DID THE UNITED NATIONS CREATE THE MODERN STATE OF ISRAEL?

United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. 181 (II) of 1947 (commonly known as the “Palestine Partition Plan”) recommended the creation from all of the lands of Mandatory Palestine west of the Jordan River, representing 22% of original Mandatory Palestine, a Jewish state (comprising slightly less than 11% of the Land), an Arab state (comprising slightly less than 11% of the Land) and an internationally-administered greater Jerusalem. 

It is often asserted that the modern State of Israel was created by this Resolution as a byproduct of Europe's alleged guilty conscience over its complicity in the Holocaust.

Although widely accepted as an unassailable truism, this assertion is quite false. 

Israel’s juridical birth certificate is the pre-Holocaust League of Nations Mandate for Palestine of 1922 (provisionally operative from 1920) -- not the post-Holocaust United Nations Palestine Partition Plan of 1947.  Moreover, the Mandate was itself explicitly based upon the preexisting “historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country” (Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, Paragraph 3). 

The Mandate for Palestine states, in salient part, as follows:

MANDATE FOR PALESTINE

The Council of the League of Nations:

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them; and

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and

Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country; and

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Britannic Majesty as the Mandatory for Palestine; and

Whereas the mandate in respect of Palestine has been formulated in the following terms and submitted to the Council of the League for approval; and

Whereas His Britannic Majesty has accepted the mandate in respect of Palestine and undertaken to exercise it on behalf of the League of Nations in conformity with the following provisions; and

Whereas by the aforementioned Article 22 (paragraph 8), it is provided that the degree of authority, control or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory, not having been previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, shall be explicitly defined by the Council of the League Of Nations;

Confirming the said Mandate, defines its terms as follows:

ARTICLE 1     The Mandatory shall have full powers of legislation and of administration, save as they may be limited by the terms of this Mandate.

ARTICLE 2     The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the Preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.

ARTICLE 3     The Mandatory shall, so far as circumstances permit, encourage local autonomy.

ARTICLE 4     An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognized as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country.

The Zionist Organization, so long as its organization and constitution are, in the opinion of the Mandatory, appropriate, shall be recognized as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty's Government to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.

ARTICLE 5     The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power.

ARTICLE 6     The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the Land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

ARTICLE 7     The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.

. . . 

Since the Jewish people’s right to reestablish their nation-state in the biblical Land of Israel became a pillar of international law decades before the advent of the Holocaust, and since this aspect of international law was merely a formal acknowledgment of the aboriginal Jewish right to the Land, it is a gross misrepresentation of History to claim that the State of Israel instead emerged from the womb of the United Nations, impregnated by alleged European remorse over the Holocaust.

Moreover, while the Holocaust did not create the State of Israel, the absence of the State of Israel did create the Holocaust. For, had the Jewish State already existed when Nazi Germany arose from the ashes of World War I, virtually all of those who perished in the Holocaust would, instead, have been forcibly expelled by Nazi Germany to a welcoming Israel; and, consequently, there would have been no Holocaust.

Furthermore, if genuine European remorse over the Holocaust had really existed in 1947, then the United Nations General Assembly would never have issued its niggardly Palestine Partition Plan -- a recommendation of the international community which (following the decades-earlier severing from Mandatory Palestine of all of its lands east of the Jordan River, representing 78% of original Mandatory Palestine, first in 1922, territory which later became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, being 77% of the Land, and then again in 1923, territory which comprised the Golan Heights, being 1% of the Land) left the Jewish people with less than 11% of that which the League of Nations had originally allocated to them under the Mandate for Palestine, deprived them of any sovereignty over Jerusalem, and saddled them with a demographic and sectarian time bomb in the form of a population that was 45% Arab, virtually all of whom were hostile to the creation of a Jewish State.   Rather -- especially in light of the uncompromising language of Article 5 of the Mandate for Palestine -- a penitent U.N., acting through its Security Council, would have issued at that time an authoritative resolution under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter (which, unlike Chapter VI of the U.N. Charter, authorizes coercive enforcement measures):  (1) affirming the continuing primacy of the Mandate for Palestine as the legal foundation for the establishment of a Jewish State, (2) recognizing full Jewish sovereignty over the entire western portion of Mandatory Palestine, including Jerusalem, which constituted the remaining 22% of original Mandatory Palestine and (3) acknowledging that the Jewish people had the right to repatriate to their countries of origin the many hundreds of thousands of hostile Arabs who, from 1920 onward, had been permitted by Great Britain, as Mandatory trustee, to inundate the western portion of Mandatory Palestine in rank violation of its fiduciary obligations to the Jewish people under the Mandate for Palestine.  

Clearly, Israel exists neither due to Europe's alleged guilty conscience nor due to the issuance of the meager Palestine Partition Plan, but due only to the fact that the renascent Jewish State militarily defeated the seven Arab states (namely, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan fka Transjordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen) which, together with the Arab League’s “Arab Liberation Army” and local “Palestinian” militias drawn from Arab population centers throughout the western portion of Mandatory Palestine, had sought to annihilate the Jewish State, thereby igniting Israel's War of Independence.

Those who assert that Israel was created, rather than diminished, by the Palestine Partition Plan knowingly reverse Cause and Effect, as U.N. General Assembly Resolution no. 181 was the result -- rather than the determinant -- of Great Britain’s decision to quit the remainder of Mandatory Palestine.  This is because, in February 1947, Great Britain had already announced its intention to completely withdraw from the western portion of Mandatory Palestine by August 1948. Since this announcement was made some 9 months prior to -- and, in fact, served as the direct impetus for -- the United Nations’ issuance of its Palestine Partition Plan, it is clear that the subsequent British withdrawal from the western portion of Mandatory Palestine in May 1948, the consequent Arab war of annihilation against the Jewish population centers thereof (in rank violation of the Palestine Partition Plan), and the ensuing emergence of the State of Israel therefrom all would have occurred regardless of the existence of the Palestine Partition Plan.

Conversely, had the Jewish population centers of the western portion of Mandatory Palestine been destroyed by the Arabs, and had Israel thereby lost its War of Independence, then neither United Nations’ resolutions nor supranational remorse would have sufficed to reverse such a catastrophic denouement.

Clearly, there is an enormous difference between endorsement and creation.  While the United Nations certainly endorsed the establishment of modern Israel (at least within the tiny Partition Plan lines), that feckless endorsement (which was so violently rejected by the entire Arab, and larger Muslim, world) had no operative effect on the creation of the Jewish State precisely because it was stillborn. 

Nonetheless, that endorsement did bestow upon Israel a unique international legal status, namely, that of being the only nation in the World whose establishment was officially endorsed by both the League of Nations and the United Nations.

However, delving deeper into the realm of Cause and Effect, it may be cogently argued that the State of Israel presently exists in the biblical Land of Israel as a Jewish nation-state within defensible borders due only to a combination of the belligerence and the impatience of the Arabs.  This denouement was portended by the prescient declaration of the biblical Joseph to his brothers:  “ ‘Although you meant [to inflict] Evil upon me, God meant it for Good, in order to accomplish -- it is as [clear as] this Day -- that a vast people be kept alive.’ ” (Genesis 50:20).

In the absence of this belligerence and impatience, approximately 45% of the citizenry to be encompassed within Israel as defined by the 1947 Partition Plan lines would have been Arab, thereby constituting a demographic time bomb within the renascent Jewish State.  

Now, let us hypothetically assume that neither the Arabs residing within the proposed Jewish State, nor the Arabs residing within the proposed Arab State, nor the Arabs residing within the surrounding Arab states had ever initiated a war of annihilation against the Jewish population centers of the western portion of Mandatory Palestine, but that they had, instead, simply acquiesced to the creation of Israel within the Partition Plan lines recommended by U.N. General Assembly Resolution no. 181. 

In these circumstances, a democratic Israel hosting such a substantial law-abiding Arab electorate (which, never having warred against Israel, would have remained in place from the outset) would not have enacted the exclusionist, but morally imperative, Law of Return (which, in implementation of Articles 6 & 7 of the Mandate for Palestine, grants automatic residency and appurtenant citizenship rights to any Jew in the World).  For, it is this law, coupled with the exodus of some 600,000 Arab belligerents during Israel’s War of Independence, which has allowed the Jewish population of Israel to maintain, to the present time, its overwhelming demographic dominance over the extant Arab population thereof (at a historical ratio of 4:1), despite the fact that the Arab birthrate has traditionally been (until recently) substantially higher than the Jewish birthrate. 

Also in these circumstances, an Israel which was never invaded by the Arabs of the proposed Arab State and those of the surrounding Arab states would not have fought any War of Independence, and consequently would not have expanded from its 1947 Partition Plan lines to its 1949 armistice demarcation lines -- let alone to its present post-1967 defensible borders. 

Consequently, it is likely that such a demographically-challenged Israel (i.e., a country hosting a large peaceful Arab population that enjoyed a superior birthrate) would have quietly ceased to exist as a Jewish nation-state several generations ago. 

That the belligerent and impatient Arabs are themselves principally responsible for the State of Israel’s present entrenchment in the biblical Land of Israel as a Jewish nation-state within defensible borders is not only ironic but -- more importantly -- also constitutes a grand historic replay of the circumstances under which the Jewish people’s forebears, under the leadership of Joshua, originally conquered the Land.  As is related in the Hebrew Bible: “Joshua waged war with all of these [Canaanite] kings for a long time. There was not a city that made peace with the Children of Israel except for the Hivvite inhabitants of Gibeon; they [the Hebrews] took everything in battle. For it was from HaShem, to harden their [the Canaanite nations'] hearts towards battle against Israel, in order to destroy them [the Canaanite nations] -- that they not find favor [with the Hebrews] -- so that they would be extirpated [by the Hebrews], as HaShem had commanded Moses.” (Joshua 11:18-20).

In sum, modern Israel may credit its legal creation to the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, and its de facto existence to the impatient belligerence of its enemies and the consequent resolve of the Jewish people to survive.

© Mark Rosenblit

 

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