Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Consequences of the Partition of Palestine

1. Introduction

On 1 September 1947 the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) completed its report, and a majority of its members recommended partition as the best solution of the Palestine problem. In spite of violent opposition from the Arab states and the possibility that partition would not receive the necessary two-thirds majority in the UNGA, there is no doubt that this type of solution of the Palestine problem has been more seriously studied and more generally accepted than any other. It is important, therefore, to attempt to determine what the consequences of partition will be.

The General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine has presented to the GA a partition plan based on the majority report of UNSCOP. Although no final decisions have yet been reached on implementing and enforcing the eventual UN recommendation, certain basic assumptions can be made. If the UNGA (now debating the partition scheme) accepts by a two-thirds majority partition for Palestine, the following situation will result:

a. A sovereign Jewish state, comprising a substantial part of the area of Palestine, will be established.

b. A substantial number of immigrants will be permitted to enter this Jewish state.

c. The Arabs, not only of Palestine but of all the Near East, will strongly oppose both a and b above, and armed hostilities between Jews and Arabs will take place.

d. Assistance in the form of men, arms, and supplies will be afforded both the Jews and the Arabs from outside Palestine.

e. The United Nations will not immediately organize an international police force to keep the peace in Palestine.

On the basis of these assumptions, three questions must be answered:

a. How will the Arab-Jewish conflict develop, and with what results?

b. How will the stability of the Middle East be affected?

c. How will US strategic and commercial interests be affected?

In order to answer these questions, an examination of the political situation resulting from partition and the military developments which may arise from that situation follows.

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