The Question of Jerusalem
MEMORANDUM ON JERUSALEM by Chief Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky
The declaration of the Mandate government that it will shortly remove its administration from the Holy Land gives us cause to declare our position and our request for guarantee for the existence of the Orthodox Community (Edah Hacharedis) in the Holy City, a Community which existed before the rule of the Mandate Government and which is a continuation of a Jewish Community of hundreds of years, in connection with the proposed status which the United Nations Organisation plans to impose on Jerusalem.
The Community of Orthodox Jews in the Holy City, which looks forward to the fulfillment of the prophecy that all peoples shall be rid of the spirit of animosity and that a brotherhood of nations shall arise, as the Scriptures state: The mountains of the L-rd's house shall be established. . . and all the nations shall flow unto it (Isaiah 2), demands that the city which is sacred to all the nations should remain unique and above all national interests of all peoples. The existence of the Holy City should be secured by a firm international agreement, that under any circumstances which may arise between nations, all parties shall accept the position that it (the Holy City) be considered neutral, and nothing should be done directly or indirectly to change its neutral status.
A greater Jerusalem, given the status of an international zone by international agreement, is the surest guarantee for its neutrality. All efforts should be directed to assure that in this Holy City there should be implemented the unity of international brotherhood towards all Mankind, and to prevent the underlying causes for disharmony and animosity, and to assure the rule of pure G-dliness and religious worship to all who dwell in this city.
Any form of division and splitting up of Jerusalem will have the effect of underscoring the differences between races and religions, which contradicts the principles of harmony tolerance and brotherhood of the inhabitants; and will eventually imperil for the future peace of the city. Jerusalem must unify all its residents. It should be recognized that a citizen of Jerusalem stands above all narrow national interests. Even in the days of David and Solomon Jerusalem was not divided according to the tribal boundaries but belong to all.
On the basis of these principles we sent our cable with our just demand: 1) Not to include Jerusalem in any state and not to parcel it into separate parts. 2) Not to impose on the residents of Jerusalem the citizenship of any state, but solely the citizenship of any state, but solely the citizenship of the Holy City; as a resident of Jerusalem and an international citizens, and this city should be declared an open international city.
By guaranteeing these two points there is every reason to believe that the Holy City shall be the seat of peace, security and international brotherhood.
In the hope that this memorandum shall be promptly brought before the authoritative organs of the United Nations, and in the belief that it shall gain the attention necessary for the fulfillment of our requests which are in accord with the spirit of the United Nations Charter, we hereby affix our signatures with all the respect.
The above memorandum was sent to the United Nations, Lake Success, N.Y.
November 19, 1947
by Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox community in Palestine, Rav Yosef Zvi Dushinsky.