Question of Palestine home
19 March 1948
AND SEVENTIETH MEETING
Held at Lake Success, New York, on Friday, 19 March 1948, at 10.30 a.m.
Mr. T. F. T
The representatives of the following countries: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Syria, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom, United States of America.
25. Provisional agenda
(document S/Agenda 270)
1. Adoption of the agenda.
2. The Palestine question:
(a) First monthly progress report to the Security Council of the United Nations Palestine Commission (document S/663).
(b) First special report to the Security Council: the problem of security in Palestine; submitted by the United Nations Palestine Commission (document S/676).
(c) Second monthly progress report to the Security Council of the United Nations Palestine Commission (document S/695).
26. Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted
27. Continuation of the discussion
of the Palestine question
On the invitation of the President, Mr. Lisicky, Chairman of the United Nations Palestine Commission; Mahmoud Fawzi Bey, the representative of Egypt; Mr. Chamoun, the representative of Lebanon; and Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, the representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, took their places at the Security Council table
(United States of America): I shall make a brief report on the consultations among the permanent members of the Security Council up to date relating to the first operative paragraph of the resolution [
] adopted 5 March 1948 [
], which reads as follows:
to call on permanent members of the Council to consult and to inform the Security Council regarding the situation with respect to Palestine . . .”
The permanent members of the Security Council have met several times. In fact, they have met as often as circumstances have permitted. The Secretary-General has attended all of these meetings. The Mandatory Power has attended two of the meetings in its official capacity of Administering Authority, and has furnished information.
What I am about to read to the representatives on the Security Council will be well documented by the Secretary-General, and each representative will have papers that contain questions, answers, and reports of the United Nations Palestine Commission upon which the paper I am about to read is based. The matter stated in this paper has the agreement of three of the permanent members of the Security Council: China, France, and the United States. To what extent it has the agreement of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will probably be stated by the representative of that country.
I shall now proceed with this very brief document, which comprises two parts. I should like to have the representatives on the Security Council understand that this is only the beginning; this relates only to the first operative part of the resolution of 5 March 1948. The permanent members intend to resume their consultations as soon as possible, perhaps today if the time is afforded, with regard to the second operative part of the resolution, and then to report to the Security Council as soon as possible in an attempt to meet the time-table that is set forth in General Assembly resolution 181 (II). Part I of this document reads as follows:
“The consultations among the permanent members of the Security Council and informal communications with the Palestine Commission, the Mandatory Power, the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee, held since, 5 March 1948, have developed the following facts regarding the situation with respect to Palestine:
“1. The Jewish Agency accepts the partition plan, considers it to be the irreducible minimum acceptable to the Jews, and insists upon the implementation of the plan without modification.
“2. The Arab Higher Committee rejects any solution based on partition in any form and considers that the only acceptable solution is the formation of one independent State for the whole of Palestine, the constitution of which would be based on democratic principles and which would include adequate safeguards for minorities and the safety of the Holy Places.
“3. No modifications in the essentials of the partition plan are acceptable to the Jewish Agency, and no modifications would make the plan acceptable to the Arab Higher Committee.
“4. The Palestine Commission, the Mandatory Power, the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee have indicated that the partition plan cannot be implemented by peaceful means under present conditions.
“5. The Mandatory Power has confirmed that a considerable number of incursions of illegal arms and armed elements into Palestine have occurred by land and sea.
“6. The gradual withdrawal of the military forces of the Mandatory Power will, in the absence of agreement, result in increasing violence and disorder in Palestine. Warfare of a guerrilla type grows more violent constantly.
“7. If the Mandate is terminated prior to a peaceful solution of the problem, large-scale fighting between the two communities can be expected.”
Part II of this paper reads as follows:
“1. As a result of the consultations of the permanent members regarding the situation with respect to Palestine, they find and report that a continuation of the infiltration into Palestine, by land and by sea, of groups and persons with the purpose of taking part in violence would aggravate still further the situation, and recommend
“(a) That the Security Council should make it clear to the parties and Governments concerned that the Security Council is determined not to permit the existence of a threat to international peace in Palestine, and
“(b) That the Security Council should take further action by all means available to it to bring about the immediate cessation of violence and the restoration of peace and order in Palestine.”
At a time which appears suitable to the permanent members who may be in agreement regarding the remainder of the findings, either today or soon thereafter, a draft resolution or draft resolutions will be offered to the Security Council.
(Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (
translated from Russian
): If I have understood the United States representative rightly, he has been speaking on behalf of his delegation and of the United States, and not in the capacity of a rapporteur. We never actually agreed to designate one.
Today we have to review the results of the consultations among the permanent members of the Security Council on the Palestinian question. As the members of the Council are aware, we have been in consultation for almost two weeks. It is, therefore, high time we drew up a balance; it is time we asked ourselves how far the permanent members of the Security Council have been successful in the tasks set them by the Security Council in its resolution adopted on 5 March.
It must be pointed out in this connexion that there have been some positive results. We can agree here with the United States representative's statement that there has been some change as a result of these consultations. The permanent members have agreed on some points which may serve as a basis for a decision of the Security Council designed to implement the General Assembly resolution on the partition of Palestine into two States.
It must be said frankly, however, that the results achieved by these consultations among the permanent members might have been more significant if the consultations had had a definite aim and direction from the very outset. This was lacking in the beginning but, towards the end of the consultations the situation improved somewhat. Particularly at our last two meetings we touched on those questions which urgently require discussion, but which were not at first given due attention.
At the very first meeting of the permanent members of the Security Council the United States proposed that the permanent members should recommence negotiations with the Arabs and the Jews on the entire question, including the question whether General Assembly decision 181 (II) on Palestine should be implemented or amended. The USSR representative stated the view from the outset that the existing General Assembly decision on the future of Palestine should be implemented, that it was not for the permanent members of the Security Council or for the Council as a whole to attempt to modify that decision, and that no proposal to abandon the United Nations decision already taken on the future of Palestine could be supported.
In taking this attitude, the USSR representative also based himself on the facts that consultations with the interested parties had been conducted from the very outset of consideration of the Palestine question by the United Nations; that they were still being continued by the United Nations Palestine Commission; and that all those wishing to take part in these consultations had taken part in them and were continuing to do so. The United States proposed, on the other hand, a system of consultation among the five permanent members of the Security Council and the Jews and Arabs, side by side with the consultations already being conducted by the Palestine Commission in pursuance of the General Assembly decision and the terms of reference laid down for the Commission therein.
In the course of the protracted consultations which have already been conducted at the various stages of consideration of the Palestinian question by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine appointed at the special session of the General Assembly held in 1947, as well as by the United Nations Palestine Commission, and thanks to the comprehensive examination of the Palestinian question undertaken at the special session of the General Assembly, the views of all the interested parties—and primarily, of course, the views of the Arabs and the Jews—had been made quite clear. At all events they were clear enough to permit a definite decision to be taken on the future of Palestine.
In these circumstances the persistent demand to renew the consultations from the very beginning—and with the aim, moreover, of modifying the already adopted decision on Palestine—cannot be justified. If a decision of this kind were adopted, it would set us back at least a year as far as any solution of the Palestinian question is concerned. Furthermore, it is impossible not to be surprised at the fact that this proposal for broad consultations and for a complete renewal of negotiations with Jews and Arabs has been made at a time when the Security Council has already rejected a similar proposal. Members of the Council will recall the corresponding item of the United States draft resolution [
] which was rejected on 5 March [
] by the Security Council because the Council considered it inadmissible to take any course involving a delay in implementing this entire resolution.
As for the United States proposal for consultations among the permanent members of the Security Council, the Palestine Commission and the United Kingdom as Mandatory Power, I have already had occasion to remark at a previous [
] meeting of the Security Council that this suggestion to open consultations with Arabs and Jews again from the very beginning was artificially introduced into the original United States proposal. Perhaps this has been done with the object of complicating this entire question of consultations.
As we all know, the Palestine Commission not only is in consultation with the Security Council, but is taking direct part in the Council's examination of the Palestinian question. The Chairman of the Palestine Commission sits at the Security Council table. That is more than consultation; it is direct participation in the Security Council's examination of the Palestinian question. The Palestine Commission has already stated its views on many aspects of the question; and more than that it has made concrete proposals.
The members of the Security Council, to be the, may have varying views on particular proposals made by the Palestine Commission. Be that as it may, the Commission, as such, is doing is duty and fulfilling its obligations. Not only is a taking part in our discussion of the general aspects of the question and of the methods required to implement the General Assembly resolution, but it is submitting appropriate proposals to the Security Council with that end in view. If any representative in the Security Council, or the Council as a whole, requires additional information from the Palestine Commission, it is clear that such information can be supplied at any time; and that is, in fact, being done in practice.
As members of the Council know whenever individual permanent members of the Security Council have put specific questions to the Palestine Commission with a view to clarifying the actual situation, answers to these questions have been received on that very same day. There has, therefore, been no difficulty in obtaining additional information from the Palestine Commission, and there still is none. What sort of consultations with the Palestine Commission, then, are required? Clearly this proposal for consultations with the Palestine Commission was and still is pointless, for the question of consultations does not in any way arise.
The same applies to the proposal for consultations with the Mandatory Power. We all know that the Government of the United Kingdom and its official representatives in the Security Council have declared that they will take no part in such consultations. The representative of the United States was equally well aware of that fact. In spite of this absolutely clear situation, a proposal was made for consultations with the Mandatory Power, although the proposal had no point since the question did not arise.
On that same occasion the representatives of the United Kingdom agreed to provide us with the needed information; and they did in fact do so. One may consider that information reliable or not; that is one question. One may consider it complete or incomplete; that is another question. At all events the United Kingdom representatives are submitting information, but refuse to participate in consultations. The proposal to recommence consultations with the Mandatory Power is thus, also, artificial.
Clearly the USSR representative could not refrain from pointing out to the United States representative and the representatives of certain other States that, in these circumstances, the proposal to begin completely new consultations could only delay and complicate the Security Council's examination of the Palestinian question and the elaboration of measures calculated to secure the speediest implementation of the General Assembly resolution on Palestine.
The USSR representative also stressed that if, on pretext of consultations, it was decided to recommence consideration of the entire Palestinian question from the very beginning, ignoring—whether openly or by dissimulation—the existing United Nations resolution on the future of Palestine, then the responsibility for such a step would rest on the States submitting and advocating such proposals. I made that statement at the meeting of the representatives of the permanent members of the Security Council, but it can usefully be repeated at this meeting. In our opinion the existing decision should be put into effect, and all proposals intended to delay it, let alone block its implementation, should be rejected.
Let us now turn to the document submitted here, reflecting the results of the consultations among permanent members. I agree with much of what has been said here by the United States representative. As I said at the beginning of my remarks, certain positive results have been achieved. I whish to make some more concrete remarks on this document, concerning, which there has, in the main, been agreement among all the participants in our consultations.
The document is divided into two parts. The first part states facts and realities, and is of no particular interest to the Security Council. These facts are already known to the Security Council and, in fact, to everyone. To say that the Arabs are against the partition of Palestine is to say nothing new; to say that the Jews are for the partition of Palestine and against any retreat from the adopted decision is again to say nothing new; to say that the United Kingdom made certain replies to questions put to it on the Palestinian situation is again to say nothing new, for the answers are well known to all of us, and had already been given to the United Nations Palestine Commission. When they were given during the consultations among the permanent members of the Security Council, it was not for the first time. Consequently all this first part of the document is of slight interest, since all the information contained in it has long been at our disposal; certainly since we received the Palestine Commission's reports.
The second part is the fundamental one, and contains the essence of the matter. Let me make some remarks about this second part. Sub-paragraphs
of paragraph 1 were agreed among us.
“That the Security Council should make it clear to the parties and Governments concerned that the Security Council is determined not to permit the existence of a threat to international peace in Palestine.”
“That the Security Council should take further action by all means available to it to bring about the immediate cessation of violence and the restoration of peace and order in Palestine.”
Both these decisions were agreed to by all of us, a fact which, for reasons unknown to me, was not pointed out by the United States representative. They are important decisions, although couched in too general terms. I presume, however, that the Security Council will try to give these statements more concrete form, and develop them as a basis for practical decisions; and that these decisions will be followed by concrete measures designed to expedite the implementation of the General Assembly resolution on Palestine.
As for paragraph 1 of part II, which is in fact what may be called a recommendation—for part I contains no recommendations—it is not fully satisfactory. It is not quite satisfactory because the words, “a continuation of the infiltration into Palestine, by land and by sea” etc. are calculated to complicate the situation still further. We all know what type of infiltration is of most danger from the point of view of implementing the Palestine resolution, and every one of us knows where the greatest threat to the implementation of that resolution lies. In these circumstances, to speak of a danger originating equally by sea and by land, is to weaken and to a certain extent stultify this entire part of the recommendation. Thus this part of the preamble should not be considered as agreed, for the reasons I have stated.
I do not know to what extent the reference in paragraph 5 to “land and sea” is justified, but I presume that certain other participants in our discussions will be able to give us some explanation in this connexion so that we may, once and for all, reach a definite decision on it.
Let me make some comments on paragraph 4, which reads as follows:
“The Palestine Commission, the Mandatory Power, the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee have indicated that the partition plan cannot be implemented by peaceful means under present conditions.”
It is somewhat doubtful how faithfully this paragraph reflects the attitude of the various parties. In my opinion it contains certain inaccuracies, particularly with regard to the statements of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. I presume that the representatives of the Agency will enlighten us on this score.
I myself have some doubts when I recall the material and answers submitted to us by the various parties in reply to the direct question whether it was possible to implement the partition plan by peaceful means.
I have thought it desirable to make these observations on the results of the consultations among the permanent members of the Security Council. Let me repeat that I have based myself on the general recommendation submitted to the Council by its permanent members, a recommendation which should be corrected in certain respects, particularly in the preamble to the second part of the document submitted. On the basis of this recommendation the Security Council should take concrete decisions, for the Council will have noted that not even a draft resolution has been submitted for the Council's consideration. These observations contain only very general ideas as to action which the Security Council should take. Consequently it is now for the Security Council to develop these general considerations and take more concrete measures with a view to achieving, as promptly as possible, the aims set in the General Assembly's resolution.
(Syria): In order amplify the short statement which I made at the last [
] meeting of the Security Council on this question in the name of the Arab States, including the Syrian Government, I am asked by the same source to add the following.
First, the Arabs eagerly desire, more than any other nation or person, to see peace with justice re-established in Palestine, and are ready to use all their possible means to attain that end.
Secondly, they are unmistakably convinced that the partition plan and any activity in the direction of its implementation are the only causes of the acts of violence occurring in Palestine. When those causes are removed, law and order will be automatically restored.
Thirdly, the Jews are receiving monthly 1,500 new immigrants said to be legal, in addition to large numbers of fully armed illegal immigrants who have entered Palestine secretly, and these reinforcements are mostly well trained and heavily equipped with modern weapons.
Fourthly, the Jews also are receiving war ammunition of all sorts and on a large scale from various sources throughout the world, while the Arabs are deprived of those privileges.
The fighting elements of the Palestine Jews are composed of well-armed and well-trained warriors of various nationalities. Order might have been established in Palestine if those illegal organizations of terrorists and irresponsible elements had been dissolved and disarmed and further reinforcements stopped. The Arabs in that case would be ready to disarm willingly, and the Arab States would be delighted to help earnestly in finding a solution other than partition so as to grant the Holy Land a peaceful, democratic settlement, guaranteeing the legitimate aspirations of all sections of the population in the country.
As to the report which we have heard today, copies of which have been submitted to us, I imagined that the permanent members of the Security Council might have looked at the situation from another angle, an angle which would be more proper and more correct in the present case. They would then have realized that the three requests of the General Assembly, addressed to the Security Council, are designed to make the Security Council take measures for the implementation of the plan of partition with economic union. The recommendation containing those requests cannot be carried out without using military force against those who do not yield to the recommendations of the General Assembly. As the Security Council is not empowered, by its functions under the Charter, to enforce any recommendations for a political settlement, the Security Council is unable to accept the requests, and it must refer them to the General Assembly in order to find another solution which is adaptable to a peaceful settlement. If the consultations of the permanent members had resulted in such a suggestion or such advice to the Security Council, they would have been in accordance with the terms and provisions of the Charter.
As to the last paragraph of the report which was delivered today, with particular reference to the cessation of acts of violence, we should be reminded that we are not dealing with two regular armies facing each other in battle. We are dealing with two sections of the population, living in adjacent dwellings, intermingled, using the same streets, quarters, towns and villages, and charged with hostile feelings and deep animosity. It is difficult to expect that such an appeal to them, namely, to obey a “cease-fire” order or to cease violence, would be effective in any respect if we do not search for the cause of the disease and remove it. As long as this hostility and this animosity exists between these two sections of the population of Palestine, it is very difficult to hope in any way that they will live peacefully together in friendliness and good-neighbourliness. We should not deal with the symptoms of the disease. The Security Council would do very well if it made a good diagnosis and found the reason for these disturbances in Palestine. Accordingly, it may act and find some way of solving the problem and rectifying the situation.
Although I have other points to discuss with relation to this subject, with particular reference to the guidance to be given to the Palestine Commission by the Security Council, I shall not refer to them until the Security Council receives the report of the further consultations to be held and conducted by the permanent members, so that the representatives on the Security Council may be apprised as to what the permanent members are going to do.
At the same time, I should like to remind the permanent members of the Security Council that, before making up their minds definitely with regard to the guidance or advice to be given by the Security Council to the Palestine Commission, as provided in the resolution [
], the Security Council would be very correct and right if it informed the Palestine Commission that it has no legal power to go to Palestine and that the mission was wrongly assigned to it.
The function delegated to the Palestine Commission by the General Assembly is to assume administering authority in Palestine. But the General Assembly itself does not possess that function, so that it is unable to delegate it to a subsidiary organ under Article 22 of the Charter. No one can give more than he possesses. The only way in which the General Assembly can exercise administering authority in any Non-Self-Governing Territory is by the application of the International Trusteeship System in accordance with Chapter XII of the Charter; this was not applied in the case of Palestine. The Palestine Commission, by virtue of its present credentials, cannot and is not entitled to undertake any activity with regard to the question of Palestine.
: As the representative of C
, I should like to say that the report read to us by the representative of the United States has the full concurrence of my delegation. It was at my request that he mentioned that he was also reporting for me. In drafting this report, my delegation was responsible for the insertion of the phrase, “by land and sea”. That phrase has raised doubts in certain quarters. The problem before us is indeed complicated. The thought of my delegation is that, before everything else and above everything else, we must prevent a threat to international peace from developing out of the present grave situation in Palestine. For that purpose, the accumulation of arms and armed people in Palestine is very dangerous. That accumulation, from whatever source and by whichever side, should be stopped as soon as possible.
For the preservation of peace, the less arms and the fewer armed people in that little country, the better. Indeed, there have been accusations and counter-accusations as to infiltration and illegal importation by one side against the other. This report does not go on to specify the responsibilities for the infiltration but, certainly, if we are to get a stoppage of violence and of the fighting, we ought to appeal to both parties to agree to a truce. We must ask both parties to stop the accumulation of arms and armed people in Palestine.
(United States of America): When I raised my hand, I thought we were about to adjourn, but I might as well make the suggestion, now that I have been called upon, that I was then intending to make; namely, if it is entirely agreeable to the other permanent members and the Secretary-General, that we meet in the Secretary-General's office at 2 p.m. and try to prepare the balance of the report for this afternoon's meeting of the Security Council.
(Representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine): This statement by Mr. Austin which is before the Security Council is, we assume, by way of an introductory statement leading up to certain draft resolutions which will be introduced at a later stage. The contents of those draft resolutions will of course determine the real significance of the recommendations contained in part II of Mr. Austin's statement, and in fact will indicate the trend of the entire report—whether it tends in the direction of enabling the United Nations Palestine Commission energetically to move forward with the implementation of the decision of the United Nations, or whether, in some form or in one way or another, it is to be detoured away from action.
We should like to make one or two observations, with the permission of the President, first on one or two facts reported in part I of the statement, and then on one or two items in part II. Paragraph 4 of the statement reads:
“The Palestine Commission, the Mandatory power the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee have indicated that the partition plan cannot be implemented by peaceful means under onesent conditions.”
That may be open to a certain misinterpretation which we should like to correct. If the empasis is placed on the last three words of that paragraph, “under present conditions”, then it is not objectionable from the point of view of the Jewish Agency. But “under present conditions” clearly means the failure of the neighbouring Arab States to do what they were requested to do—to observe the Charter—and their indicadual and concerted action to attempt to alter by force the decision of the United Nations.
These decisions and these actions of the neighbouring Arab States have created the present conditions with which the United Nations is now confronted, and a solution for which is being sought at the hands of the Security Council. It is these conditions—the financing, arming, and encouragement of the organization of armed bands which have invaded Palestine for the sole purpose of altering by force a decision of the United Nations—which have led the United Nations Palestine Commission to request of the Security Council an international force to restore conditions of peace in order to enable it to carry out the clear mandate which it has received from the United Nations.
Had there been no such organized effort on a large scale to defy and to alter the decision of the United Nations, conditions in Palestine would be radically different today, and the problem of Palestine, within the framework of the decision of the United Nations, would be capable of solution through a minimum of conflict. I say “through a minimum of conflict” because no major political problem in the world today is capable of complete solution without a minimum of conflict.
I refer now to paragraph 5:
“The Mandatory Power has confirmed that a considerable number of incursions of illegal arms and armed elements into Palestine have occurred by land and sea.”
That statement too is open to serious misunderstanding. To the best of my knowledge, the Mandatory Power has never confirmed that a considerable number of incursions of armed elements into Palestine have occurred by sea. No such representation was ever made to the United Nations Palestine Commission. Official reports were made to the Commission by the Mandatory Government on the incursions of illegal arms and armed elements into Palestine by land.
In an official report dated 16 February 1948, the Mandatory Power states the following [
document S/676, section II
“1. The High Commissioner for Palestine reported on 27 January that the security position had become more serious during the preceding week, with the entry into Palestine of large parties of trained guerrillas from adjacent territory. A band of some 300 men had established itself in the Safad area of Galilee, and it was probably this band or part of it which carried out an intensive attack during that week on Yechiam settlement, using mortars and heavy automatics as well as rifles.
“2. On the same date, the High Commissioner further reported that a second large band of some 700 Syrians had entered Palestine via Transjordan during the night of 20-21 January. This band had its own mechanized transport, its members were well equipped and provisioned, and wore battle dress. . .
“5. Subsequent reports dated 2 February indicate that a further party of troops belonging to the ‘Arab Liberation Army’ arrived in Palestine via the Jisr Djamiyeh Bridge during the night of 29-30 January. The party, numbering some 950 men transported in 19 vehicles, consisted largely of non-Palestinian Arabs, all in uniform and well armed.”
I submit to the Security Council that no such reports were ever submitted by the Mandatory Power concerning armed elements which have made incursions into Palestine by sea.
I should now like to make an observation on paragraph 1, of part II of the statement of the representative of the United States, which reads:
“1. As a result of the consultations of the permanent members regarding the situation with respect to Palestine, they find and report that a continuation of the infiltration into Palestine by land and by sea of groups and persons with the purpose of taking part in violence would aggravate still further the situation . . .”
On the basis of what I have said in connexion with paragraph 5, part I, of the statement of the representative of the United States, the statement contained in paragraph 1, part II, is not an accurate statement of fact. I am sure that neither the permanent members of the Security Council nor the Security Council as a whole would wish to let this statement stand as it presently reads, in view of the facts which I have cited.
There has not been, and there is not continuing to be, any infiltration into Palestine by sea of groups or persons with the purpose of taking part in violence. We feel that the use of the phrase “by land and by sea” is a most unfortunate one, and is introduced in that paragraph for a reason which, to us, is inexplicable. There is the danger that, if this phrase is left in the paragraph, an equation will be established in the minds of people between the armed guerrilla bands to whose incursions into Palestine the Mandatory Power has attested in more than one dispatch, and the so-called illegal immigrants who are coming into Palestine by way of Cyprus, who carry no weapons, no artillery, no mortars, no guns, and who are not coming into Palestine for the purpose of taking part in violence. These men, women and children are coming into Palestine to settle in that country, which is their right under the Mandate. They are not coming into the country in order to try to undo by violence a decision of the United Nations; on the contrary, the Jewish Agency for Palestine, which represents them and speaks for them, has loyally accepted the decision of the United Nations.
The armed bands which are entering Palestine are coming into the country fully armed, for the sole purpose of carrying on war, in order to undo the decision of the United Nations. Surely the Security Council does not wish, in the eyes of people, to have these groups placed on the same moral level and equated, as though both groups are guilty of the same thing and have the same objective.
These are all the observations the representatives of the Jewish Agency for Palestine would like to make at the moment. We do ask for the privilege, when the draft resolutions are presented, of making such comments as we should feel called upon to make. We should have to react most violently against the possible aspersion—perhaps entirely unintended—which would be cast on our poor people, who are already carrying heavy burdens, if they were bracketed together with guerrilla bands which are coming into Palestine to defy the will of the United Nations.
: I still have three speakers on my list. If it is agreeable to them, I shall ask them to speak at the afternoon meeting.
(Syria): I have asked to speak not for the purpose of making a speech, but simply to make a very short remark with regard to a certain accusation against the Arab States made by the representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine to the effect that the Arab States are opposing the Charter and breaking their pledges to the Charter. This is a very serious accusation to which I certainly protest, and I do not accept the making of such an accusation in the Security Council, keeping in mind that the recommendations of the General Assembly are not compulsory, and that not every State which does not apply, obey or execute such recommendations would be breaking its pledges under the Charter.
We have had several cases before us of very respectable Members of the United Nations which did not comply with recommendations of the General Assembly and opposed them in connexion with such questions as Korea, the Balkans, South Africa, in the matter of Spain and in other matters, and lastly, with regard to warmongering in the Press and in speeches.
It seems that many States are not complying with the recommendations of the General Assembly, and the recommendations of the General Assembly are never to be considered as compulsory and obligatory. Thus, I hope that it will not be thought that the Arab States have broken their pledges under the Charter and that they are non-observers of the Charter. That is not true.
: We shall adjourn until 3.30 p.m.
The meeting rose at 12.55 p.m.