SUMMARY RECORD OF THE FIFTEENTH MEETING
held in Beirut on 29 March, 1949 at 10:30 a.m.
The greater part of the Committees fifteenth meeting was devoted to discussion of the action which should be taken by the Committee and the Commission as a result of press announcements that five ministries and certain services of the Government of Israel would shortly be transferred to Jerusalem. The announcement carried by the Israeli press had been reported by telegram to the French delegation by the French consul-general in Jerusalem.
Some members of the Committee believed that the move could only be interpreted as a step toward establishment of the entire Government in Jerusalem and proclamation of the city as the capital of the State of Israel, as a fait accompli. It was felt that the Commission should not remain silent in the face of what appeared to be defiance of the terms of the General Assembly’s resolution. The fact that the move had been forecast by Mr. Shertok several weeks previously in an interview with the Commission did not alter the facts in the case nor commit the Conciliation Commission to condoning the move. The Committee decided to recommend to the Commission that a letter should be addressed to the Government of Israel stating that the announcement had been seen in the Israeli press and that the Commission hoped an official denial would be forthcoming. The members agreed that a letter of “protest” might serve to diminish rather than increase the Commission’s prestige in the circumstances, and that the letter should not be too strongly worded. Since prompt action was essential, the question should be placed at the head of the agenda for the Commission’s next meeting, the following morning, and the French delegation agreed to prepare a draft during the afternoon for consideration at that meeting. It should also be suggested that the Commission might wish to forward a copy of the letter, and of the reply when one was received, to the Secretary-General at Lake Success. All delegations would keep their Governments informed of action taken in the matter.
Concerning the further activities of the Committee in the immediate future, there was some discussion regarding the advisability of returning to Jerusalem, holding consultations with representatives of the different faiths, and visiting Nazareth, Tiberias and other Holy Places outside Jerusalem. It was pointed out that an immediate return to Jerusalem might not be desirable in view of the recent developments, and that in any case the Committee would accompany the Commission to Tel Aviv within a few days. The Committee agreed to postpone a decision regarding its future movements until the results of the letter to the Government of Israel and of the Commission’s visit to Tel Aviv were known.
In the meantime, it was decided that the Legal Adviser would work, in collaboration with the United States and French delegations, on the elaboration of the draft statute for Jerusalem, on the basis of a combination of the drafts prepared by those two delegations with the Draft Statute prepared by the Trusteeship Council.
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Examens de l’information sur le transfère des Ministres Israéliens a Jérusalem -15e réunion du comite de Jérusalem – Compte rendu Français