UN Special Committee on Palestine
Recommendations to the General Assembly
September 3, 1947
1. The Committee held a series of informal discussions during its deliberations in Geneva as a means of appraising comprehensively the numerous aspects of the Palestine problem. In these discussions the members of the Committee debated at length and in great detail the various proposals advanced for its solution.
2. In the early stages of the discussions, it became apparent that there was little support for either of the solutions which would take an extreme position, namely, a single independent State of Palestine, under either Arab or Jewish domination. It was clear, therefore, that there was no disposition in the Committee to support in full the official proposals of either the Arab States or the Jewish Agency as described in Chapter IV of this report. It was recognized by all members that an effort must be made to find a solution which would avoid meeting fully the claims of one group at the expense of committing grave injustice against the other.
3. At its forty-seventh meeting on 27 August 1947, the Committee formally rejected both of the extreme solutions. In taking, this action the Committee was fully aware that both Arabs and Jews advance strong claims to rights and interests in Palestine, the Arabs by virtue of being for centuries the indigenous and preponderant people there, and the Jews by virtue of historical association with the country and international pledges made to them respecting their rights in it. But the Committee also realized that the crux of the Palestine problem is to be found in the fact that two sizeable groups, an Arab population of over 1,200,000 and a Jewish population of over 600,000, with intense nationalist aspirations, are diffused throughout a country that is arid, limited in area, and poor in all essential resources. It was relatively easy to conclude, therefore, that since both groups steadfastly maintain their claims, it is manifestly impossible, in the circumstances, to satisfy fully the claims of both groups, while it is indefensible to accept the full claims of one at the expense of the other.
4. Following the rejection of the extreme solutions in its informal discussions, the Committee devoted its attention to the bi-national State and cantonal proposals. It considered both, but the members who may have been prepared to consider these proposals in principle were not impressed by the workability of either. It was apparent that the bi-national solution, although attractive in some of its aspects, would have little meaning unless provision were made for numerical or political parity between the two population groups, as provided for in the proposal of Dr. J. L. Magnes. This, however, would require the inauguration of complicated mechanical devices which are patently artificial and of dubious practicality.
5. The cantonal solution, under the existing conditions of Arab and Jewish diffusion in Palestine, might easily entail an excessive fragmentation of the governmental processes, and in its ultimate result, would be quite unworkable.
6. Having thus disposed of the extreme solutions and the bi-national and cantonal schemes, the members of the Committee, by and large, manifested a tendency to move toward either partition qualified by economic unity, or a federal-State plan. In due course, the Committee established two informal working groups, one on partition under a confederation arrangement and one on the federal State, for the purpose of working out the details of the two plans, which in their final form are presented in Chapters VI and VII of this report, with the names of the members who supported them.
7. As a result of the work done in these working groups, a substantial measure of unanimity with regard to a number of important issues emerged, as evidenced in the forty-seventh meeting of the Committee. On the basis of this measure of agreement, a drafting sub-committee was appointed to formulate specific texts.
8. In the course of its forty-ninth meeting on 29 August 1947, the Committee considered the report of the drafting sub-committee, and unanimously approved eleven recommendations to the General Assembly, the texts of which are set forth in section A of this chapter. A twelfth recommendation, with which the representatives of Guatemala and Uruguay were not in agreement, appears in section B.
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.
Among the reasons for this unanimous conclusion are the following:
a.All directly interested parties - the mandatory Power, Arabs and Jews - are in full accord that there is urgent need for a change in the status of Palestine. The mandatory Power has officially informed the Committee"that the Mandate has proved to be unworkable in practice, and that the obligations undertaken to the two communities in Palestine have been shown to be irreconcilable". Both Arabs and Jews urge the termination of the mandate and the grant of independence to Palestine, although they are in vigorous disagreement as to the form that independence should take.
b.The outstanding feature of the Palestine situation today is found in the clash between Jews and the mandatory Power on the one hand, and on the other the tension prevailing between Arabs and Jews. This conflict-situation, which finds expression partly in an open breach between the organized Jewish community and the Administration and partly in organized terrorism and acts of violence, has steadily grown more intense and takes as its toll an ever-increasing loss of life and destruction of property.
c.In the nature of the case, the Mandate implied only a temporary tutelage for Palestine. The terms of the Mandate include provisions which have proved contradictory in their practical application.
d.It may be seriously questioned whether, in any event, the Mandate would now be possible of execution. The essential feature of the mandates system was that it gave an international status to the mandated territories. This involved a positive element of international responsibility for the mandated territories and an international accountability to the Council of the League of Nations on the part of each mandatory for the well-being and development of the peoples of those territories. The Permanent Mandates Commission was created for the specific purpose of assisting the Council of the League in this function. But the League of Nations and the Mandates Commission have been dissolved, and there is now no means of discharging fully the international obligation with regard to a mandated territory other than by placing the territory under the International Trusteeship System of the United Nations.
e.The International Trusteeship System, however, has not automatically taken over the functions of the mandates system with regard to mandated territories. Territories can be placed under Trusteeship only by means of individual Trusteeship Agreements approved by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly.
f.The most the mandatory could now do, therefore, in the event of the continuation of the Mandate, would be to carry out its administration, in the spirit of the Mandate, without being able to discharge its international obligations in accordance with the intent of the mandates system. At the time of the termination of the Permanent Mandates Commission in April 1946, the mandatory Power did, in fact, declare its intention to carry on the administration of Palestine, pending a new arrangement, in accordance with the general principles of the Mandate. The mandatory Power has itself now referred the matter to the United Nations.
Recommendation II. Independence
It is recommended that
Independence shall be granted in Palestine at the earliest practicable date.
Although sharply divided by political issues, the peoples of Palestine are sufficiently advanced to govern themselves independently.The Arab and Jewish peoples, after more than a quarter of a century of tutelage under the Mandate, both seek a means of effective expression for their national aspirations.It is highly unlikely that any arrangement which would fail to envisage independence at a reasonably early date would find the slightest welcome among either Arabs or Jews.
Recommendation III. Transitional period
It is recommended that
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.
a.A transitional period preceding independence is clearly imperative. it is scarcely conceivable, in view of the complicated nature of the Palestine problem, that independence could be responsibly granted without a prior period of preparation.
b.The importance of the transitional period is that it would be the period in which the governmental organization would have to be established, and in which the guarantees for such vital matters as the protection of minorities, and the safeguarding of the Holy Places and religious interests could be ensured.
c.A transitional period, however, would in all likelihood only serve to aggravate the present difficult situation in Palestine unless it were related to a specific and definitive solution which would go into effect immediately upon the termination of that period, and were to be of a positively stated duration, which, in any case, should not exceed a very few years.
Recommendation IV. United Nations responsibility during the transitional period
It is recommended that
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.
The responsibility for administering Palestine during the transitional period and preparing it for independence will be a heavy one. Whatever the solution, enforcement measures on an extensive scale may be necessary for some time. The Committee is keenly aware of the central importance of this aspect of any solution, but has not felt competent to come to any conclusive opinion or to formulate any precise recommendations on this matter.It is obvious that a solution which might be considered intrinsically as the best possible and most satisfactory from every technical point of view would be of no avail if it should appear that there would be no means of putting it into effect. Taking into account the fact that devising a solution which will be fully acceptable to both Jews and Arabs seems to be utterly impossible, the prospect of imposing a solution upon them would be a basic condition of any recommended proposal.Certain obstacles which may well confront the authority entrusted with the administration during the transitional period make it desirable that a close link be established with the United Nations.The relative success of the authority entrusted with the administration of Palestine during the transitional period in creating the proper atmosphere and in carrying out the necessary preparations for the assumption of independence will influence greatly the effectiveness of the final solution to be applied. It will be of the utmost importance to the discharge of its heavy responsibilities that, while being accountable to the United Nations for its actions in this regard, the authority concerned should be able to count upon the support of the United Nations in carrying out the directives of that body.
Recommendation V. Holy Places and religious interests
It is recommended that
In whatever solution may be adopted for Palestine,
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.
Palestine, as the Holy Land, occupies a unique position in the world. It is sacred to Christian, Jew and Moslem alike.
The spiritual interests of hundreds of millions of adherents of the three great monotheistic religions are intimately associated with its scenes and historical events. Any solution of the Palestine question should take into consideration these religious interests.
a.The safeguarding of the Holy Places, buildings and sites located in Palestine should be a condition to the grant of independence.
Recommendation VI. Jewish displaced persons
It is recommended that
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.
The distressed Jews of Europe, together with the displaced persons generally, are a legacy of the Second World War. They are a recognized international responsibility. Owing however to the insistent demands that the distressed Jews be admitted freely and immediately into Palestine, and to the intense urge which exists among these people themselves to the same end, they constitute a vital and difficult factor in the solution.It cannot be doubted that any action which would ease the plight of the distressed Jews in Europe would thereby lessen the pressure of the Palestinian immigration problem, and would consequently create a better climate in which to carry out a final solution of the question of Palestine. This would be an important factor in allaying the fears of Arabs in the Near East that Palestine and ultimately the existing Arab countries are to be marked as the place of settlement for the Jews of the world.The Committee recognizes that its terms of reference would not entitle it to devote its attention to the problem of the displaced persons as a whole. It realizes also that international action of a general nature is already under way with regard to displaced persons. In view of the special circumstances of the Palestine question, however, it has felt justified in proposing a measure which is designed to ameliorate promptly the condition of the Jewish segments of the displaced persons as a vital prerequisite to the settlement of the difficult conditions in Palestine.
Recommendation VII. Democratic principles and protection of minorities
It is recommended that
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.
a.The wide diffusion of both Arabs and Jews throughout Palestine makes it almost inevitable that, in any solution, there will be an ethnic minority element in the population. In view of the fact that these two peoples live physically and spiritually apart, nurture separate aspirations and ideals, and have widely divergent cultural traditions, it is important, in the interest of orderly society, and for the well-being of all Palestinians, that full safeguards be ensured for the rights of all.
b.Bearing in mind the unique position of Palestine as the Holy Land, it is especially important to protect the rights and interests of religious minorities.
Recommendation VIII. Peaceful relations
It is recommended that
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.
a.A fundamental objective in the solution of the Palestine problem is to achieve a reasonable prospect for the preservation of peaceful relations in the Middle East.
b.Taking into account the charged atmosphere in which the Palestine solution must be effected, it is considered advisable to emphasize the international obligations with regard to peaceful relations which an independent Palestine would necessarily assume.
Recommendation IX. Economic unity
It is recommended that
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.
It merits emphasis that the preservation of a suitable measure of economic unity in Palestine, under any type of solution, is of the utmost importance to the future standards of public services, the standards of life of its peoples, and the development of the country. Were the country less limited in area and richer in resources, it would be unnecessary to lay such stress on the principle of economic unity. But there are sound grounds for the assumption that any action which would reverse the present policy of treating Palestine as an economic unit - particularly with regard to such matters as customs, currency, transportation and communications, and development projects, including irrigation, land reclamation and soil conservation - would not only handicap the material development of the territory as a whole but would also bring in its wake a considerable hardship for important segments of the population.Arab and Jewish communities alike would suffer from a complete severance of the economic unity of the country. Each of the two communities, despite the inevitable economic disruptions incident to the present state of affairs in Palestine, makes vital contributions to the economic life of the country, and there is a substantial degree of economic interdependence between them.Despite the degree of separateness in the economic life of the Jewish and Arab communities in Palestine, the fact that unity exists in essential economic matters contributes to the material well-being of both groups. If that economic unity were not maintained in essentials people in all parts of the country would be adversely affected.
Recommendation X. Capitulations
It is recommended that
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 re-establishment of such privileges and immunities in an independent Palestine.
Article 9 (1) of the Mandate for Palestine makes provision for a judicial system which "shall assure to foreigners, as well as to natives, a complete guarantee of their rights." It is especially significant, in this regard, that article 8 of the Mandate did not abrogate consular jurisdiction and protection formerly enjoyed by capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, but merely left them in abeyance during the Mandate.On the termination of the Mandate, therefore, States having enjoyed such rights prior to the Mandate will be in a position to claim the re-establishment of capitulations in Palestine, and may demand, in particular, as a condition for waiving such right, the maintenance of a satisfactory judicial system.The Committee takes the view that, since independence will be achieved in Palestine under the auspices of the United Nations, and subject to guarantees stipulated by the United Nations as a condition prior to independence, there should be no need for any State to re-assert its claim with respect to capitulations.
Recommendation XI. Appeal against acts of violence
It is recommended that
The General Assembly shall call on the peoples of Palestine to extend their fullest co-operation 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.
The United Nations, being seized with the problem of Palestine, should exert every proper effort to secure there a climate as congenial as possible to the application of a solution of the problem, both as regards the transitional and post-transitional periods.The recurrent acts of violence, until very recently confined almost exclusively to underground Jewish organizations, are not only detrimental to the well-being of the country, but will also so augment the tension in Palestine as to render increasingly difficult the execution of the solution to be agreed upon by the United Nations.
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.)
It is recommended that
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.
Palestine is a country of limited area and resources. It already has a considerable settled population which has an unusually high rate of natural increase. It is, therefore, most improbable that there could be settled in Palestine all the Jews who may wish to leave their present domiciles, for reasons of immediate displacement or distress, or actual or anticipated anti-Jewish attitudes in the countries in which they now reside.In any case, owing to the factors of time, limited transportation, and local ability to absorb, it could not be anticipated that Palestine alone could relieve the urgent plight of all of the displaced and distressed Jews.Further, serious account must be taken of the certain resentment and vigorous opposition of the Arabs throughout the Middle East to any attempt to solve, at what they regard as their expense, the Jewish problem, which they consider to be an international responsibility.With regard to Jewish immigration into the Jewish areas of Palestine during the proposed transitional period, it is to be noted that provision for limited and controlled immigration during such period is made in both the partition and federal State proposals set forth in Chapters VI and VII respectively.
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. Sandstroem, 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.
It consists of the following three parts:
Part I. Parition with economic union
Part II. Boundaries
Part III. City of Jerusalem
PART I. Plan of partition with economic union justification
1. The basic premise underlying the partition proposal is that the claims to Palestine of the Arabs and Jews, both possessing validity, are irreconcilable, and that among all of the solutions advanced, partition will provide the most realistic and practicable settlement, and is the most likely to afford a workable basis for meeting in part the claims and national aspirations of both parties.
2. It is a fact that both of these peoples have their historic roots in Palestine, and that both make vital contributions to the economic and cultural life of the country. The partition solution takes these considerations fully into account.
3. The basic conflict in Palestine is a clash of two intense nationalisms. Regardless of the historical origins of the conflict, the rights and wrongs of the promises and counter-promises, and the international intervention incident to the Mandate, there are now in Palestine some 650,000 Jews and some 1,200,000 Arabs who are dissimilar in their ways of living and, for the time being, separated by political interests which render difficult full and effective political co-operation among them, whether voluntary or induced by constitutional arrangements.
4. Only by means of partition can these conflicting national aspirations find substantial expression and qualify both peoples to take their places as independent nations in the international community and in the United Nations.
5. The partition solution provides that finality which is a most urgent need in the solution. Every other proposed solution would tend to induce the two parties to seek modification in their favour by means of persistent pressure.
The grant of independence to both States, however, would remove the basis for such efforts.
6. Partition is based on a realistic appraisal of the actual Arab-Jewish relations in Palestine. Full political co-operation would be indispensable to the effective functioning of any single-State scheme, such as the federal State proposal, except in those cases which frankly envisage either an Arab or a Jewish-dominated State.
7. Partition is the only means available by which political and economic responsibility can be placed squarely on both Arabs and Jews, with the prospective result that, confronted with responsibility for bearing fully the consequences of their own actions, a new and important element of political amelioration would be introduced. In the proposed federal-State solution, this factor would be lacking.
8. Jewish immigration is the central issue in Palestine today and is the one factor, above all others, that rules out the necessary co-operation between the Arab and Jewish communities in a single State. The creation of a Jewish State under a partition scheme is the only hope of removing this issue from the arena of conflict.
9. It is recognized that partition has been strongly opposed by Arabs, but it is felt that that opposition would be lessened by a solution which definitively fixes the extent of territory to be allotted to the Jews with its implicit limitation on immigration. The fact that the solution carries the sanction of the United Nations involves a finality which should allay Arab fears of further expansion of the Jewish State.
10. In view of the limited area and resources of Palestine, it is essential that, to the extent feasible, and consistent with the creation of two independent States, the economic unity of the country should be preserved. The partition proposal, therefore, is a qualified partition, subject to such measures and limitations as are considered essential to the future economic and social well-being of both States. Since the economic self-interest of each State would be vitally involved, it is believed that the minimum measure of economic unity is possible, where that of political unity is not.
11. Such economic unity requires the creation of an economic association by means of a treaty between the two States. The essential objectives of this association would be a common customs system, a common currency and the maintenance of a country-wide system of transport and communications.
12. The maintenance of existing standards of social services in all parts of Palestine depends partly upon the preservation of economic unity, and this is a main consideration underlying the provisions for an economic union as part of the partition scheme. Partition, however, necessarily changes to some extent the fiscal situation in such a manner that, at any rate during the early years of its existence, a partitioned Arab State in Palestine would have some difficulty in raising sufficient revenue to keep up its present standards of public services.
One of the aims of the economic union, therefore, is to distribute surplus revenue to support such standards. It is recommended that the division of the surplus revenue, after certain charges and percentage of surplus to be paid to the City of Jerusalem are met, should be in equal proportions to the two States. This is an arbitrary proportion but it is considered that it would be acceptable, that it has the merit of simplicity and that, being fixed in this manner, it would be less likely to become a matter of immediate controversy. Provisions are suggested whereby this formula is to be reviewed.
13. This division of customs revenue is justified on three grounds: (1) The Jews will have the more economically developed part of the country embracing practically the whole of the citrus-producing area which includes a large number of Arab producers; (2) the Jewish State would, through the customs union, be guaranteed a larger free trade area for the sale of the products of its industry; (3) it would be to the disadvantage of the Jewish State if the Arab State should be in a financially precarious and poor economic condition.
14. As the Arab State will not be in a position to undertake considerable development expenditure, sympathetic consideration should be given to its claims for assistance from international institutions in the way of loans for expansion of education, public health and other vital social services of a non-self-supporting nature.
15. International financial assistance would also be required for any comprehensive irrigation schemes in the interest of both States, and it is to be hoped that constructive work by the Joint Economic Board will be made possible by means of international loans on favourable terms.
A. Partition and independence
1. Palestine within its present borders, following a transitional period of two years from I September 1947, shall be constituted into an independent Arab State, an independent Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem, the boundaries of which are respectively described in Parts 11 and III below.
2. Independence shall be granted to each State upon its request only after it has adopted a constitution complying with the provisions of section B, paragraph 4 below, has made to the United Nations a declaration containing certain guarantees, and has signed a treaty creating the Economic Union of Palestine and establishing a system of collaboration between the two States and the City of Jerusalem.
B. Transitional period and constitution
1. During the transitional period, the present mandatory Power shall:
a.Carry on the administration of the territory of Palestine under the auspices of the United Nations and on such conditions and under such supervision as may be agreed upon between the United Kingdom and the United Nations, and if so desired, with the assistance of one or more Members of the United Nations;
b.Take such preparatory steps as may be necessary for the execution of the scheme recommended;
c.Carry out the following measures:
(1) Admit into the borders of the proposed Jewish State 150,000 Jewish immigrants at a uniform monthly rate, 30,000 of whom are to be admitted on humanitarian grounds. Should the transitional period continue for more than two years, Jewish immigration shall be allowed at the rate of 60,000 per year. The responsibility for the selection and care of Jewish immigrants and for the organizing of Jewish immigration during the transitional period shall be placed in the Jewish Agency.
(2) The restrictions introduced by land regulations issued by the Palestinian Administration under the authority of the Palestine (Amendment) Order-in-Council of 25 May 1939 shall not apply to the transfer of land within the borders of the proposed Jewish State.
2. Constituent assemblies shall be elected by the populations of the areas which are to comprise the Arab and Jewish States, respectively. The electoral provisions shall be prescribed by the Power administering the territory.
Qualified voters for each State for this election shall be persons over twenty years of age who are: (a) Palestinian citizens residing in that State and (b) Arabs and Jews residing in the State, although not Palestinian citizens, who, before voting, have signed a notice of intention to become citizens of such State.
Arabs and Jews residing in the City of Jerusalem who have signed a notice of intention to become citizens, the Arabs of the Arab State and the Jews of the Jewish State, shall be entitled to vote in the Arab and Jewish States, respectively.
Women may vote and be elected to the constituent assemblies.
3. During the transitional period, no Jew shall be permitted to establish residence in the area of the proposed Arab State, and no Arab shall be permitted to establish residence in the area of the proposed Jewish State, except by special leave of the Administration.
4. The constituent assemblies shall draw up the constitutions of the States, which shall embody chapters I and 2 of the Declaration provided for in C. below, and include, inter alia, provisions for:
a.Establishing in each State a legislative body elected by universal suffrage and by secret ballot on the basis of proportional representation, and an executive body responsible to the legislature.
b.Settling all international disputes in which the State may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
c.Accepting the obligation of the State 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 other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.
d.Guaranteeing to all persons equal and non-discriminatory rights in civil, political and religious matters and the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religious worship, language, speech and publication, education, assembly and association.
e.Preserving freedom of transit and visit for all residents and citizens of the other State in Palestine and the City of Jerusalem, subject to security considerations; provided that each State shall control residence within its borders.
f.Recognize the rights of the Governor of the City of Jerusalem to determine whether the provisions of the constitution of the States in relation to Holy Places, religious buildings and sites within the borders of the States and the religious rights appertaining thereto, are being properly applied and respected, and to make decisions in cases of disputes which may arise with respect to such Holy Places, buildings and sites; also accord to him full co-operation and such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the exercise of his functions in those States.
5. The constituent assembly in each State shall appoint a provisional government empowered to make the Declaration and sign the Treaty of Economic Union, provided for in C. and D below.
On making the Declaration and signing the Treaty of Economic Union by either State, and upon approval by the General Assembly of the United Nations of such instruments as being in compliance with these recommendations, its independence as a sovereign State shall be recognized.
If only one State fulfils the foregoing conditions, that fact shall forthwith be communicated to the United Nations for such action by its General Assembly as it may deem proper. Pending such action, the regime of Economic Union as recommended shall apply.
A Declaration shall be made to the United Nations by the Provisional Government of each proposed State before the interim administration is brought to an end It shall contain inter alia the following clauses:
The stipulations contained in the Declaration are recognized as fundamental laws of the State and no law, regulation or official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation or official action prevail over them.
Chapter 1. Holy Places, religious buildings and sites
1. Existing rights in respect of Holy Places and religious buildings or sites shall not be denied or impaired.
2. Free access to the Holy Places and religious buildings or sites and the free exercise of worship shall be secured in conformity with existing rights and subject to the requirements of public order and decorum.
3. Holy Places and religious buildings or sites shall be preserved. No act shall be permitted which may in any way impair their sacred character. If at any time it appears to the Government that any particular Holy Place, religious building or site is in need of urgent repair, the Government shall call upon the community or communities concerned to carry out such repair. The Government may carry it out itself at the expense of the community or communities concerned if no action is taken within a reasonable time.
4. No taxation shall be levied in respect of any Holy Place, religious building or site which was exempt from taxation on the date of the creation of the State.
5. The Governor of the City of Jerusalem shall have the right to determine whether the provisions of the Constitution of the State in relation to Holy Places, religious buildings and sites within the borders of the State and the religious rights appertaining thereto, are being properly applied and respected, and to make decisions in cases of disputes which may arise with respect to such Places, buildings, and sites. He shall receive full co-operation and such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the exercise of his functions in the State.
Chapter 2. Religious and minority rights
1. Freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, shall be ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants on the ground of race, religion or language.
2. The family law and personal status of the various minorities and their religious interests, including endowments, shall be respected.
3. Except as may be required for the maintenance of public order and good government, no measure shall be taken to obstruct or interfere with the enterprise of religious or eleemosynary bodies of any faith or to discriminate against any representative or member of them on the ground of his religion or nationality.
4. The State shall ensure adequate primary and secondary education for the Arab and Jewish minority, respectively, in its own language and its cultural traditions.
The right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language, while conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature as the State may impose, shall not be denied or impaired.
5. No restriction shall be imposed on the free use by any citizen of the State of any language in private intercourse, in commerce, in religion, in the press or in publications of any kind, or at public meetings.1
6. No expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State (by a Jew in the Arab State)2 shall be allowed except for public purposes unless the land, suitable for agricultural purposes, has remained uncultivated and unused for not less than one year after written notice of utilization thereof has been given; and upon an order made by the Supreme Court of the respective State approving the expropriation on the grounds of absence of sufficient reasons for the non-utilization thereof. In all cases of expropriation full compensation as fixed by the Supreme Court shall be paid previous to dispossession.
1. Citizenship. Palestinian citizens, as well as Arabs and Jews who, not holding Palestinian citizenship, reside in Palestine, shall, upon the recognition of independence, become citizens of the State in which they are resident; or, if resident in the City of Jerusalem, who sign a notice of intention provided in section B, paragraph 2 above, of the State mentioned in such notice, with full civil and political rights, provided that they do not exercise the option mentioned hereafter. Such persons, if over eighteen years of age, may opt within one year for the citizenship of the other State or declare that they retain the citizenship of any State of which they are citizens, and if they exercise this option it will be taken to include their wives and children under eighteen years of age; provided that no person who has signed the notice of intention referred to in section B, paragraph 2 above, shall have the right of option.
2. International Conventions. The State shall be bound by all the international agreements and conventions, both general and special, to which Palestine has become a party. Subject to any right of denunciation provided for therein, such agreements and conventions shall be respected by the State throughout the period for which they were concluded.
3. Financial Obligations. The State shall, until its independence is recognized, respect and fulfill all financial obligations of whatever nature assumed on behalf of Palestine by the mandatory Power, including the rights of public servants to pensions, compensation or gratuities, to be negotiated where necessary with the Government of the United Kingdom.
Commercial concessions heretofore granted in respect of any part of Palestine shall continue to be valid according to their terms, unless modified by agreement between the parties.
1. The provisions of Chapters I and 2 of this Declaration shall be under the guarantee of the United Nations, and no modifications shall be made in them without the assent of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Any Member of the United Nations shall have the right to bring to the attention of the General Assembly any infraction or danger of infraction of any of these stipulations, and the General Assembly may thereupon make such recommendations as it may deem proper in the circumstances.
2. Any dispute relating to the application or the interpretation of this Declaration shall be referred, at the request of either Party, to the International Court of Justice, unless the Parties agree to another mode of settlement.
D. Economic union
A treaty shall be entered into between the two States and signed simultaneously with the Declaration provided for in C. above. The treaty shall be binding at once without ratifications. It shall contain provisions to establish the Economic Union of Palestine and to provide for other matters of common interest.
I. The Economic Union of Palestine
The objectives of the Economic Union of Palestine shall be:
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, especially in respect of irrigation, land reclamation and soil conservation.
There shall be established a Joint Economic Board, which shall consist of three representatives of each of the two States and three foreign members appointed by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in the first instance for a term of three years.
The functions of the Joint Economic Board shall be to organize and administer, either directly or by delegation, the functions of the Economic Union.
The States shall bind themselves to put into effect the decisions of the Joint Economic Board. The Board's decisions shall be taken by a majority vote.
In relation to economic development, the functions of the Board shall be the planning, investigation and encouragement of joint development projects, but it shall not undertake such projects except with the assent of both States and the City of Jerusalem.
There shall be a common customs tariff with complete freedom of trade between the States and the City of Jerusalem.
The tariff schedules shall be drawn up by a Tariff Commission consisting of representatives of each of the States in equal numbers. In case of disagreement or failure to approve any tariff schedule by a date to be fixed, the matter shall be settled by the arbitration of the Joint Economic Board.
The following items shall be a first charge on the customs revenue:
a.The expenses of the customs service;
b.The administrative expenses of the Joint Economic Board;
c.The financial obligations of the Administration of Palestine consisting of:
(i) the service of the outstanding public debt,
(ii) the cost of superannuation benefits, now being paid or falling due in the future.
After these obligations have been met in full, the surplus revenue from the customs and other common services shall be divided in the following manner: not less than 5 per cent and not more than 10 per cent to the City of Jerusalem, and the residue in equal proportion to the Jewish and Arab States. After a period of three years, the division shall be reviewable by the Joint Economic Board, which shall make such modifications as may be deemed necessary.
All international conventions and treaties affecting customs tariffs, communications and commercial matters generally, shall be entered into by both States.
2. Freedom of transit and visit
The Treaty shall contain provisions preserving freedom of transit and visit for all residents or citizens of both States and of the City of Jerusalem, subject to security considerations; provided that each State and the City shall control residence within their borders.
3. Termination, modification and interpretation of the Treat),
The Treaty shall remain in force for a period of ten years. It shall continue in force until notice of termination, to take effect two years thereafter, is given by either of the Parties and such termination is assented to by the General Assembly of the United Nations.3
During the initial ten-year period, the Treaty may not be modified except by consent of both Parties and with the approval of the General Assembly.4
Any dispute relating to the application or the interpretation of the Treaty shall be referred, at the request of either Party, to the International Court of Justice, unless the Parties agree to another mode of settlement.
The movable assets of the Administration of Palestine shall be allocated to the Arab and Jewish States and the City of Jerusalem on an equitable basis. Immovable assets shall become the property of the government in the territory in which they are situated.
F. Admission to membership in the United Nations
Upon the recognition of the independence of the Arab and Jewish States, respectively, sympathetic consideration should be given to their application for admission to membership in the United Nations, in accordance with Article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations.
A Commentary on Partition
The primary objectives sought in the foregoing scheme are, in short, political division and economic unity: to confer upon each group, Arab and Jew, in its own territory, the power to make its own laws, while preserving to both, throughout Palestine, a single integrated economy, admittedly essential to the well-being of each, and the same territorial freedom of movement to individuals as is enjoyed today. The former necessitates a territorial partition; the latter, the maintenance of unrestricted commercial relations between the States, together with a common administration of functions in which the interests of both are in fact inextricably bound together.
The territorial division with the investment of full political power in each State achieves, in turn, the desire of each for statehood and, at the same time, creates a self-operating control of immigration. Although free passage between the States for all residents is provided, each State retains exclusive authority over the acquisition of residence and this, with its control over land, will enable it to preserve the integrity of its social organization.
The Economic Union is to be administered by a Joint Economic Board, in the composition of which a parity of interest in the two States is recognized by equal representation from them. But in relation to such necessary and convenient services, day-to-day rulings are imperative; and since in the present circumstances it cannot be expected that in joint matters they would easily agree, the principle of arbitral decision is introduced by adding to the Board three independent outside persons to be chosen by the United Nations. It is obvious that, while such a device is an accepted mode of adjusting economic disputes, it would be unacceptable as a general method of making political decisions. This limits, therefore, the functions with which the Board can be clothed and confines them to such neutral services as communications or to a function which, though carrying a political quality, is dictated by the necessities of the overriding interest of unity.
In these respects the scheme may be contrasted with that of the federal State presented by three members of the Committee. In the later, paramount political power, including control over immigration, is vested at the centre; but the attempt to introduce parity through equal representation in one chamber of the legislature is nullified by the predominance of Arab majority influence in the ultimate decision. But even were an independent element to be introduced, the administration would break down because of the wide political field in which it would operate. If that field were reduced to the subjects dealt with by the Board under the Economic Union scheme, apart from the question of majority determination, the difference in substance between the two plans would lie in the failure of the federal scheme to satisfy the aspirations of both groups for independence.
The Arab State will organize the substantial majority of Arabs in Palestine into a political body containing an insignificant minority of Jews; but in the Jewish State there will be a considerable minority of Arabs. That is the demerit of the scheme. But such a minority is inevitable in any feasible plan which does not place the whole of Palestine under the present majority of the Arabs. One cannot disregard the specific purpose of the Mandate and its implications nor the existing conditions, and the safeguarding of political, civil and cultural rights provided by the scheme are as ample as can be devised.
But in the larger view, here are the sole remaining representatives of the Semitic race. They are in the land in which that race was cradled. There are no fundamental incompatibilities between them. The scheme satisfies the deepest aspiration of both: independence. There is a considerable body of opinion in both groups which seeks the course of co-operation. Despite, then, the drawback of the Arab minority, the setting is one from which, with good will and a spirit of co-operation, may arise a rebirth, in historical surroundings, of the genius of each people. The massive contribution made by them throughout the centuries in religious and ethical conceptions, in philosophy, and in the entire intellectual sphere, should excite among the leaders a mutual respect and a pride in their common origin.
The Jews bring to the land the social dynamism and scientific method of the West; the Arabs confront them with individualism and intuitive understanding of life. Here then, in this close association, through the natural emulation of each other, can be evolved a synthesis of the two civilizations, preserving, at the same time, their fundamental characteristics. In each State, the native genius will have a scope and opportunity to evolve into its highest cultural forms and to attain its greatest reaches of mind and spirit. In the case of the Jews, that is really the condition of survival. Palestine will remain one land in which Semitic ideals may pass into realization.
At the same time there is secured, through the constitutional position of Jerusalem and the Holy Places, the preservation of the scenes of events in which the sentiments of Christendom also -centre. There will thus be imposed over the whole land an unobjectionable interest of the adherents of all three religions throughout the world; and so secured, this unique and historical land may at last cease to be the arena of human strife.
Whether, however, these are vain speculations must await the future. If they are never realized, it will not, it is believed, be because of defects in the machinery of government that is proposed.
Part II. Boundaries
The plan envisages the division of Palestine into three parts: an Arab State, a Jewish State and the City of Jerusalem. The proposed Arab State will include Western Galilee, the hill country of Samaria and Judea with the exclusion of the City of Jerusalem, and the coastal plain from Isdud to the Egyptian frontier. The proposed Jewish State will include Eastern Galilee, the Esdraelon plain, most of the coastal plain, and the whole of the Beersheba sub-district, which includes the Negeb.
The three sections of the Arab State and the three sections of the Jewish State are linked together by two points of intersection, of which one is situated south-east of Afula in the sub-district of Nazareth and the other north-east of El Majdal in the sub-district of Gaza.
The Arab State
Western Galilee is bounded on the west by the Mediterranean and in the north by the frontier of the Lebanon from Ras en Naqura to Qadas; on the east the boundary starting from Qadas passes southwards, west of Safad to the Southwestern comer of the Safad sub-district; thence it follows the western boundary of the Tiberias subdistrict to a point just east of Mount Tabor; thence southwards to the point of intersection south-east of Afula mentioned above. The south-western boundary of Western Galilee takes a line from this point, passing south of Nazareth and Shaff Amr, but north of Beit Lahm, to the coast just south of Acre.
The boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea starting on the Jordan River south-east of Beisan follows the northern boundary of the Samaria district westwards to the point of intersection south-east of Afula, thence again westwards to Lajjun, thence in a south-western direction, passing just west of Tulkarm, east of Qalqilia and west of Majdal Yaba, thence bulging westwards towards Rishon-le-Zion so as to include Lydda and Ramle in the Arab State, thence turning again eastwards to a point west of Latrun, thereafter following the northern side of the Latrun-Majdal road to the second point of intersection, thence south-eastwards to a point on the Hebron sub-district boundary south of Qubeiba, thence following the southern boundary of the Hebron sub-district to the Dead Sea.
The Arab section of the coastal plain runs from a point a few miles north of Isdud to the Egyptian frontier, extending inland approximately eight kilometres.
The Jewish State
The northeastern sector of the proposed Jewish State (Eastern Galilee) will have frontiers with the Lebanon in the north and west and with Syria and Transjordan on the east and will include the whole of the Huleh basin, Lake Tiberias and the whole of the Beisan sub-district. From Beisan the Jewish State will extend north-west following the boundary described in respect of the Arab State.
The Jewish sector on the coastal plain extends from a point south of Acre to just north of Isdud in the Gaza sub-district and includes the towns of Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jaffa. The eastern frontier of the Jewish State follows the boundary described in respect of the Arab State.
The Beersheba area includes the whole of the Beersheba sub-district, which includes the Negeb and the eastern part of the Gaza sub-district south of the point of intersection. The northern boundary of this area, from the point of intersection, runs south-eastwards to a point on the Hebron sub-district boundary south of Qubeiba, and thence follows the southern boundary of the Hebron sub-district to the Dead Sea.
The City of Jerusalem
The boundaries of the City of Jerusalem are as defined in the recommendations on the City of Jerusalem.
In making its proposal for a plan of partition with economic union for Palestine, the members of the Committee supporting this plan are fully aware of the many difficulties of effecting a satisfactory division of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab State. The main problems to be faced are the following:
1. The problem of minorities
The central inland area of Palestine includes a large Arab population and, leaving Jerusalem out of account, practically no Jews. This obviously is the main starting point in demarcating a possible Arab State. Further north, particularly in Western Galilee, and separated from the central area by a narrow belt of Jewish settlements, is another concentration of Arabs and very few Jews. These two areas form the main territory of an Arab State which has only a very small minority of Jews.
The Jewish State, on the other hand, has its centre and starting point in the coastal plain between Haifa and Tel Aviv and even in this area there is also a considerable number of Arabs. Extensions of this area in the most suitable directions to include a larger number of Jews as well as a larger land area, increase the proportion of Arabs to Jews in the Jewish State.
2. The problem of viability
The creation of two viable States is considered essential to a partition scheme.
3. The problem of development
A partition scheme for Palestine must take into account both the claims of the Jews to receive immigrants and the needs of the Arab population, which is increasing rapidly by natural means. Thus, as far as possible, both partitioned States must leave some room for further land settlement.
4. The problem of contiguity
It is obviously desirable to create States with continuous frontiers. Due to geographic and demographic factors, it is impossible to make a satisfactory partition without sacrificing this objective to some extent.
5. Access to the sea for the Arab State
Even within the scheme for economic union, this is considered to be important for psychological as well as material reasons.
In solving this complex of problems, a compromise is necessary and in suggesting the boundaries upon which this partition scheme rests all these matters have been given serious consideration so that the solution finally reached appears to be the least unsatisfactory from most points of view.
The figures given for the distribution of the settled population in the two proposed States, as estimated on the basis of official figures up to the end of 1946, are approximately as follows: