The United Nations unjustly partitioned Palestine.”
As World War II ended, the magnitude of the Holocaust became known. This accelerated demands for a resolution to the question of Palestine so the survivors of Hitler’s Final Solution might find sanctuary in a homeland of their own.
The British tried to work out an agreement acceptable to both Arabs and Jews, but their insistence on the former’s approval guaranteed failure because the Arabs would not make any concessions. The British subsequently turned the issue over to the UN in February 1947.
The UN established a Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) to devise a solution. Delegates from 11 nations* went to the area and found what had long been apparent: The conflicting national aspirations of Jews and Arabs could not be reconciled.
When they returned, the delegates of seven nations—Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, The Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and Uruguay—recommended the establishment of two separate states, Jewish and Arab, to be joined by economic union, with Jerusalem an internationalized enclave. Three nations—India, Iran and Yugoslavia—recommended a unitary state with Arab and Jewish provinces. Australia abstained.
The Jews of Palestine were not satisfied with the small territory allotted to them by the Commission, nor were they happy that Jerusalem was severed from the Jewish State; nevertheless, they welcomed the compromise. The Arabs rejected UNSCOP’s recommendations.
The ad hoc committee of the UN General Assembly rejected the Arab demand for a unitary Arab state. The majority recommendation for partition was viewed as a more just solution and subsequently adopted by a vote of 33–13 with 10 abstentions on November 29, 1947. 1
* – Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, India, Iran, the Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay and Yugoslavia.