March 3, 1949 Israel Joins the United Nations


United Nations Sponsored Peace ConferenceFrance and China announced today that they would support Israel’s application for membership in the United Nations, thus making certain its approval by the Security Council.  However, a parliamentary wrangle prevented the Council from taking a vote this afternoon, and it will resume its discussions tomorrow.

Last December, when the Council took up Israel’s application, it got five votes, two short of the required majority.  At that time France and China, together with Britain, Belgium and Canada, abstained, and the only negative vote was cast by Syria.

Egypt has since replaced Syria on the Security Council as the representative of the Arab states.  The Egyptian representative, Mahmoud Fawzi Bey, fought a long battle today to postpone action.  Asking “Why the hurry?” he emphasized that the recent armistice between Egypt and Israel was purely military and did not affect the question of the admission of Israel to the United Nations.

Fawzi Bey contended that Israel had shown “constant defiance and contempt” for the United Nations, that her frontiers had not be legally determined and that the Israeli Government had not agreed to make provision for Arab refugees—numbering, he said, three-fourths of the Arab population of Palestine.

Source: The New York Times, March 4, 1949, “U. N. Backing Sure for Israel’s Entry.”

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