survivors was to reach the American zone of occupation, where they could seek shelter in DP camps until they were able to find the means to emigrate to Palestine or the New World.

    The Rothschild Hospital, located in the American zone of Vienna, Rothschild Hospital, was handed over to Zionist leader, Bronislaw Teichholz for use by DPs. Teichholz, originally from Lwow, had served in a minor capacity in the Jewish Council there before joining an armed band near the Polish-Hungarian border. He later was active in the Zionist underground in Budapest before being assigned to run the Viennese network for Bricha in May 1945. The Americans provided Teichholz with an allocation of food, clothing in medicine for refugees in the Rothschild Hospital. At the end of October, Brichah sent an emissary from Palestine, Artur Ben-Natan, to coordinate its Vienna operations while Teichholz directed the running of the hospital.

    Rothschild Hospital could accommodate 2,000 persons, but in the period immediately following the Kielce Pogrom close to that number arrived daily. Refugees therefore were housed in satellite camps named for their street: Arzberger Platz, Alser Strasse, Rupertus Platz and Goldschlag Strasse


    Report of the Special Committee

    The Introduction to the Report of the Committee dated 3 September 1947 to the UN General Assembly best summarises its contents.

    Introduction to the Report

    This volume contains the report and recommendations submitted by the Special Committee on Palestine to the second session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. It comprises a preface, eight chapters, an appendix and a series of annexes. The factual information presented in the first four chapters is intended to illustrate the various phases of the Committee’s work and to serve as a background to the problem with which it dealt:

    Chapter I describes the origin and constitution of the Special Committee and summarizes its activities as Lake Success, Jerusalem, Beirut and Geneva. Chapter II analyses the basic geographic, demographic and economic factors, and reviews the history of Palestine under the Mandate. The Jewish and Arab claims are also set forth and appraised. Chapter III deals with the particular aspect of Palestine as the Holy Land sacred to three world religions. Chapter IV Consists of an analysis and recapitulation of the most important solutions put forward prior to the creation of the Committee or presented to it in oral or written evidence.

    Chapters V, VI, VII contain the recommendations and proposals which are the main result of the work of the Committee during its three months of activity.

    Chapter V - eleven unanimous recommendations on general principles are put forward. A further recommendation of a similar nature, which was adopted with two dissenting votes, is also recorded. Chapter VI and VII contain respectively a majority plan and a minority plan for the future government of Palestine, including provisions for boundaries. Chapter VIII provides a list of the reservations and observations by certain representatives on a number of specific points. The text of these reservations and observations will be found in the appendix to the report.

    Chapter V: proposed recommendations (i)

    Section A. Recommendations approved unanimously

    RECOMMENDATION I. TERMINATION OF THE MANDATE It is recommended that The Mandate for Palestine shall be terminated at the earliest practicable date. RECOMMENDATION II. INDEPENDENCE Independence shall be granted in Palestine at the earliest practicable date. RECOMMENDATIONS III. TRANSITIONAL PERIOD There shall be a transitional period preceding the grant of independence in Palestine which shall be as short as possible, consistent with the achievement of the preparations and conditions essential to independence. RECOMMENDATION IV. UNITED NATIONS RESPONSIBILITY DURING THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD) During the transitional period the authority entrusted with the task of administering Palestine and preparing it for independence shall be responsible to the United Nations. RECOMMENDATION V. HOLY PLACES AND RELIGIOUS INTERESTS A. The sacred character of the Holy Places shall be preserved and access to the Holy Places for purposes of worship and pilgrimage shall be ensured in accordance with existing rights, in recognition of the proper interest of millions of Christians, Jews and Moslems abroad as well as the residents of Palestine in the care of sites and buildings associated with the origin and history of their faiths. B. Existing rights in Palestine of the several religious communities shall be neither impaired nor denied, in view of the fact that their maintenance is essential for religious peace in Palestine under conditions of independence. C. An adequate system shall be devised to settle impartially disputes involving religious rights as an essential factor in maintaining religious peace, taking into account the fact that during the Mandate such disputes have been settled by the Government itself, which acted as an arbiter and enjoyed the necessary authority and power to enforce its decisions. D. Specific stipulations concerning Holy Places, religious buildings or sites and the rights of religious communities shall be inserted in the constitution or constitutions of any independent Palestinian State or States which may be created. RECOMMENDATION VI. JEWISH DISPLACED PERSONS The General Assembly undertake immediately the initiation and execution of an international arrangement whereby the problem of the distressed European Jews, of whom approximately 250,000 are in assembly centers, will be dealt with as a matter of extreme urgency for the alleviation of their plight and of the Palestine problem. RECOMMENDATIONS VII. DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES AND PROTECTION OF MINORITIES In view of the fact that independence is to be granted in Palestine on the recommendation and under the auspices of the United Nations, it is a proper and an important concern of the United Nations that the constitution or other fundamental law as well as the political structure of the new State or States shall be basically democratic, i.e., representative, in character, and that this shall be a prior condition to the grant of independence. In this regard, the constitution or other fundamental law of the new State or States shall include specific guarantees respecting - A. Human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of worship and conscience, speech, press and assemblage, the rights of organized labor, freedom of movement,' freedom from arbitrary searches and seizures, and rights of personal property and B. Full protection for the rights and interests of minorities, including the protection of the linguistic, religious and ethnic rights of the peoples and respect for their cultures, and full equality of all citizens with regard to political, civil and religious matters. RECOMMENDATIONS VIII. PEACEFUL RELATIONS It shall be required, as a prior condition to independence, to incorporate in the future constitutional provisions applying to Palestine those basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations whereby a State shall - A. Undertake to settle all international disputes in which it may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered and B. Accept the obligation to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. RECOMMENDATION IX. ECONOMIC UNITY In appraising the various proposals for the solution of the Palestine question, it shall be accepted as a cardinal principle that the preservation of the economic unity of Palestine as a whole is indispensable to the life and development of the country and its peoples. Regarding the reason for the economic unity, the report said: "it is the viability of the Arab State that is in doubt……By this means the members of the Committee supporting the partition plan believe that the viability of the Arab State could be reasonably assured. The Committee is satisfied that, in the sense defined, the proposed Jewish State and the City of Jerusalem would be viable." [17] RECOMMENDATION X. CAPITULATIONS States whose nationals have in the past enjoyed in Palestine the privileges and immunities of foreigners, including the benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection as formerly enjoyed by capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, be invited by the United Nations to renounce any right pertaining to them to the reestablishment of such privileges and immunities in an independent Palestine. RECOMMENDATION XI. APPEAL AGAINST ACTS OF VIOLENCE The General Assembly shall call on the peoples of Palestine to extend their fullest cooperation to the United Nations in its effort to devise and put into effect an equitable and workable means of settling the difficult situation prevailing there, and to this end, in the interest of peace, good order, and lawfulness, to exert every effort to bring to an early end the acts of violence which have for too long beset that country.

    Section B. Recommendation approved by substantial majority

    RECOMMENDATION XII. THE JEWISH PROBLEM IN GENERAL

    (Two members of the Committee dissented from this recommendation and one recorded no opinion.)

    In the appraisal of the Palestine question, it be accepted as incontrovertible that any solution for Palestine cannot be considered as a solution of the Jewish problem in general.

    Chapter VI: proposed recommendations (ii)

    1. The Committee, sitting informally as a means of facilitating its deliberations on specific proposals, informally set up two small working groups to explore specific proposals with regard to a plan of partition involving economic union. One of these groups was known as the Working Group on Constitutional Matters the other was the Working Group on Boundaries.

    2. The Working Group on Constitutional Matters (Mr. Sandstorm, Mr. Blom, Mr. Granados, and Mr. Rand), in a series of informal meetings formulated a plan of partition with provisions for economic unity and constitutional guarantees. This plan was subsequently discussed and completed in joint discussions of these two working groups.

    3. In the course of the forty-seventh meeting of the Committee on 27 August 1947, seven members of the Committee (Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, the Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and Uruguay), expressed themselves, by recorded vote, in favour of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union, presented by the Working Group on Constitutional Matters.

    4. The Plan of Partition with Economic Union is herewith reproduced.

    Part I. Partition with economic union

    A. Partition and independence B. Transitional period and constitution C. Declaration CHAPTER 1: Holy Places, religious building and sites CHAPTER 2: Religion and minority rights CHAPTER 3: 1. Citizenship. 2. International Conventions. 3. Financial Obligations. CHAPTER 4: 1. guarantee of the United Nations. 2. referral to the International Court of Justice. D. Economic union 1. The Economic Union of Palestine (a) A customs union. (b) A common currency. (c) Operation in the common interest of railways, interstate highways, postal, telephone and telegraphic services and the ports of Haifa and Jaffa. (d) Joint economic development. 2. Freedom of transit and visit 3. Termination, modification and interpretation of the Treaty E. Assets F. Admission to membership in the United Nations

    A COMMENTARY ON PARTITION

    The Arab State The Jewish State The City of Jerusalem

    Part III. City of Jerusalem

    Chapter VII: proposed recommendations (iii)

    1. In the course of the informal meetings of the Committee to explore solutions, a working group was set up to deal with the federal-State proposal.

    2. The Working Group in the Federal State Solution (Sir Abdur Rahman, Mr. Emezam, Mr. Simic, and Mr. Atyeo) formulated a comprehensive proposal along these lines and it was voted upon and supported by three members (India, Iran, and Yugoslavia) at the forty-seventh meeting of the Committee on 27 August 1947.

    3. The federal-State plan was therewith reproduced.

    The undersigned representatives of India, Iran and Yugoslavia, not being in agreement with the recommendation for partition formulated by the other members of the Committee, and for the reasons, among others, stated above, present to the General Assembly the following recommendations which, in their view, constitute the most suitable solution to the problem of Palestine.

    I. The Independent State of Palestine

    1. The peoples of Palestine are entitled to recognition of their right to independence, and an independent federal State of Palestine shall be created following a transitional period not exceeding three years. 2. With regard to the transitional period, responsibility for administering Palestine and preparing it for independence under the conditions herein prescribed shall be entrusted to such authority as may be decided upon by the General Assembly. 3. The independent Federal State of Palestine shall comprise an Arab state and a Jewish state. 4. In delimiting the boundaries of the Arab and Jewish states, respectively, consideration shall be given to anticipated population growth. 5. During the transitional period, a constituent assembly shall be elected by the population of Palestine and shall formulate the constitution of the independent Federal State of Palestine. The authority entrusted by the General Assembly with responsibility for administering Palestine during the transitional period shall convene the constituent assembly on the basis of electoral provisions which shall ensure the fullest possible representation of the population, providing that all adult persons who have acquired Palestinian citizenship as well as all Arabs and Jews who, though noncitizens, may be resident in Palestine and who shall have applied for citizenship in Palestine not less than three months before the date of the election, shall be entitled to vote therein. 6. The attainment of independence by the independent federal State of Palestine shall be declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations as soon as the authority administering the territory shall have certified to the General Assembly that the constituent assembly referred to in the preceding paragraph has adopted a constitution incorporating the provisions set forth in II immediately following.

    II. Outline of the structure and required provisions in the constitution of Palestine

    III. Boundaries of the Arab and Jewish states in the independent Federal State of Palestine

    V. The Holy Places, religious interests and Jerusalem

    VI. International responsibility for Jewish displaced persons

    VII. Jewish immigration into Palestine

    Chapter VIII: reservations and observations

    1. Some representatives reserved their position on a number of specific points or wished to express particular points of view. These reservations and observations will be found in the appendix to the Report.

    2. The representatives making such reservations and observations, and the subjects on which they are recorded, are as follows:

    (i) Statement on attitude towards proposals in Chapters VI and VII. (Australia did not support the proposals in either Chapter VI or Chapter VII.)

    (i) Reservation on recommendation XII of Chapter V.

    (i) Declaration on independence. (ii) Observations on the Mandate in its historical setting. (iii) Declaration on form of government. (iv) Declaration of reasons why partition cannot be accepted.

    (i) Reservation on recommendation XII of Chapter V. (ii) Declaration on boundaries. (iii) Declaration on immigration. (iv) Declaration on religious interests.

    (i) Observations on historical background. (ii) Appraisal of the Mandate. (iii) Observation on the present situation.

    3. The reservations and observations referred to above were not communicated to all the other members of the Special Committee before the signing of the Report.


    United Nations Special Committee on Palestine Holds Final Meeting

    UNSCOP (United Nations Special Committee on Palestine) has final meeting.

    The United Nations had set up UNSCOP in April 1947. Its purpose, like previous commissions that visited Palestine, was to investigate underlying causes for communal unrest and to make political recommendations about next political steps.

    The UNSCOP committee included eleven nations: Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, India, Iran, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia. The report contained a majority proposal (endorsed by the representatives of 8 of the 11 nations, excluding Iran, India & Yugoslavia) which proposed a partition into two states with an economic union, and a minority proposal (endorsed by Iran, India & Yugoslavia) which proposed an independent federal state with Arab and Jewish states within it.

    The photo above shows Chaim Weizmann giving his testimony to UNCSOP on July 8, 1947

    A press release about the final meeting is on the UN’s website.


    Tag Archives: United Nations Special Committee on Palestine

    Today marks the 74th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). This body was tasked with determining Palestine’s fate. Few are aware of the extent to which Canada shaped UNSCOP and its role in promoting the unjust Partition Plan. This, despite warnings that going down this path would lead to decades of conflict as we are seeing today.

    Under growing Zionist military pressure after the Second World War, Britain prepared to hand its mandate over Palestine to the newly created UN. In response, the U.S.-dominated international body formed the First Committee on Palestine, which was charged with developing the terms of reference for a committee that would find a solution for the British mandate.

    Canada’s Undersecretary of External Affairs Lester Pearson, who had previously made his sympathy for Zionism clear, chaired the First Committee that established UNSCOP. At the First Committee, Pearson rejected Arab calls for an immediate end to the British mandate and the establishment of an independent democratic country. He also backed Washington’s push to admit a Jewish Agency representative to First Committee discussions (ultimately both a Jewish Agency and Palestinian representative were admitted).

    Pearson tried to define UNSCOP largely to facilitate Zionist aspirations. The Arab Higher Committee wanted the issue of World War II European Jewish refugees excluded from UNSCOP but the Canadian diplomat worked to give the body a mandate “to investigate all questions and issues relevant to the problem of Palestine.”

    A U.S. State Department memo noted that Pearson “proved to be an outstanding chairman for [the First] Committee.” The Canadian Arab Friendship League, on the other hand, complained that the First Committee plan for UNSCOP was “practically irresponsible and an invitation to…acts of terror on the part of Zionism.” Arabs, the League continued, would “never refrain from demanding for…Palestine the same freedom presently enjoyed by other Arab states,” newly independent from colonial rule. Opposed to the idea that representatives from Canada, Guatemala, Yugoslavia and other countries should decide their future, Palestinians boycotted UNSCOP.

    Canada’s delegate on the UNSCOP mission to Palestine pushed for the largest possible Zionist state and is considered the lead author of the majority report in support of partitioning Palestine into ethnically segregated states. Supreme Court justice Ivan C. Rand opposed proposals for a Jewish-Arab unitary state and made key interventions in the decision-making process in support of partition. “Rand worked hard,” notes his biographer, “to ensure the maximum geographical area possible for the new Jewish state.” At one point, Rand and another UNSCOP member, supported giving the Zionists a larger piece of land than they officially asked for.

    At the end of their mission, the UNSCOP majority and minority reports were sent to the special UN Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question. At the Ad Hoc Committee Pearson rejected the Arab countries push to have the International Court of Justice decide whether the UN was allowed to partition Palestine. (Under U.S. pressure, the Ad Hoc Committee voted 21 to 20 — with 16 abstentions – against allowing the International Court to adjudicate the matter.)

    The Ad Hoc Committee was split into two subcommittees with one focusing on the partition plan and the other on a bi-national state. At the Ad Hoc Committee’s Special Committee 1, Pearson worked feverishly to broker a partition agreement acceptable to Washington and Moscow. Preoccupied with the great powers, the indigenous inhabitants’ concerns did not trouble Pearson. He dismissed solutions that didn’t involve partition, which effectively meant supporting a Jewish state on Palestinian land.

    Pearson played a central role in Special Committee 1’s partition plan. Both the New York Times and Manchester Guardian ran articles about his role in the final stage of negotiations. Dubbed the “Canadian plan” the final Special Committee 1 agreement between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. on how to implement partition was “a result of the tireless efforts of Lester B. Pearson,” according to a front-page New York Times article. Some Zionist groups called him “Lord Balfour” of Canada and “rabbi Pearson.”

    By supporting partition Canada opposed the indigenous population’s moral and political claims to sovereignty over their territory. Down from 90 per cent at the start of the British mandate, by the end of 1947 Arabs still made up two-thirds of Palestine’s population. Despite making up only a third of the population, under the UN partition plan Jews received most of the territory. Canada pushed a plan that gave the Zionist state 55 per cent of Palestine despite the Jewish population owning less than seven per cent of the land.

    Privately Canadian Justice Minister J.L. Isley said he was “gravely concerned” the push for partition did not meet the Arabs “very strong moral and political claims.” The only Middle East expert at External Affairs, Elizabeth MacCallum, claimed Ottawa supported partition “because we didn’t give two hoots for democracy.” At the time of the partition vote, notes The Rise and Fall of a Middle Power, “MacCallum scribbled a note and passed it to Mike (Pearson) saying the Middle East was now in for 󈧬 years’ of war, due to the lack of consultation with the Arab countries.” She was prescient, even if she underestimated the duration of the conflict.

    A huge boost to the Zionist movements’ desire for an ethnically-based state, the UN partition of British Mandate Palestine contributed to the displacement of at least 700,000 Palestinians, which is also commemorated May 15 with Nakba (catastrophe) Day. Scholar Walid Khalidi complained that UN (partition) Resolution 181 was “a hasty act of granting half of Palestine to an ideological movement that declared openly already in the 1930s its wish to de-Arabize Palestine.” Most residents of Gaza are descendants of people driven from their homes in 1947/48.

    The violence playing out today is rooted in the unjust Partition Plan and the people of Palestine deserve a formal apology from Canada for its role in helping lay the foundations of their dispossession.

    On Friday, May 21 at 7pm Yves Engler will be speaking at a Canadian Foreign Policy Institute event on “The Innumerable Ways Canada Supports Israeli Apartheid”


    Watch the video: 13 Okupacija Palestine Historija o Palestini (December 2021).