Sunday, February 11, 2018

Still Waiting Since 1939

During the opening of the May 22 debate in the House of Commons regarding the 1939 White Paper, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Malcolm MacDonald, said, regarding the the treaty contemplated by subparagraph (6) that "adequate provision has been made for: the security of, and freedom of access to the Holy Places, and protection of the interests and property of the various religious bodies",

Finally, in addition, the unique characteristic of Palestine is that within its borders are Holy Places which are dear to millions of Christians, Moslems and Jews throughout the world. We could not give up our trust in Palestine without being assured that everything that appertains to them, and the right of their devotees to have access to them, are preserved for all time. It is indeed a tragedy that around those sacred shrines should be repeated in modern times the folly of human hatred, violence and dispute. The whole world yearns for peace in Palestine, but it cannot be secured unless each people in the present dispute is ready to give up some part of its demands and to pursue a policy of conciliation with its fellow-citizens in that country. 

This was predicated on the 1937 Peel Commission Partition Plan:

Chapter XXII. - A Plan of Partition
...2. The Holy Places
The Partition of Palestine is subject to the overriding necessity of keeping the sanctity of Jerusalem and Bethlehem inviolate and of ensuring free and safe access to them for all the world. That, in the fullest sense of the mandatory phrase, is "a sacred trust of civilization"--a trust on behalf not merely of the peoples of Palestine but of multitudes in other lands to whom those places, one or both, are Holy Places.
A new Mandate, therefore, should be framed with the execution of this trust as its primary purpose. An enclave should be demarcated extending from a point north of Jerusalem to a point south of Bethlehem, and access to the sea should be provided by a corridor extending to the north of the main road and to the south of the railway, including the towns Lydda and Ramle, and terminating at Jaffa.

We are still waiting for Muslims to give up some part of its demands for exclusive control over the Temple Mount.

1 comment:

mrzee said...

They don't seem to be in much of a hurray to relinquish total control of Bethlehem (part of the Corpus Separatum) either.