Tuesday, November 29, 2011


It was pointed out by Rabbi Ervin Birnbaum that Nov 29 is a historic day because it was the date of the vote at the UN on the Partition Plan of 1947, that was a major step in the founding of the State of Israel. But, on that date the UN did not recognize Israel!

To be specific:

1. The UN Partition Plan (res. 181) proposed the establishment of a Jewish and an Arab State in British Mandatory Palestine (as well as making Jerusalem an "international city") and was voted on 29 Nov, 1947 - but, it was never implemented as it was rejected by one of the sides - the Arabs (there were no Palestinians then). But, it did end the British Mandate of Palestine.

2. The State of Israel was proclaimed unilaterally by David Ben Gurion on May 14, 1948, a day before the War of Independence started (that's why May 15 is called Nakba Day by the Palestinians) when the Arab States invaded the nascent Jewish State. Individual states (USA, USSR, etc.) then subsequently recognized Israel.

3. But, the State of Israel was not recognized as a full member of the UN until May 11, 1949 - because actual membership at the UN after being proposed by a majority of the Security Council requires a majority of States to recognize the applicant.

Thus, the Partition Plan did not establish a Jewish State, Ben Gurion's declaration of independence did, but it was not actually recognized until 1.5 years after the Partition Plan!

Those who support unilateral Palestinian Independence should note this process. It was neither the Partition Plan, nor a unilateral declaration that makes a State recognized as a member of the UN, it is the recognition of its ability to control its territory, organize a government and maintain economic independence by a majority of the Security Council and the General Assembly. The aspiring State of Palestine, has none of these features.


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