commemorate a milestone in Israel's history. The list of the
participating sites is appended at the end of this post.
Anniversary of the UN vote on Resolution 181
Today is the anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly vote passing Resolution 181. Known colloquially as the Partition Plan, it called for dividing the western part of the Palestine Mandate into two independent states, one predominately Jewish and one predominately Arab. The city of Jerusalem was slated to come under a "Special International Regime".
This was the first time a world body had endorsed the establishment of a Jewish state. The Jews, desperate for a political haven in the wake of World War II, eagerly embraced the proposal, despite its substantial problems: The proposed Jewish state excluded Jerusalem, and its borders were indefensible. It was far less than they had hoped for, but fulfilled their basic needs for political independence and international recognition.
For the Arabs, even this was too much. Though they had never had an independent state in Palestine and were now offered one, they would agree to no arrangement which would offer recognition to the Jews. The Arab states actively opposed Resolution 181, while offering no realistic alternative proposal for the future of Palestine - at least, none that accommodated political rights for Jews.
Like all other proposals before and since to solve the "Question of Palestine", this plan was never implemented. The Jews celebrated its approval as a mini-holiday, known in Hebrew as Kaf Tet b'November ("29 November"). The Arabs, rejecting partition, began an assault on the Jews of Palestine.
The day after the vote, Palestinian Arabs murdered six Jews in a bus to Jerusalem, and another in the Tel-Aviv - Jaffa area. The terror assault continued until the mandate ended in May and the State of Israel was declared, whereupon six Arab states invaded the nascent state with the aim of destroying it. This war claimed the lives of 6,000 Jews, or 1% of the total Jewish population in 1948 - the equivalent of the US today losing 3,000,000 lives or Israel losing 65,000.
After intense lobbying by Zionist representatives and vigorous opposition from the Arab states, the partition plan was approved by a vote of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions.
The 33 countries casting "Yes" votes: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, Union of South Africa, USSR, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela. The diversity of this coalition points to the broad support enjoyed by the Jewish state at the moment of its founding.
The 13 countries voting "No": Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen. (Ten of these are Moslem countries; Greece has the special distinction of being the only European country to vote no.)
The ten abstainers: Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.
Whatever their merits or demerits on other issues, it is imperative that we recognize with gratitude those countries who stood by our side at this crucial moment in history.
List of participating sites, in alphabetical order of site name
Anti Idiotarian Rottweiler
Armies Of Liberation
Catholic Friends of Israel
Christian Action for Israel
Clarity and Resolve
Crusader War College
I Love America
Instant Knowledge News
Leaning Right News
Mugged By Reality
Nice Jewish Boy
Protect Our Heritage
Tampa Bay Primer
Tex The Pontificator
The Autism Homepage
The Seal Club
Who's Your Rabbi
Weblog of a Wondering Jew