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Press Release

Department of Public Information l News Coverage Service l New York

29th Meeting
24 November 1947

General debate on the alternative Plans for Partition and for a Unitary Palestine was resumed this morning, when the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question heard statements by representatives of the USSR Egypt, Guatemala and Pakistan.

The Committee will reconvene at 2:30 p.m. today.

(A chronological account of this meeting follows Takes #1 through #5.)


The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question resumed the debate on the Partition Plan of Sub-Committee 1 and the Plan for a Unitary Independent Palestine of Sub-Committee 2, when it reconvened this morning under the chairmanship of Dr. Herbert V. Evatt (Australia).

The first speaker, Mr. SEMEON TSARAPKIN (USSR), declared that the basic cause of the British appeal to the United Nations for a solution of the Palestine question was the fact that the Mandate had failed and proved unworkable.

Mr. Tsarapkin then stated there was a contradiction between earlier statements of the United Kingdom Government to the effect that it was not prepared to assume sole responsibility for the implementation of a solution inacceptable to both Arabs and Jews; and more recent statements of the United Kingdom Government to the effect that it was not prepared to carry out any solution that was not acceptable both to Arabs and Jews.

Mr. Tsarapkin said that this latter attitude was offering a loophole to all those who are opposed to a settlement of the Palestine question by a decision of the United Nations. He added that such an attitude on the part of the United Kingdom Government was depriving its appeal to the United Nations of all meaning.

The Soviet delegation, he said, therefore rejected the statement of this United Kingdom Government.

Continuing, Mr. Tsarapkin stated that Article Ten of the Charter provided a fully satisfactory legal basis for the action of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine. He declared that his delegation supported the Partition Plan as the only realistic and workable one, and as one which conforms with the principles of self-determination and democracy.

Sub-Committee 2’s plan for an Independent Unitary Palestine does not conform to these principles, he said. Any postponement of a decision on the Palestine question would only lead to a further deterioration of the situation in that country, Mr. Tsarapkin said, and he called for a prompt decision at the present session of the General Assembly.

(End of (AM) Take #1)


DR. MOHAMED HUSSEIN HEYKAL PASHA (Egypt) warned members of the seriousness of the decision to be taken by the Committee, and asked them not to overlook the fact that one of the plans, partition, “would, to say the least, result in bloodshed.”

Dr. Heykal Pasha said that until now there had been no animosity toward Jews in the Arab countries, and they had all lived side by side, peacefully and prosperously. But the move to establish a Jewish state was inacceptable, he declared.

The Jews of Palestine, continued the Representative of Egypt, claim to be able to defend themselves against the Arabs of Palestine “who would not conceivably yield to anyone their national heritage.”

“We contend, however”, Dr. Heykal Pasha decalred, “that if the United Nations decides to amputate a part of Palestine in order to establish a Jewish state, no force on earth could prevent blood from flowing there…Moreover…once such bloodshed has commenced, no force on earth can confine it to the borders of Palestine itself.”

All the peoples of the Orient, he asserted, would come to the aid of their brothers in Palestine in a race war.

“If Arab blood is shed in Palestine,” said Dr. Heykal Pasha, “Jewish blood will necessarily be shed elsewhere in the Arab world despite all the sincere efforts of the Governments concerned to prevent such reprisals.”

In reply to the statement of HERSCHEL JOHNSON (US) that the US delegation refused to believe any member of the United Nations would defy the decision in this case, Dr. Heykal Pasha said that strongest measures to maintain order might be ineffective.

Would the members be acting in a humanitarian way, he asked, “to place in certain and serious danger a million Jews simply in order to save a hundred thousand in Europe or to satisfy the Zionist dream?”

Dr. Heykal Pasha said the Egyptian delegation was giving the world fair warning.

MAHMOUD BEY FAWZI (Egypt)then took the floor to comment on the proposals now before the Committee.



Mr. FAWZI said his delegation and several others considered the legal issues to be “at the heart of” this entire matter, yet, in his view, they had been largely ignored and by-passed.

This hasty procedure now being urged, he said, threatened to undermine the very foundations of the United Nations.

The Representative of Egypt asked for an advisory opinion on the legal issues from the International Court of Justice. His delegation denied that the General Assembly had any power to decree the partition of Palestine.

To ignore the legal objections, Mr. Fawzi continued, was the “escapist” way.

The Egyptian Representative described the partition plan as “shameless illegality,” contrary to the principle of self-determination for the overwhelming majority of the people of Palestine. The Arabs, he added, did not recognize the legality of immigration conducted against their wishes and interest.

Mr. Fawzi said that the US Representative, Mr. Johnson, had tried to make the Members believe that partition was the only possible solution to the Palestine problem. The establishment of a unitary, independent state, said Mr. Fawzi, was much more practicable, and would not require the machinery of the United Nations Security Council.

On the other hand, “imposed” partition was sure to result in bloodshed in Palestine and the rest of the Arab world, he added.

Mr. Fawzi noted something else.

He said he had no doubt that large groups of immigrants “of uncertain origin” were now assembling at Black Sea ports for transportation to Palestine, where they would proceed to create “incidents” and call for the intervention of the United Nations.

Actually, he asserted, the aim of these immigrants would be to establish military bases for the benefit of Powers that wanted to gain a strong hold in the Middle East.



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