10 DECEMBER 1948, Page 2

Paris and Palestine

Ineffective argument about Palestine continues in the United Nations Security Council and the Political Committee of the General Assembly. There is no hope at this stage of salvaging anything from. the weeks of embittered debate ; the most that can be done is for the Assembly to give its support to the more or less useless resolution of the Security Council and thus send on its travels a narrowly conceived and inadequately supported Conciliation Commission to mediate between Araks and Jews. It has been a thoroughly inglorious chapter, out of which only the late Count Bernadotte and his staff emerge with any credit. As was to be expected in the absence of any effective lead from Paris, the new map in Palestine is being drawn by the combatants themselves. Fighting has ceased in Jerusalem, where the Jews face the Arab Legion, and in the Tulkarm-Nablus. area, where they face the Iraqis ; only in the Negeb are there still sporadic clashes between Jews and Egyptians, caused by the reluctance of both to obey the United Nations demand that they should withdraw from this disputed area. Both sides are digging in politically. King Abdullah, encouraged by the support of leading Palestinian Arabs, has declared his inten- tion of incorporating what remains of Arab Palestine within Trans- jordan. This was a proposal which won the support of Count Bernadotte and which conforms with the realities of the situation. It will, however, be fought vigorously by all the other Arab States, each of which has its own reasons to mistrust King Abdullah's designs. But as none of them can back their irritation with force there is not much that they can do about the situation.