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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Recommendation III. Transitional period
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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Partition with economic union
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:
- 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;
- Take such preparatory steps as may be necessary for the execution of the scheme recommended;
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 customs union.
- A common currency.
- Operation in the common interest of railways, interstate highways, postal, telephone and telegraphic services; and the ports of Haifa and Jaffa.
- 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:
- The expenses of the customs service;
- The administrative expenses of the Joint Economic Board;
- 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:5
Arabs and others
The Jewish State
The Arab State
City of Jerusalem
In addition there will be in the Jewish State about 90,000 Bedouins, cultivators and stock owners who seek grazing further afield in dry seasons.
The proposed Jewish State leaves considerable room for further development and land settlement and, in meeting this need to the extent that it has been met in these proposals, a very substantial minority of Arabs is included in the Jewish State. On the other hand, Western Galilee is attributed to the Arab State, providing it with some areas for further development and also giving it an outlet to the sea at the town of Acre. An outlet to the sea is also provided in the south by the inclusion of Gaza in the Arab State.
Nearly all previous attempts to draw partition maps for Palestine have been faced with the separation of the solid Arab population in Judea and Samaria from the Arab population in Galilee. To include the whole of Galilee in a Jewish State provides contiguous frontiers, but it also results in the inclusion of the large Arab population of Western Galilee in the Jewish State and weakens the Arab State economically and politically by denying to it a developed Arab area. In the present partition scheme, these problems have been solved by a definition of boundaries which provides two important links, one between Western Galilee and Samaria and one in the south near Gaza. These links are at suitable meeting places of the frontiers, and would consist of a small unbuilt area which would be a condominium. By this means it has been possible to include Western Galilee in the Arab State without the disadvantage of its being separated at all points from Samaria by the territory of the Jewish State.
The inclusion of the whole Beersheba sub-district in the Jewish State gives to it a large area, parts of which are very sparsely populated and capable of development, if they can be provided with water for irrigation. The experiments already carried out in this area by the Jews suggest that further development in an appreciable degree should be possible by heavy investment of capital and labour and without impairing the future or prejudicing the rights of the existing Bedouin population. The Negeb south of latitude 3 1, though included in the Jewish State, is desert land of little agricultural value, but is naturally linked with the northern part of the sub-district of Beersheba.
Jaffa, which has an Arab population of about 70,000, is entirely Arab except for two Jewish quarters. It is contiguous with Tel Aviv and would either have to be treated as an enclave or else be included in the Jewish State. On balance, and having in mind the difficulties which an enclave involves, not least from the economic point of view, it was thought better to suggest that Jaffa be included in the Jewish State, on the assumption that it would have a large measure of local autonomy and that the port would be under the administration of the Economic Union.
A Technical Note on the Viability of the Proposed Partition States Prepared by the Secretariat
On certain assumptions it may be possible in a given case to calculate roughly the order of magnitude of the loss or gain of revenue which an area might experience as a result of partition. Similar estimates might be made of expenditures necessary to maintain existing standards of social services and other normal budget expenditures, and a comparison. of the two sets of figures would throw some light on the ability of the State in question to maintain these standards without large budget deficits. It should, of course, be made quite clear that this would not be in any sense a measure of an actual budgetary position, but merely a general indication of the probability of the viability or non-viability of the area under consideration.
In the case of the plan for the partition of Palestine recommended in this report, as well as in the case of all previous partition plans which have been suggested, it is the viability of the Arab State that is in doubt. It is necessary, therefore, to examine the proposed Arab State from this point of view as carefully as conditions permit. Until the proposed boundaries are precisely defined, however, it would not be possible to assemble accurate information regarding the area. Therefore, in order to get a preliminary idea of the viability, as we have defined it, of the proposed Arab State a calculation was made in respect of the areas which it had been proposed should become Arab provinces in the provincial autonomy plan elaborated by the Government of the United Kingdom in 1946. Fairly complete statistics were available in regard to this particular plan of partition. As it happens, though the partition proposed by the members of this Committee differs in some very important respects from the provincial autonomy plan of the British Government, the area of the proposed Arab State is not very different in the two cases and, in regard to actual resources, the differences are not very marked. The most important difference is in respect of the town of Jaffa, which in the British plan is part of the Arab State and in the present plan is part of the Jewish State. The estimated total population of the Arab States in the two cases is as follows:
British provincial autonomy plan
Committee's proposed plan
The difference is mainly accounted for by the town of Jaffa, which has about 70,000 Arabs. Apart from the town of Jaffa, there are no important differences in economic resources of the Arab areas in the two plans.
The calculation has been made as follows. The budget estimates of the Palestine Administration for the year 1947-1948 both as regards revenue and expenditure have been taken as the sole basis of the calculation. Assuming the boundaries of the British scheme mentioned above, the expenditures have been partitioned between the States on a population basis. Some expenditure has been reserved to a central body, on the assumption that a customs union would be set up and that certain obligations for public debt and pensions would be met as charges on surplus revenue. Apart from this and a few small items, all the expenditure of the present Administration has been hypothetically divided among the States. This procedure is open to the objection that, in fact, in a partitioned State the items of expenditure might be different. This is true, but -it must be remembered that it cannot be known how such States would develop their policy, and our present assumption is that the same standard of public services is maintained. Actually there would be some increase in overhead expenditure in providing the same services in a partitioned Palestine, since partitioning would involve some duplication of administration. The difference on this account might not be very great, however.
No expenditure has been allocated to defence since the costs of external defence are at present borne by the British Government, and since expenditure for internal security, which is £.P 7,000,000 in the present estimates, has been added to the expenditures of the States in the present calculation.
The estimates of revenue for the year 1947-1948 have, with the exception of customs revenue and net income from the Currency Board, Posts and Telegraph, etc., been attributed to the two States on a territorial basis. In respect of land tax, animal tax, and about 75 per cent of income tax, it is possible, on the basis of figures supplied by the Palestine Government, to make this division fairly accurately. In other cases, it has been necessary to use an arbitrary assumption that the revenue would be in proportion to the population.
The summary results of this calculation are as follows:
Revenue (apart from customs)
Revenue (apart)from customs
City of Jerusalem
Revenue (apart from customs)
Net revenue of customs and other joint services
* Palestine pounds.
The net revenue of joint services is available for distribution between the two States and the City of Jerusalem but falls short of the combined deficits by just over one and one-quarter million pounds. This, however, is not important in the present discussion since it is merely the consequence of basing the calculations on the actual estimates of the present Palestine Administration. It should be noted that in the present Administration budget there are expenditures of £.P. 7,000,000 on police and security and about £.P. 2,000,000 on subsidies designed to keep the cost of living down. Police expenditure should certainly be substantially reduced in the event of a settlement of the Palestine problem, and it is also possible that some saving could be made in regard to food subsidies since the necessity for them would be less in an Arab State which would contain a large number of self-sufficient cultivators and relatively few industrial wage-earners. In this case the expenditure attributed to the Arab State on this basis might be capable of reduction by as much as £.P 3,000,000. Reductions on police expenditure should, of course, also be possible for the other two areas. On the side of revenue, it is possible that income tax yields could be increased in the area of the proposed Arab State.
It is in the light of these considerations that the members of the Commitee, in proposing their partition scheme with economic union, have made their particular recommendations for the distribution of the customs revenue. By this means the members of the Committee supporting the partition plan believe that the viability of the Arab State could be reasonable assured.
The Committee is satisfied that, in the sense defined, the proposed Jewish State and the City of Jerusalem would be viable.
Part III. City of Jerusalem
1. The proposal to place the City of Jerusalem under international trusteeship is based on the following considerations.
2. Jerusalem is a Holy City for three faiths. Their shrines are side by side; some are sacred to two faiths. Hundreds of millions of Christians, Moslems and Jews throughout the world want peace, and especially religious peace, to reign in Jerusalem; they want the sacred character of its Holy Places to be preserved and access to them guaranteed to pilgrims from abroad.
3. The history of Jerusalem, during the Ottoman regime as under the Mandate, shows that religious peace has been maintained in the City because the Government was anxious and had the power to prevent controversies involving some religious interest from developing into bitter strife and disorder. The Government was not intimately involved in local politics, and could, when necessary, arbitrate conflicts.
4. Religious peace in Jerusalem is necessary for the maintenance of peace in the Arab and in the Jewish States. Disturbances in the Holy City would have far-reaching consequences, extending perhaps beyond the frontiers of Palestine.
5. The application of the provisions relating to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in the whole of Palestine would also be greatly facilitated by the setting up of an international authority in Jerusalem. The Governor of the City would be empowered to supervise the application of such provisions and to arbitrate conflicts in respect of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites.
6. The International Trusteeship System is proposed as the most suitable instrument for meeting the special problems presented by Jerusalem, for the reason that the Trusteeship Council, as a principal organ of the United Nations, affords a convenient and effective means of ensuring both the desired international supervision and the political, economic and social well-being of the population of Jerusalem.
1. The City of Jerusalem shall be placed under an International Trusteeship System by means of a Trusteeship Agreement which shall designate the United Nations as the Administering Authority, in accordance with Article 81 of the Charter of the United Nations.
2. The City of Jerusalem shall include the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which to be Abu Dir; the most southern Bethlehem; the most western Ein Karim and the most northern Shu'fat, as indicated on the attached sketch-map.
3. The Trusteeship Agreement in respect of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites, and minorities, shall contain provisions similar to those contained in chapters I and 2 of the Declaration in the Plan of Partition with Economic Union. It shall also include, inter alia, the provisions set forth below:
- The City of Jerusalem shall be demilitarized, its neutrality shall be declared and preserved, and no para-military formations, exercises or activities shall be permitted within its borders.
- Persons residing in the City of Jerusalem, without distinction as to ethnic origin, sex, language or religion, shall be ensured protection under its laws with regard to the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of worship, language, speech and publication, education, assembly and association.
- Residents of the City of Jerusalem, irrespective of nationality, may participate in the local elections of the City. They shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the City in respect of taxation and judicial proceedings.
- A Governor of the City of Jerusalem shall be appointed by the Trusteeship Council. He shall be neither Arab nor Jew nor a citizen of the Palestine States nor, at the time of appointment, a resident of the City of Jerusalem.
- In addition to the Governor, there shall be such other executive, legislative and judicial organs, bodies and offices for governing the City as may be determined in the Trusteeship Agreement.
- The Governor, as chief administrative official of the City, shall be responsible, in such manner as the Trusteeship Agreement shall prescribe, for the conduct of the administration of the City. With relation to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in any part of Palestine, other than the City of Jerusalem, he shall determine whether the provisions of the constitution of the Arab and Jewish States in Palestine dealing therewith and the religious rights appertaining thereto are being properly applied and respected. The protection of all such places, buildings and sites located in the City of Jerusalem shall be a special concern of his office. He shall also be empowered to make decisions on the basis of existing rights in cases of disputes which may arise between the different communities in respect of such Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in any part of Palestine.
- Should the administration of the City of Jerusalem be seriously obstructed or prevented by the non-co-operation or interference of one or more sections of the population, the Governor shall have authority to take such measures as may be necessary to restore the effective functioning of the administration.
- The City of Jerusalem shall guarantee free transit and visit to residents of the Arab and Jewish States in Palestine, subject only to security considerations.
- The protection of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in the City of Jerusalem shall be entrusted to a special police force, the members of which shall be recruited outside of Palestine and shall be neither Arab nor Jew. The Governor shall be empowered to direct such budgetary provision as may be necessary for the maintenance of this special force.
- The City of Jerusalem should be included in the Economic Union of Palestine.
1. In the course of the informal meetings of the Committee to explore solutions, a working group was set up to deal with the federal-State proposal.
2. The Working Group in the Federal State Solution (Sir Abdur Rahman, Mr. Entezam, Mr. Simic, and Mr. Atyeo) formulated a comprehensive proposal along these lines and it was voted upon and supported by three members (India, Iran, and Yugoslavia) at the forty-seventh meeting of the Committee on 27 August 1947.
3. The federal-State plan is herewith reproduced.
Plan for a federal-State
Justification for the federal-State solution
1. It is incontrovertible that any solution for Palestine cannot be considered as a solution of the Jewish problem in general.
2. It is recognized that Palestine is the common country of both indigenous Arabs and Jews, that both these peoples have had an historic association with it, and that both play vital roles in the economic and cultural life of the country.
3. This being so, the objective is a dynamic solution which will ensure equal rights for both Arabs and Jews in their common State, and which will maintain that economic unity which is indispensable to the life and development of the country.
4. The basic assumption underlying the views herein expressed is that the proposal of other members of the Committee for a union under artificial arrangements designed to achieve essential economic and social unity after first creating political and geographical disunity by partition, is impracticable, unworkable, and could not possibly provide for two reasonably viable States.
5. Two basic questions have been taken into account in appraising the feasibility of the federal-State solution, viz.,(a) whether Jewish nationalism and the demand for a separate and sovereign Jewish State must be recognized at all costs, and (b) whether a will to co-operate in a federal State could be fostered among Arabs and Jews. To the first, the answer is in the negative, since the well-being of the country and its peoples as a whole is accepted as outweighing the aspirations of the Jews in this regard. To the second, the answer is in the affirmative, as there is a reasonable chance, given proper conditions, to achieve such co-operation.
6. It would be a tragic mistake on the part of the international community not to bend every effort in this direction. Support for the preservation of the unity of Palestine by the United Nations would in itself be an important factor in encouraging co-operation and collaboration between the two peoples, and would contribute significantly to the creation of that atmosphere in which the will to co-operate can be cultivated. In this regard, it is realized that the moral and political prestige of the United Nations is deeply involved.
7. The objective of a federal-State solution would be to give the most feasible recognition to the nationalistic aspirations of both Arabs and Jews, and to merge them into a single loyalty and patriotism which would find expression in an independent Palestine.
8. The federal State is also in every respect the most democratic solution, both as regards the measures required for its implementation and in its operation, since it requires no undemocratic economic controls, avoids the creation of national minority groups, and affords an opportunity for full and effective participation in representative government to every citizen of the State. This solution would be most in harmony with the basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
9. The federal-State solution would permit the development of patterns of government and social organization in Palestine which would be more harmonious with the governmental and social patterns in the neighbouring States.
10. Such a solution would be the one most likely to bring to an end the present economic boycotts, to the benefit of the economic life of the country.
11. Future peace and order in Palestine and the Near East generally will be vitally affected by the nature of the solution decided upon for the Palestine question. In this regard, it is important to avoid an acceleration of the separatism which now characterizes the relations of Arabs and Jews in the Near East, and to avoid laying the foundations of a dangerous irredentism there, which would be the inevitable consequences of partition in whatever form. A federal-State solution, therefore, which in the very nature of the case must emphasize unity and co-operation, will best serve the interests of peace.
12. It is a fact of great significance that very few, if any, Arabs, are in favour of partition as a solution. On the other hand, a substantial number of Jews, backed by influential Jewish leaders and organizations, are strongly opposed to partition. Partition both in principle and in substance can only be regarded as an anti-Arab solution. The federal State, however, cannot be described as an anti-Jewish solution. To the contrary, it will best serve the interests of both Arabs and Jews.
13. A federal State would provide the greatest opportunity for ameliorating the present dangerous racial and religious divisions in the population, while permitting the development of a more normal social structure.
14. The federal State is the most constructive and dynamic solution in that it eschews an attitude of resignation towards the question of the ability of Arabs and Jews to co-operate in their common interest, in favour of a realistic and dynamic attitude, namely, that under changed conditions the will to co-operate can be cultivated.
15. A basis for the assumption that co-operation between the Arab and Jewish communities is not impossible is found in the fact that, even under the existing highly unfavourable conditions, the Committee did observe in Palestine instances of effective and fruitful co-operation between the two communities.
16. While it may be doubted whether the will to co-operate is to be found in the two groups under present conditions, it is entirely possible that if a federal solution were firmly and definitively imposed, the two groups, in their own self-interest, would gradually develop a spirit of co-operation in their common State. There is no basis for an assumption that these two peoples cannot live and work together for common purposes once they realize that there is no alternative. Since, under any solution, large groups of them would have to do so, it must either be taken for granted that cooperation between them is possible or it must be accepted that there is no workable solution at all.
17. Taking into account the limited area available and the vital importance of maintaining Palestine as an economic and social unity, the federal-State solution seems to provide the only practical and workable approach.
The undersigned representatives of India, Iran and Yugoslavia, not being in agreement with the recommendation for partition formulated by the other members of the Committee, and for the reasons, among others, stated above, present to the General Assembly the following recommendations which, in their view, constitute the most suitable solution to the problem of Palestine.
I. The Independent State of Palestine
It is recommended that
1. The peoples of Palestine are entitled to recognition of their right to independence, and an independent federal State of Palestine shall be created following a transitional period not exceeding three years.
2. With regard to the transitional period, responsibility for administering Palestine and preparing it for independence under the conditions herein prescribed shall be entrusted ' to such authority as may be decided upon by the General Assembly.
3. The independent federal State of Palestine shall comprise an Arab state and a Jewish state.
4. In delimiting the boundaries of the Arab and Jewish states, respectively, consideration shall be given to anticipated population growth.
5. During the transitional period, a constituent assembly shall be elected by the population of Palestine and shall formulate the constitution of the independent federal State of Palestine. The authority entrusted by the General Assembly with responsibility for administering Palestine during the transitional period shall convene the constituent assembly on the basis of electoral provisions which shall ensure the fullest possible representation of the population, providing that all adult persons who have acquired Palestinian citizenship as well as all Arabs and Jews who, though non-citizens, may be resident in Palestine and who shall have applied for citizenship in Palestine not less than three months before the date of the election, shall be entitled to vote therein.
6. The attainment of independence by the independent federal State of Palestine shall be declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations as soon as the authority administering the territory shall have certified to the General Assembly that the constituent assembly referred to in the preceding paragraph has adopted a constitution incorporating the provisions set forth in 11 immediately following.
II. Outline of the structure and required provisions in the constitution of Palestine
(The provisions set forth in this section are not designed to be the constitution of the new independent federal State of Palestine. The intent is that the constitution of the new State, as a condition for independence, shall be required to include, inter alia, the substance of these provisions.)
It is recommended that
As a condition prior to the grant of independence, the constitution of the proposed independent federal State of Palestine shall include, in substance, the following provisions:
1. The governmental structure of the independent federal State of Palestine shall be federal and shall comprise a federal Government and the governments of the Arab and Jewish states respectively.
2. Among the organs of government there shall be a head of State and an executive body, a representative federal legislative body, a federal court and such other subsidiary bodies as may be deemed necessary.
3. The federal legislative body shall be composed of two chambers.
4. Election to one chamber of the federal legislative body shall be on the basis of proportional representation of the population as a whole.
5. Election of members to the other chamber of the federal legislative body shall be on the basis of equal representation of the Arab and Jewish citizens of Palestine.
6. The federal legislative body shall be empowered to legislate on all matters entrusted to the federal Government.
7. Legislation shall be enacted when approved by majority votes in both chambers of the federal legislative body.
8. In the event of disagreement between the two chambers with regard to any proposed legislation, the issue shall be submitted to an arbitral body. That body shall be composed of one representative from each chamber of the federal legislative body, the head of State, and two members, other than members of the federal court, designated by that court for this purpose; these members shall be so designated by the court with regard to Arabs and Jews as to ensure that neither the Arab nor the Jewish community shall have less than two members on the arbitral body. This arbitral body shall first attempt to resolve the disagreement by mediation, but in the event mediation fails, the arbitral body shall be empowered to make a final decision which shall have the force of law and shall be binding.
9. The head of the independent federal State of Palestine shall be elected by a majority vote of the members of both chambers of the federal legislative body sitting in a joint meeting convened for this purpose, and shall serve for such term as the constitution may determine.
10. The powers and functions of the head of the independent federal State of Palestine shall be as determined by the constitution of that State.
11. A deputy head of State shall be similarly elected, who shall be a representative of the community other than that with which the head of State provided for in paragraph 9 above is identified. The deputy head of State in his regular activities and during the absence of the head of State, for whom he shall act, shall exercise such powers as may be delegated to him by the head of State. He shall also act with full powers for the head of State in case of his incapacity, or following his death, pending the election of a new head of State.
12. The executive branch of the federal Government shall be responsible to the federal legislative body.
13. A federal court shall be established which shall be the final court of appeal with regard to constitutional matters.
14. The federal court shall have a minimum membership of four Arabs and three Jews.
15. The members of the federal court shall be elected at a joint session of both chambers of the federal legislative body for such terms and subject to such qualifications as the constitution may prescribe.
16. The federal court shall be empowered to decide (a) whether laws and regulations of the federal and state governments are in conformity with the constitution; (b) cases involving conflict between the laws and regulations of the federal government and laws and regulations of the state governments; (c) all other questions involving an interpretation of the constitution; and (d) such other matters as may be placed within its competence by the constitution.
17. All decisions of the federal court shall be final.
18. Full authority shall be vested in the federal government with regard to national defense, foreign relations, immigration, currency, taxation for federal purposes, foreign and interstate waterways, transport and communications, copyrights and patents.
19. The constitution shall forbid any discriminatory legislation, whether by federal or state governments, against Arabs, Jews or other population groups, or against either of the states; and shall guarantee equal rights and privileges for all minorities, irrespective of race or religion.
20. The constitution, having regard for the customs of the people, shall be based on the principle of the full equality of all citizens of Palestine with regard to the political, civil and religious rights of the individual, and shall make specific provision for the protection of linguistic, religious, and ethnic rights of the peoples and respect for their cultures.
21. The constitution shall include specific guarantees respecting freedom of conscience, speech, press and assemblage, the rights of organized labour, freedom of movement, freedom from arbitrary searches and seizures, and rights of personal property.
22. The constitution shall guarantee free access to Holy Places, protect religious interests, and ensure freedom of worship and of conscience to all, provided that the traditional customs of the several religions shall be respected.
23. Arabic and Hebrew shall be official languages in both the federal and state governments.
24. The constitution shall include provisions which shall (a) undertake to settle 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; and (b) accept 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 manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.
25. There shall be a single Palestinian nationality and citizenship, which shall be granted to Arabs, Jews and others on the basis of such qualifications and conditions as the constitution and laws of the federal State may determine and equally apply.
26. The Arab state and the Jewish state shall enjoy full powers of local selfgovernment, and may institute such representative forms of government, adopt such local constitutions and issue such local laws and regulations as they may deem desirable, subject only to the provisions of the federal constitution.
27. Each state government shall have authority, within its borders, over education, taxation for local purposes, the right of residence, commercial licenses, land permits, grazing rights, interstate migration, settlement, police, punishment of crime, social institutions and services, public housing, public health, local roads, agriculture and local industries, and such aspects of economic activities and such other authority as may be entrusted to the states by the constitution.
28. Each state shall be entitled to organize a police force for the maintenance of law and order.
29. The constitution shall provide for equitable participation of the representatives of both communities in delegations to international organizations and conferences, and on all boards, agencies, bureaux or ad hoc bodies established under the authority of the State.
30. The independent federal State of Palestine shall accept as binding all international agreements and conventions, both general and specific, to which the territory of Palestine has previously become a party by action of the mandatory Power acting on its behalf. Subject to such right of denunciation as may be provided therein, all such agreements and conventions shall be respected by the independent federal State of Palestine.
31. The constitution shall make provision for its method of amendment, provided that it shall be accepted as a solemn obligation undertaken by the independent federal State of Palestine to the United Nations not to alter the provisions of any part of the constitution or the constitution as a whole in such manner as to nullify the provisions herein stated as a prior condition to independence, except by the assent of a majority of both the Arab and Jewish members of the federal legislative body.
It is recommended that
The boundaries of the respective Arab and Jewish states in the independent federal State of Palestine shall be as indicated on the map attached to this report.
It is recommended that
The General Assembly of the United Nations shall invite all 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 capitulations or usage in the Ottoman Empire, to renounce any right pertaining to them to the re-establishment of such privileges and immunities in the independent federal State of Palestine.
V. The Holy Places, religious interests and Jerusalem
A. Religious interests and Holy Places
It is recommended that
Since the Holy Places, buildings and sites appertaining to whatever religions, and wherever located in Palestine, must be recognized as of special and unique interest and concern to the international community, the following principles and measures should be fully safeguarded as a condition for the establishment of the independent federal State of Palestine.
1. Millions of Christians, Jews and Moslems abroad, as well as the inhabitants of Palestine, have a proper and recognized interest in the preservation and care of sites and buildings associated with the origin and history of their respective faiths. The sacred character of the Holy Places shall therefore be preserved, and access to them for purposes of worship and pilgrimage shall be ensured in accordance with existing rights.
2. In the interests both of the followers of various faiths and of the maintenance of peace, existing rights in Palestine enjoyed by the several religious communities shall be neither impaired nor denied.
3. The incorporation in the constitution of the independent federal State of Palestine of provisions of the nature proposed in the preceding paragraph are designed substantially to allay the anxiety which is manifested in many quarters concerning the future status of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites and the preservation of the rights of the communities in Palestine following the establishment of an independent State of Palestine.
4. The establishment of an adequate and impartial system for the settlement of disputes regarding religious rights is essential to the preservation of religious peace in replacement of the Palestinian administration which exercised such authority Linder the mandate. Specific stipulations designed to preserve and protect the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites and the rights of religious communities shall be inserted in the constitution of the independent federal State of Palestine and shall be in substance as follows:
- Existing rights in respect of Holy Places, religious buildings and sites shall not be denied or impaired.
- Free access to the Holy Places, religious buildings and 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.
- Holy Places, religious buildings and sites shall be preserved and no action shall be permitted which may in any way impair their sacred character.
- If at any time it should appear to the Government of the independent federal State of Palestine, or representations to that effect should be made to it by any interested party, that any particular Holy Place, religious building or site is in need of urgent repair, the Government shall call upon the religious community or communities concerned to carry out such repair, and in the event no action is taken within a reasonable time, the Government itself may carry out the necessary repairs.
- No taxation shall be levied in respect of any Holy Place, religious building or site which was exempt from taxation under the law in force on the date on which independence shall be granted to the State of Palestine.
5. In the interest of preserving, protecting and caring for Holy Places, buildings and sites in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth and elsewhere in Palestine, a permanent international body for the supervision and protection of the Holy Places in Palestine shall be created by the appropriate organ of the United Nations. A list of such Holy Places, buildings and sites shall be prepared by that organ.
6. The membership of the permanent international body for the supervision of Holy Places in Palestine shall consist of three representatives designated by the appropriate organ of the United Nations, and one representative from each of the recognized faiths having an interest in the matter, as may be determined by the United Nations.
7. The permanent international body referred to in paragraphs 5 and 6 above shall be responsible, subject to existing rights, for the supervision and protection of all such Places, buildings and sites in Palestine, and shall be empowered to make representations to the Government of the independent federal State of Palestine respecting any matters affecting the Holy Places, buildings and sites or the protection of religious interests in Palestine, and to report on all such matters to the General Assembly of the United Nations.
1. Jerusalem, which shall be the capital of the independent federal State of Palestine, shall comprise, for purposes of local administration, two separate municipalities, one of which shall include the Arab sections of the city, including that part of the city within the walls, and the other the areas which are predominantly Jewish.
2. The Arab and Jewish municipalities of Jerusalem, which shall jointly comprise the City and capital of Jerusalem, shall, under the constitution and laws of the federal Government, enjoy powers of local administration within their respective areas, and shall participate in such joint local self-governing institutions as the federal Government may prescribe or pen-nit, provided that equitable representation in such bodies is ensured to followers of such faiths as may be represented in the community.
3. The Arab and Jewish municipalities of Jerusalem shall jointly provide for, maintain and support such common public services as sewage, garbage collection and disposal, fire protection, water supply, local transport, telephones and telegraph.
C. Irrevocability of provisions
The independent federal State of Palestine, irrespective of the provision made in paragraph 31 of section 11 of these recommendations for amendment of the constitution, shall undertake to accept as irrevocable the above provisions affecting Holy Places, buildings and sites and religious interests.
VI. International responsibility for Jewish displaced persons
1. The Jews in the displaced persons camps and the distressed European Jews outside them, like the other homeless persons of Europe, constitute a residue of the Second World War. As such, they are all an international responsibility. But the Jews amongst them have a direct bearing on the solution of the Palestine problem, in view of the insistent demands that they be permitted freely to enter that country, and the Arab fears that this permission will be granted.
2. Although the Committee's terms of reference would not justify it in devoting its attention to the problem of the displaced and homeless persons as a whole, it is entirely justified in recommending to the General Assembly a prompt amelioration of the plight of the Jewish segments of these groups as a vital prerequisite to the settlement of the difficult conditions in Palestine.
3. Therefore, 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 in and outside the camps for displaced persons, of whom approximately 250,000 are in assembly centers, would be accepted as a special concern of extreme urgency for the alleviation of the Palestine problem, and by means of which a number of those Members of the United Nations not already over-populated would accept within their borders a proportionate number of Jewish refugees, with Palestine accepting its share in accordance with the recommendation on Jewish immigration set forth in VII immediately below.
VII. Jewish immigration into Palestine
1. Jewish immigration into Palestine continues to be one of the central political questions of that country.
2. The solution of the problem of Palestine is rendered more difficult by the fact that large numbers of Jews, and especially the displaced and homeless Jews of Europe, insistently demand the right to settle in Palestine, on the basis of the historical association of the Jewish people with that country, and are strongly supported in this demand by all of the Jews encountered by the Committee in Palestine.
3. It is a fact, also, that many of the Jews in Palestine have relatives among the displaced Jews of Europe who are eager to emigrate to Palestine.
4. While the problem of Jewish immigration is thus closely related to the solution of the Palestine question, it cannot be contemplated that Palestine is to be considered in any sense as a means of solving the problem of world Jewry. In direct and effective opposition to any such suggestion are the twin factors of limited area and resources and vigorous and persistent opposition of the Arab people, who constitute the majority population of the country.
5. For these reasons, no claim to a right of unlimited immigration of Jews into Palestine, irrespective of time, can be entertained. It follows, therefore, that no basis could exist for any anticipation that the Jews now in Palestine might increase their numbers by means of free mass immigration to such extent that they would become the majority population in Palestine.
6. With these considerations in mind,
It is recommended that
The problem of Jewish immigration into Palestine be dealt with in the following manner:
- For a period of three years from the effective date of the beginning of the transitional period provided for in the solution to be applied to Palestine, even if the transitional period should be less, Jewish immigration shall be permitted into the borders of the Jewish state in the proposed independent federal State of Palestine, in such numbers as not to exceed the absorptive capacity of that Jewish state, having due regard for the rights of the population then present within that state and for their anticipated natural rate of increase. The authority responsible for executing the transitional arrangements on behalf of the United Nations shall take all measures necessary to safeguard these principles.
- For the purpose of appraising objectively the absorptive capacity of the Jewish state in the independent State of Palestine, an international commission shall be established. Its membership shall consist of three representatives designated by the Arabs of Palestine, three representatives designated by the Jews of Palestine, and three representatives designated by the appropriate organ of the United Nations.
- The international commission shall be empowered to estimate the absorptive capacity of the Jewish state, and in discharging this responsibility may call upon the assistance of such experts as it may consider necessary.
- The estimates of the international commission, made in accordance with subparagraphs 6(a) and 6(c) above shall be binding on the authority entrusted with the administration of Palestine during the period referred to in sub-paragraph 6(a).
- The international commission shall exist only during the period of three years provided for in sub-paragraph 6(a); and its functions and activities, other than those relating to its liquidation, shall automatically cease at the end of that period.
- Responsibility for organizing and caring for Jewish immigrants during the transitional period shall be placed in such representative local organization as the Jewish community of Palestine shall decide upon.
- Priority in the granting of Jewish immigration certificates during the transitional period shall be accorded to orphans, survivors who are of the same family, close relatives of persons already in Palestine, and persons having useful scientific and technical qualifications.
Reservations and Observations
1. Some representatives have reserved their position on a number of specific points or have wished to express particular points of view. These reservations and observations will be found in the appendix to this report.
2. The representatives making such reservations and observations, and the subjects on which they are recorded, are as follows:
The representative of Australia:
(i) Statement on attitude towards proposals in Chapters VI and VII.
The representative of Guatemala:
(i) Reservation on recommendation XII of Chapter V.
The representative of India:
(i) Declaration on independence.
(ii) Observations on the Mandate in its historical setting.
(iii) Declaration on form of government.
(iv) Declaration of reasons why partition cannot be accepted.
The representative of Uruguay:
(i) Reservation on recommendation XII of Chapter V.
(ii) Declaration on boundaries.
(iii) Declaration on immigration.
(iv) Declaration on religious interests.
The representative of Yugoslavia:
(i) Observations on historical background.
(ii) Appraisal of the Mandate.
(iii) Observation on the present situation.
3. The reservations and observations referred to above were not communicated to all the other members of the Special Committee before the signing of the report.
Sources: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1) A number of members of the Committee held the view that, at the end of the ten-year period, the parties should be free to terminate the Treaty without the interference of the General Assembly.A number of members of the Committee proposed to add here: "Thereafter modifications may be made by agreement of the two States but no such modification shall remove from the Treaty any of the objectives of the Economic Union without the assent of the General Assembly of the United Nations."According to the Government of Palestine, the total Jewish population in July 1947 was 625,000. In addition there may be a number of illegal unregistered immigrants not included in this total.The following stipulation shall be added to the Declaration concerning the Jewish State: "In the Jewish State adequate facilities shall be given to Arabic-speaking citizens for the use of their language, either orally or in writing, in the legislature, before the Courts and in the administration."
2) In the Declaration concerning the Arab State, the words "by an Arab in the Jewish State" should be replaced by the words: "by a Jew in the Arab State".