U.N. Resolution: The 12% Solution : Ruth King

The Balfour Declaration of 1917 elicited euphoria among world Zionists. It was to be short lived as a chain of betrayals truncated the land promised to the Jews and limited their immigration.

The 1922 White Paper (also known as the Churchill White Paper) averred that Jews were in Palestine by right, but bowing to Arab pressure, ceded 76 percent –all the land East of the Jordan River–to the Hashemite Emir Abdullah. It was renamed Transjordan, and closed to Jewish settlement. The remaining land- the West Bank of the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea was to be the Jewish state. In explanation the British stated:

“England…does not want Palestine to become ‘as Jewish as England is English’, but, rather, should become ‘a center in which Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride.’  (Ironically today Israel is poised to become more Jewish than England is English given the very real prospect that Muslims will become a majority in that nation.)

The Jews of Palestine had no choice but to accept the partition of 1922, but Arab thirst for all of Palestine resulted in murders and terrorist attacks, the Hebron massacre of 1929 and later the 1936-39 “Arab Revolt.”

The British responded with the White Paper of 1939 all but eliminating Jewish immigration to Palestine. This occurred after the infamous Evian conference of July 1938. With the exception of the Dominican Republic, all the participants refused to alter their immigration policies, thereby trapping Europe’s Jews. The Nazis were to kill one of every three Jews in the world.

In 1982, Sir Harold Wilson, who had been a member of Clement Attlee’s Cabinet when Israel became independent in 1948 and served as Prime Minister during the Six-Day War, wrote The Chariot of Israel-Britain, America and the State of Israel in which he described the British actions in 1939 as shameful and inexcusable.

After World War II the British continued their appalling anti-Jewish immigration policies, seizing and firing upon the vessels taking traumatized Holocaust survivors to Palestine.

However, the Jews of Palestine began a sustained effort to push the British out of Palestine  and in February 1947 Britain announced its intent to terminate the Mandate, referring the matter of  Palestine to the United Nations.

In May of that year the United Nations Special Committee On Palestine (UNSCOP) began deliberations on a “solution” to the Palestine “problem.”

These deliberations included an UNSCOP mission to examine the state of surviving Jews in displaced persons camps in Europe. The members were horrified by the conditions, but cynical enough to exploit the desperation of the refugees by deciding on a further partition of Palestine.

On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted 33 to 13 (with ten abstentions) to implement the new partition as Resolution 181.  Absent in all the  media hailing of the “compromise” was any mention that the Jews of Palestine had already relinquished 75 percent of the area promised in the Balfour Declaration. Media and diplomats alike would declare that the Jews were gaining 53% of “Palestine” when in fact they were left with roughly 12 percent.

Thus, the 25 percent of Palestine left to the Jews for a homeland in 1922 was now to be divided as follows:

There would be an Arab State, a Jewish State and the City of Jerusalem, linked by zigzagging corridors. The Arab state would comprise the central and western Galilee, the town of Acre, the hills of Judea and Samaria, a large enclave in Jaffa, and the southern coast from what is now Ashdod, the Gaza Strip, and a section of desert along the Egyptian border which included Beersheba. The Jews were to have the Eastern Galilee, the coastal plain between Haifa and Rehovoth, most of the Negev and a strip to what is now Eilat.

Jerusalem was to be “international”, a Corpus Separatum which included Bethlehem, with access assured to persons of all faiths.

That was a major betrayal, but the Jews, desperate to have a state, agreed to it.

On the other hand, the Arabs were swift to reject it.

From Iraq, Jamal Husseini declared: “The blood will flow like rivers in the Middle East.” Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Said promised to “obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in” and warned British diplomats that “severe measures” would “be taken against all Jews in Arab countries.”  At the 29th Meeting of the UN Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine on 24 November 1947, Dr Heykal Pasha, the Egyptian delegate, said, “if the U.N decide to amputate a part of Palestine in order to establish a Jewish state, no force on earth could prevent blood from flowing there…Moreover…no force on earth can confine it to the borders of Palestine itself…Jewish blood will necessarily be shed elsewhere in the Arab world.”

Resolution 181 was also a political blunder. Depriving the Jews of defensible borders while gratifying the jihadists, it has promoted a false narrative, false history, and unending international hostility to Israel which has morphed into flagrant anti-Semitism.

To Israel’s eternal credit, even during the war of 1948 and immediately after the armistice of 1949, the ingathering of oppressed Jews from Arab lands and from the hell holes of Europe went on.

And, to the eternal credit of Jews in the West, and particularly in the United States, they provided a huge outpouring of aid, material as well as moral, to the nascent state. In the years since Israel has become a democracy with advanced institutions while the United Nations has become a swamp of moral turpitude.

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