New York Post

FRIDAY, MAY 7, 1948

President Needs Advice

Since Partition is a Reality the Economic
Union of Palestine States is Next Task?


Let us be kind to the President of the United States. Is he not the elected of the people? He is human and he can make mistakes; he is human and he can persist in his mistakes. But finally he is eager to disentangle himself from the maze of blunders and find the way out. Believing wholeheartedly that such is his sincere wish, we humbly offer our—entirely private—advice.

Since the present special session of the United Nations was convoked at the request of the United States, it is very important for this Administration that some useful and positive result should come out of it.

The President should realize, however, that the United Nations is a body made up of many nations, not a department of the Administration in Washington, and the U. S. cannot impose its whim or the heart’s desire of certain civil or military servants or lobbyists. He should also realize that his advisers on Palestine have achieved only five things:

  1. The moral and political position of the President has been undermined;

  2. The chances of the Democratic Party for winning in 1948 have been greatly reduced;

  3. The prestige of the United States has been lowered;

  4. The prestige of the United Nations has been irreparably damaged;

  5. The strife in Palestine has been augmented tenfold.

Not even the Arabs won anything because of their reversals on the field of battle. The President would do himself a kindness if he would drive the advisers who succeeded so much in so little a time far from the grounds of the White House.

* * *

The President must realize that the partition plan was not a United States plan that it could revoke at will; the partition plan was a proposal put forth by the majority of the eleven-member Special Committee on Palestine appointed by the General Assembly of the U. N. to investigate the Palestine problem on the spot. In the selection of member nations for this committee, the Arab states participated, but not the Jewish Agency. In the vote of Nov. 29 the United States had only one vote, and if it changed its mind after the vote (under the pressure of the oil lobby), it is in no different position than one member of a fifty-member jury who changes his mind after the verdict has been brought in.

The President should bear in mind that Jewish Palestine is to a large extent an American investment which should be protected as much as the oil fields of Arabia, which are American investments when protection is required, but are largely not American investments when it comes to paying taxes on profits.

The President should also give thought to the fact that American oil interests are very different from British oil interests in the Middle East and that in supporting King Abdullah he works against the American interests and against Ibn-Saud, but by supporting Jewish Palestine, he does not work against Ibn-Saud. If Abdullah will return to Mecca and to the throne of his father and will become Caliph, the British will be in the saddle in Arabia; they were driven from there by Ibn-Saud.

The President should be reminded that partition is a democratic principle. Only three years ago the Syrian mandate of the French was terminated by the creation of two republics, the Syrian Republic with a Moslem majority, and Lebanon with a Christian majority (and a large Moslem minority), with precisely the purpose of giving the Christian minority a place where it could work out its own destiny.

Since partition is an accomplished fact in spite of being disliked by some people in Washington, we shall from now on speak not about partition, but about the unification or the Union of the Palestine States.

* * *

Here is a plan for the President to propose and for the Assembly to act on. Four tasks confront the Special Assembly. The first task is to establish trusteeship over the Jerusalem enclave. The three consuls in Jerusalem, of America, of Belgium, of France, should act as temporary trustees, and should be supplied with police or a military force as they may see fit to demand, to be contributed only by those states that agreed to the plan accepted on November 29 regarding Jerusalem and Palestine in general.

After three months these three officers should turn the trusteeship over to the eleven nations that were originally designated to make the report on Palestine, or to those of them which voted for the “Majority plan.” All decisions should be taken on a simple majority vote.

The second task concerns the Arab state. The Arabs of Palestine have not prepared machinery to administer their state, and refused to do so; moreover they are incapable of doing so. The “Higher Committee” does not represent the Arab population, is not an elected body, and exists only on the assassination of its political opponents. The trustees of Jerusalem should also be entrusted with the administration of that part of Palestine, education of the population in democracy and after a few years with the preparations for a democratic election. No force, no state, no king should participate in this administration if it disagrees with the idea of partition.

The third task is to give recognition to the Jewish State (of which the Jewish Agency is already a trustee) as of May 15.

The fourth task is to select as Commission for the purpose of negotiating between the Jewish state and the trustees of the U. N. for the rest of Palestine of setting up a Union of Palestinian States.

* * *

This plan, if put into effect, would stabilize the Middle East, would save the Arabs from utter humiliation and calm the beginning unrest of the Druses in Syria and Kurds in Iraq, would secure the peace that is necessary for the development of oil, and would reestablish the equilibrium of the conflicting British and American interests in the Middle East.

All this would be in full accord with both the letter and the spirit of the United Nations decision on Palestine of Nov: 29 and would justify the convocation of the present session of the United Nations on the initiative of the United States.