UN Breathing Spell on Palestine:
A New Phase, But the Old Problems Remain
The establishment of an innocuous Conciliation Commission by the UN Assembly, with practically no terms of reference (even to its own partition decision of November 29, 1947), marked the abandonment of Count Bernadotte’s plan. Significantly, his plan was wrecked by the opposition of both contending parties, as had happened to so many previous Palestine plans.
But the Arabs and Jews did not both reject it for the same reasons. The Arabs adhered to their old claim that partition was an injustice which could never be swallowed by Arabs, and that consequently no solution based on partition could ever be acceptable to them. They professed to ignore the existence of the Jewish state, and argued that it was an artificial structure which could not survive, thus opposing the Mediator’s statement that the state was a “vigorous reality” that had come to stay. On this point they now disagree most strikingly with Britain, their main champion among the great powers.
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