On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution1 which adopted the plan for the partition of Palestine recommended by the majority of the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). 33 states voted in favor of the resolution and 13 voted against. 10 states abstained.
- It was a historic resolution that expressed the then-prevailing view of most of the major states of the United Nations, which voted in favor of it.
- It established the principle of two states for two peoples.
- It recognized the uniqueness of Jerusalem and the Jewish people’s bond to the city.
- Had the Arabs agreed to live with the resolution as the Israelis did, despite its drawbacks from the standpoint of both sides, we would be in a different situation today with far fewer bereaved families on both sides.
- Because of the Arabs’ rejection of it and in light of their decision to fight its implementation, the resolution has not assumed any validity except for the historical symbolism of its basic content.
- The significance of its nonimplementation is that all the previously existing historical and legal rights as recognized by the Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate, and the San Remo Resolution have remained in force.
- From that time to the present, negotiation mechanisms prescribed by Resolution 242 (1967), the Camp David accords (1979), and the Oslo agreements (1993-1999) have not been completed and no solution has been agreed upon.
- Therefore, all the claims about Israel’s rights (and also, of course, about the Arabs’ rights) are still valid and remain unchanged until agreement on a permanent settlement is reached.
- Therefore, any assertion by the United Nations and the Europeans about the territory belonging to the Palestinians in fact contravenes the symbolic basis of the partition resolution.
- The time has come for the states to recognize this and stop contravening that symbolic basis.
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