Outrageous Peace Plan
Jerusalem Would Be Turned Over to Arab Rule
if Count Bernadotte Proposals Win
Count Bernadotte has revealed, we assume unknowingly,
that he is a British tool, when he a fortnight ago made the following
- That the State of Israel surrender the Negeb, the southern
Palestine, to the Arab State;
- That international Jerusalem with a large Jewish majority
be turned over to the Arabs;
- That the port of Haifa, belonging to Israel, become a free
- That the airport of Lydda, belonging to Israel, also become
- That immigration to Israel be limited or suspended, depending
on the desire of the Arabs in their neighboring state, after two years
of free immigration.
Count Bernadotte expected the Israelis to surrender
all this from the rights allotted to them by the partition plan of the
United Nations. The Arabs (and the British, who are favored by all these
concessions) are expected to trade Western Galilee, occupied by Israeli
troops, for the larger Negeb. They were not asked to make any concessions
from the rights allotted to them by the partition plan.
They are asked merely to recognize the State of
Israel, which, according to the plan of the mediator, would no longer
be independent, since he has envisaged economic union between the Arab
and Jewish States of Palestine, a common defense or military union (under
Glubb Pasha?), and dependence of Jewish immigration to Israel on Arab
consent. Of course, the Israelis are expected to extend the same courtesy
and recognize the Arab State in Palestine. It is a plan for federation
in its worst possible form.
* * *
It is quite obvious that Count Bernadotte has
not acted like a neutral mediator; all his points reveal the authorship
of the British. This is the plan Bevin long tried to impose on the Jewish
population of Palestine. Count Bernadotte must be utterly ignorant of
the position of Jerusalem in Jewish sentiment.
When the Jews agreed to Jerusalem as an international
city despite its Jewish majority they did so only because they realized
that thus it could fulfill the role the prophets envisaged, the role of
a city of peace for all nations.
Count Bernadotte must also be wholly unconscious
of the fact that the Israelis have already gone all the way down the road
of compromise and can compromise no further.
The Arabs have not even started to make compromises;
their counterproposal is a demand that all Palestine be made an Arab State,
where the Jews, as a permanent minority, would enjoy the rights of second
grade citizens. What it means to be a minority in an Arab country may
be learned from the status of Jews in Iraq or Yemen.
* * *
It is precisely because they bore the stigma of
minority in the countries of Europe and Asia that the Jews turned to their
ancestral home. The Balfour Declaration offered them Palestine within
its historical frontiers, and for that purpose the British obtained from
the League of Nations a mandate over the land on both sides of the Jordan.
But in the wording of the Balfour Declaration creation of a Jewish
National Home in Palestine, the British saw a loophole and made
their interests first in the trust. Interpreting the words in Palestine
as a limitation, they cut off two-thirds of Palestine, entire Transjordan,
a fruitful land, and there set up Abdullah as a subordinate Emir. In 1918
there were 300,000 Arabs in Transjordan; after thirty years the population
is practically unchanged. West of the Jordan, however, the Arab population
has doubled in the same period. The reason? The prosperity the Jews brought
to the land. If not for the military budget supplied by the British and
diverted from the Palestinian treasury, Transjordan would be a country
without an income.
* * *
In order to unite Arab Palestine with Transjordan
the British prepared a scheme and Count Bernadotte offered it:
Since the original mandate was for greater
Palestine on both sides of the Jordan, the first step is to reunite both
countries, Palestine and Transjordan, which had been illegally separated.
The second step is to divide greater Palestine anew, Abdullah acquiring
Transjordan and the Arab part, generously carved out, in western Palestine.
Basically, this is the only sound idea in Bernadottes
plan. In order to add territory to Transjordan, the Mediator acknowledges
that the original separation of Transjordan from the area under the Palestinian
mandate was unlawful. But if this is so, then the figures which underlay
the division of Palestine by the United Nations are no longer valid. The
area of Transjordan constitutes two-thirds of greater Palestine. The Arabs
in Transjordan and Cisjordan together do not make up more than two-thirds
of the whole population of greater Palestine. Thus the logic of figures
requires that the State of Israel be enlarged to embrace all the land
west of the Jordan, leaving Transjordan alone to the Arabs.