Max Lowenthal: Diary Extract 15 May, 1948

Max Lowenthal was a Washington lawyer and advisor to President Truman. This extract from his diary was obtained from the Max Lowenthal Papers, University Archives, University of Minnesota (Box 8, Folder 62). Continue reading

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Resolution of the 1921 World Zionist Congress

The Churchill White Paper of 1922 described how Britain was going to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine. This policy was implemented in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. The White Paper and the Mandate make clear that Palestine would still be the national home of the existing Arab population. Churchill also quoted a resolution of the World Zionist Congress supporting this concept, mentioning a “common home” for Arabs and Jews and the “undisturbed national development of each of its peoples”. In other words, a ‘bi-national state’.

Until now, the full text of the resolution and accompanying notes has not been available on the internet. This is undoubtedly because it is an embarrassment to the modern Zionist propagandists who want us to believe that Palestine west of the river Jordan was given to the Zionists for a Jewish State, leaving Transjordon for the Arabs. Accordingly, it has been suppressed.

All that the Jewish Virtual Library has to say on the resolution is that Zionists expressed a wish “to live in relations of harmony and mutual respect with the Arab people”. The Wikipedia page “History of Zionism” says only that an “Arab-Jewish Entente was agreed”.

The following text is copied from the publication “Documents on Palestine Volume I, 1900-1947”, edited by Dr. Mahdi Abdul Hadi, and published by PASSIA in 2007.


We do thereby reaffirm our desire to attain a durable understanding which shall enable the Arab and Jewish peoples to live together in Palestine on terms of mutual respect and co-operate in making the common home into a flourishing community, the upbuilding of which will assure to each of these peoples an undisturbed national development.

In the spirit of this resolution the following notes have been drafted:

Taking note of the Balfour Declaration of November 2nd, 1917, and of its subsequent reaffirmation by His Britannic Majesty’s Government and the Principle Allied Powers: Deploring the misconceptions which still exists as to the manner in which the Balfour Declaration is to be construed: 

1. The promise of a national home in Palestine made to the Jewish people by His Brittanic Majesty’s Government (and concurred in by the Princicple Allied Powers) is to be interpreted as a promise to secure the international recognition, under the guarantee of the League of Nations, of the right of the Jews to constitute themselves in Palestine as a national unit.

2. (a) The Jews on the one hand and the Arabs on the other are to be regarded as living side side on a footing of perfect equality in all matters, including the official use and recognition of their respective languages.
    (b) In areas in which there is a mixed population, the rights of th minority are to be fully guaranteed, including the right of representation on the local administrative bodies.
    (c) The existence in Palestine of the Jewish National Home is not to be a bar to the recognition of Palestine, when the time is ripe, as a self-governing commonwealth.

3. The Zionist leaders and the Jews of Palestine will support the demand for the development of self-governing institutions on a representative basis, it being clearly understood that the terms of this agreement will remain binding and inviolable, as will also the provisions of the Mandate, so long as the Mandate is in force.

4. The Zionist leaders and the Jews of Palestine will support the demand that non-Palestinian officials, with the exception of the High Commissioner, the Civil, Financial and Legal Secretaries, and the heads of the Principal Departments, shall be gradually replaced by Palestinians, due regard being had, in the case of District officials, to the Arab or Jewish character, as the case may be, of the population concerned.

5. Jewish immigration is to be limited by the capacity of Palestine, from time to time, to absorb it, but not otherwise. It is declared that there is not nor has there ever been any intention to disturb the existing Arab population or any part of it. The right of the Arab inhabitants and their descendants to the secure enjoyment of their homes and prosperity is unequivocally recognised and guaranteed.

6. (a) It is agreed that the Law of Nationality should recognize as citizens of Palestine all persons who being presently resident in the country at a date to be subsequently fixed, do not decline such citizenship, provided that no person owing allegiance to another state shall become a citizen until he has renounced such allegiance.
(b) It is further agreed that facilities should be provided for the acquisition of citizenship by persons who take up their permanent residence in Palestine, the qualifying period to be settled by common agreement with the Mandatory Power.

7. The Zionist Leaders and the Jews of Palestine will give all the moral and material support in their power to the various Arab States which have been constituted or are in the process of constitution and will, in general, co-operate whole-heartedly with the Arab people in its efforts to realise its national aspirations. The Arabs, on their side, will loyally work with the Jews in all matters appertaining to the establishment of the Jewish National Home.

It is the intent of both parties to lay the foundations of a generally Arab-Jewish understanding to the advantage of the Jewish people and to the Arab world as a whole and in the interest of the fruitful development of the Near and Middle East.

8. The Zionist Leaders categorically re-affirm their repeated assurances that they do not contemplate and have never contemplated the smallest interference with the religious rights and customs of the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, for which they undertake to show the most rigorous and scrupulous regard. In particular, do they recognise the Moslem and Christian Holy Places as inviolable and formally repudiate the injurious and wholly unfounded suggestion that it is desired, directly or indirectly to trespass upon them.
The Arabs, on their part, undertake to show an equal regard for the Holy Places and the religious rights and customs of the Jews.

9. All the various Jewish Organisations, which have in view the economic reconstruction of Palestine on an extensive scale, will welcome the co-operation of the Arab inhabitants and undertake to afford them a full opportunity of participating in such economic endeavours as they may initiate.


By chance, I came across a different wording of the Resolution in the book Encylopedia of the Palestinians, by Philip Mattar, at page 553. The book was published by Infobase Publishing in 2005, and is available for limited viewing in Google Books:

“The Twelfth Zionist Congress meeting in Carlsbad in September 1921 passed a resolution declaring: ‘The two great Semitic peoples united of yore by the bonds of creative civilisation will not fail in the hour of their national regeneration to comprehend the need of combining their vital interests in a common endeavour’. The resolution further called upon the executive ‘to redouble its efforts to secure an honourable entente with the Arab people on the basis of this Declaration and in strict accordance with the Balfour Declaration,’ and ended by ’emphatically’ declaring ‘that the progress of Jewish colonisation will not affect the rights and needs of the working Arab nation’.”


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The following explanation of the term ‘Jihad’ is taken from the website of the blogger ‘Penjihad’.

“Jihad” springs from the Arabic “Jhd” which means “struggle”; “Jihad”  means the act of struggle, “Mujahid” (Plural, Mujahideen) is someone who is doing “Jihad”.

At the core (the highest level), it is the duty of every Muslim to struggle against the basic negative predispositions we all have as humans…greed, envy, jealousy, rage, deceit, theft, murder etc.

At the next level, it is the duty of every Muslim to fight against the ills that beset Mankind…hunger, disease, homelessness, illiteracy, injustice, lack of water, pollution etc.,

At the least important level, Muslims are required to fight those who attack us AFTER we have exhausted all other efforts towards peaceful resolution. Even then, if peace is at hand, even at mid-battle, one has to stop and accept terms that are just and preserve the dignity of all parties.

I would imagine these are things that every person needs to subscribe to, not just Muslims.

Short link:

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UN Security Council, 15 May 1948: Documents

The UN Security Council met on May 15, 1948 and had before it the following documents:

1. Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel;

2. Cablegram from the Arab League announcing a military  intervention in Palestine;

3. Communication from Israel protesting Jordanian aggression;

4. Communication from Jordan protesting Zionist atrocities;

5. Communication from Israel protesting Egyptian aggression;

6. Communication from Egypt protesting Zionist atrocities.

The representative of the Jewish Agency (for Israel) demanded an enforceable Chapter VII resolution condemning Arab aggression.

The representative of the Arab Higher Committee (for the Palestinians), supported by Syria and Egypt, questioned the right of the Jewish Agency to term as aggression the entry of Arab forces which had been invited by the Arab Higher Committee to maintain law and order. With the termination of the Mandate, he asserted, Palestine had become an independent nation and the Jews constituted a rebellious minority.

The Security Council did not assign blame to either side. After several days of discussions it passed Resolution 49, calling for a cease-fire.

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The Borders of Israel and Palestine

This is a preliminary working draft for a book with the same title. My understanding of the topic is improving all the time. For a better and more detailed understanding of some of the issues hers, please see my articles on

Continue reading

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Initial statements of parties concerned

This is an extract from the Year Book of the United Nations, 1947-48. It describes the meeting of the UN General Assembly Adhoc Committeee on Palestine in September-October 1948. Continue reading

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General debate on the future government of Palestine

This is an extract from the Year Book of the United Nations, 1947-48. It describes the General Debate on April 20, 1948 during the special session of the General Assembly called to discuss the future government of Palestine. Continue reading

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Intervention of the Arab States in Palestine

This is an extract from the Year Book of the United Nations, 1947-48. It describes the Meeting of the United Nations Security Council on 15 May 1948 which discussed the situation in Palestine after the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, and the military intervention of the Arab states that commenced on that day. Continue reading

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Epstein’s Telegram to Shertok

On 14 May, 1948 Eliahu Epstein, Agent of the Jewish Agency in Washington, sent this telegram to Moshe Shertok, Foreign Minister of the Provisional Government of Israel in Tel Aviv. The telegram tells the dramatic story of how, against a deadline and in secrecy, the new State of Israel was recognized by President Truman. Continue reading

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The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination

The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination, by Jeremy R. Hammond

Publication Date: 8 November 2009 | ISBN: 978-0557095698 | Kindle available


The Rejection of Palestinian Self-DeterminationThe Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination is an overview of the crucial period from the rise of the Zionist movement until the creation of the state of Israel, examining how the seeds of the continuing conflict in the Middle East between Jews and Arabs were sown during this time. It sets out to show, by examining principle historical documents and placing key events in proper context, that the root of today’s conflict is the rejection of the right to self-determination for the Arab Palestinians.


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