November 1947: U.N. Approves Partition of Palestine; Iraq Leader Predicts Massacre Across the Mideast

L.A. Times, 1947
L.A. Times, 1947

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project.

NEW YORK, Nov. 29 (AP)—Partitioning of Palestine into Jewish and Arab countries was approved by the United Nations Assembly late today.

Arabs promptly threatened general opposition and uprisings against any attempts to carry out the Assembly’s decision.

The six Arab nations represented here walked out of the crowded Assembly hall in protest after charging bitterly that the U.N. charter had been “murdered” by the majority verdict.

The Assembly’s final vote approving the “Soviet-American” proposal to set up independent Jewish and Arabic countries in the Holy Land by next Oct. 1 was 33 to 13.

L.A. Times, 1947
NEW YORK, Nov. 29. (AP) Palestine is to be cut up like a crazy quilt under the partition plan approved tonight by the United Nations General Assembly.
Part will become a Jewish country, part an Arab country. Near the center, a tiny portion, roughly circular and taking in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, will become an international zone.
The Holy Land is a little larger than Vermont. On the map it looks like a scimitar blade with the edge facing eastward.

Julius Fligelman, chairman of the United Palestine Appeal of Southern California: “This act of elementary justice on the part of the United Nations is a good omen for future world peace. It is profoundly encouraging to know that the world powers were able to find common ground on which to settle peacefully this great issue. As for the homeless and, up till now, hopeless Jews in the D.P. (displaced persons) camps of Europe, partition now presents the only tangible hope for a decent, constructive future.”

L.A. Times, 1947

BAGHDAD (Iraq) Nov. 29 (AP) Salih Bey el Jabur, premier of Iraq, today said partition of Palestine would mean “the most horrible and greatest massacre ever witnessed, embracing the whole Mideast.”

“The Iraqi people and army are wholly prepared to wage unlimited conflagration,” the premier of Iraq told reporters. “Palestine will not be partitioned before our total annihilation. Let responsible officials realize we mean what we say.

“Responsible American figures, who are pressuring other countries while they themselves are under Zionist influence, will regret their action before any others. The Zionists will certainly regret they refused and now have lost Arabs’ fair offer to settle the Palestine question.”

Countries voting for partition:

Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, White Russia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Soviet Ukraine, South Africa, Soviet Russia, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Against partition:

Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and Yemen.


Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, Britain, Yugoslavia.

Absent: Siam.

Bonus factoid: Eddie Richenbacker predicts that by 2004, atomic aircraft will be able to circle the globe in an hour.

Quote of the day: “General principles.”
Walter E. Davis, who lost his left hand in World War II, explaining why he refused to sign the new loyalty oath required of federal employees.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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