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News Why did UNSCOP create such a bad plan?

  1. Aug 3, 2006 #1
    The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine was created to end the crisis in the Middle East almost 60 years ago. The majority of the committee decided that the solution was a division of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab.

    The rest of the UN voted on the committee's resolution and approved it, despite nearly unanimous opposition throughout the ME. Soon after the UN approval, and Israel's declaration of sovereignty in accordance with the approval, Israel was attacked by its neighboring ME countries.

    I don't understand why UNSCOP followed through with a plan that was so heavily opposed in the ME. Did they ever actually look at a map and consider that the sovereignty of Israel would not be recognized by its neighbors, despite what the rest of the UN might think?

    UNSCOP consisted of multiple representatives from the following nations:


    As you can tell from the map, Iran and India held a minority view on the committee. The minority solution was to have one federated state. I don't understand why division would have been preferred over unity by so many neutral UN members.

    Indeed, a unified state was the majority opinion amidst many conflicting views until three days before the UNSCOP report was due, according to this article by John Ross, a Jewish-Canadian lawyer who had access to various UNSCOP documents. He argues that a Canadian representative, Ivan Rand, vigorously persuaded the other nations to agree on the two-state solution.

    Well, I'm not setting out to "blame Canada" for the problems in the ME, no matter how absurd it may sound or depressingly reasonable it may be to actually do so, the fact remains that the majority of UNSCOP agreed to a plan that they should have known was specious at best and gasoline on a fire at worst.


    I've been reading http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/eed216406b50bf6485256ce10072f637/07175de9fa2de563852568d3006e10f3!OpenDocument [Broken] for insight, but I can only go so far before I get a sharp pain in my chest at the thought of the next 60 years of bloodshed. :frown:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2006 #2
    I have two theories.

    1) The overestimated the Arab elite's capacity for reason.

    2) I forget my second theory.
  4. Aug 4, 2006 #3
    yes it does seem ironic that the 'Democratic' states voted for an 'appartite type' situation, rather than a federal type situation. A secular Federal type government with the same amount of help from the US and alike would have probably been the wiser of the two situations
  5. Aug 4, 2006 #4
    Appartite wasn't on the ballot. Neither was apartheid.

    Yes, because 1947 was such a great year for Jewish-Arab relations.
  6. Aug 4, 2006 #5
    Sorry I am not Dutch, so I find Dutch words hard to spell, but thanks for the correction :smile:

    Apartheid wasnt on the ballot, however that is where we ended up (or will you deny that situation in Israel isnt akin to that of South Africa?)Anyway I will conceed that they didnt vote for a apartheid situation, but rather they voted to give land that had been muslim for centuries (the majority of the people were Muslim, although the Bysantiums did rule there on and off till the 1400) to Jews. Which pissed them off.

    Instead they should have gone the federal route.
  7. Aug 4, 2006 #6
    You can be sure we wont over estimate your capacity for reason though.

    The UN partition plan is the single greatest mistake of the post war era, and it came about because of the zionist movement and because of the persecution of Jews in Europe both druing the war and by the Russians after the war. In the 19th century Jews made up less than 5% of the population of Palestine, the zionists formed in this period wanted to see the area historically known as palestine and constituting the arc of the mediteraneans Eastern shore returned to it's "rightful" owners, oddly the first zionists were acually in the main a non religous secular group despite zionists claims today that the promised land is theirs by divine right. During the period leading up to 1948 because of the inability of the English to control influx of immigrants into the middle East the population of Jews rose to around 33% in just 50 years, dispite widespread and consternation by Arabs and laws barring their entry, it was just not possible to stem the flood of imigrants who when denied acces to land used the sea to gain ingress. Jews bought land legally from Arabs, with wealth supplied by private enterprise and public charities alike, anyway the UN obviously swayed by the plight of Jews and the Israelis took the land which had belonged to an Arab community for over a a thousand years and turfed them off the land, the Arabs planned to return in force to take back there home lands, but as we know this never happened and in 1967 the Jews took more of their lands precisely to pre-empt this from happening, most people don't understand the history or in some cases (a minority of zionist racists, don't care, seeing Palestinians as a stateless people) To me it whas always been quite understandable why the Palestinians are agrieved by the loss of their lands, but some people think this crisis exists in a vacuum.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  8. Aug 4, 2006 #7
    Neither am I. Fortunately for you, it's also been adopted in plain English and even printed in Oxford and M&W.

    Yes, I will have to deny that the situation in Israel is akin the condition you couldn't be bothered to spell correctly. That is, of course, unless you're convinced that apartheid was a condition where subserviant classes were permitted to vote, run for political office, manage enterprise, travel freely thoughout the country and even collect benefits from the same coffers as the majority.

    Then I'd have to say you're probably minimizing the human crime that was apartheid.

    So why not give it to the Christians? The Muslims took it from them. Or to the Hellenized Jews, the Chrstians took it from them? And so on? How about this idea? Hand the land over to the people who've demonstrated the greatest capacity and willingness to develop it.

    Because if it weren't for federalism, we'd still be in an endless circle of violence between Georgia and the west parts of colonial Virginia.
  9. Aug 4, 2006 #8
    Nice, ESP? good you can telepathically understand the motive behind my misspelling of a word.
    How can someone demonstrate their willingness to develop a land, before that land is given to them? Demonstrating is a 'doing' word, and thus it follows that you need to do it, to demonstrate it. Anyway the arabs were annoyed, you cant deny that, or can you?
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  10. Aug 4, 2006 #9
    Good to see some people actually look at the facts, and make good solid conclusions based on them.
  11. Aug 4, 2006 #10
    I'm afraid I only had 10 minutes to sum up the area so I'm glad it made sense, as I had to be economical and just point out the majority instances, I missed out Otteman rule, the British mandate and a whole host of other stuff but if you really want to know the whole history type Israel or Palestine history into the search engine of your choice and there are a sea of web sites, some biased some impartial, I recommend wikipedia in this instance as it's history is fairly concise and sums up the major points without offering any judgements.


    This ones particularly good and has links to others that may be of interest. It's a very compplicated history that I could not do justice to in the ten minutes before I started work :smile:
  12. Aug 4, 2006 #11
    But weren't Arabs killing Jews in Palestine before there was an Israel? Before World War II? As I recall (I haven't got references handy) something like 79 Jews were killed in about 1936 -- (with a British Army armored unit watching). And this was not a unique occurrence.

    It seems there has been Arab/Muslim hatred of Jews far longer than there has been an Israel
  13. Aug 4, 2006 #12
    Many Arabs hated the influx of immigrants into their land obviously as I mentioned but the hatred was hardly one sided, and the Israelis in the face of such an obviously superior foe resorted to terrorism to achieve it's objectives, the history covers about 150 years, so yes there was a division before the partition plan came into being, but it was minor in comparrison to the escalation this policy caused. The first terrorist groups existed to bring about discord amongst the British who ruled the area, using fear tactics to try and force the British hand, but long gone were the days when England dealt with uprising in a brutal fashion, and they were no doubt glad to be shot of the whole area when the UN took over.

    Frankly though the post partition plan history is more interesting and relevent, also any agreement that sparks off an immediate war is a colossal failure IMO.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2006
  14. Aug 4, 2006 #13
    I recall watching a documentary about the final days before the declaration of statehood by Israel, a number of years ago. The details escape my memory now, however I do remember that the UN thought the plan for partition would result in massive bloodshed by the Palestinian people. Instead they recommended a trusteeship for Palestine.

    Israel fearing that the trusteeship would replace the partition plan declared statehood. Truman recognized the state of Israel, and the anticipated bloodshed ensued.

    [edit] here is a link about the trusteeship

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2006
  15. Aug 5, 2006 #14
    Why didn't UNSCOP recommend a trusteeship instead of a partition?

    I'd like to keep this thread about UNSCOP. The committee was purposefully created to exclude the influence of the US and other major nations. The US was not a member of UNSCOP nor did it appear interested in influencing it.

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
  16. Aug 5, 2006 #15
    Interesting article, explains the politics and why the US is so firmly in Israels court. Defending a 60 year old mistake, I'm not sure why the Jews couldn't of been accomodated in the US or UK or other countries? This isn't made clear by this link, why did no one want these people? Was the opposition to anything but a state: a Jewish zionist refusal to accept anything less? Or were there more Machievellian machinations at work?
  17. Aug 6, 2006 #16
    The British had already promised to accommodate them a few decades earlier. Between the world wars, a large number of Jews steadily immigrated to Palestine, expecting their promised state. Only during the Holocaust did the British have a problem with Jewish immigration, apparently due to Arab pressure.

    At the end of Isseroff's article, he persuasively argues against the notion that the creation of Israel was compensation for the Holocaust, though, by saying that the view ignores the following "pertinent facts."

    But I'm asking about UNSCOP. :smile:

    Isseroff mentions the likelihood of failure for the trusteeship...

    ... but does not expand on it.

    I suppose, the UN trusteeship would have faced the same problems as the mandate, if it allowed the immigration of Jews, which would have driven the Arabs bananas. And the Jews would have grown increasingly impatient, possibly pulling another King David Hotel out from under the trusteeship.

    Sending troops to enforce the trusteeship might just as well have been suicide. :frown:
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2006
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