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UNSCOP Definition

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UNSCOP - UN Special Committee on Palestine - In early 1947 the British announced their intention to abandon the Mandate, and turn the question of the future of Palestine over to the UN. The General Assembly decided to set up the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) to investigate the cause of the conflict in Palestine, and, if possible, devise a solution.

UNSCOP, composed of representatives of 11 nations, visited Palestine and heard testimony from Zionists in Palestine and in the US. The Arabs in Palestine greeted the UNSCOP with hostility and refused to cooperate. The Arab Higher Committee boycotted the Commission but demanded that the UN immediately grant Palestine its independence.

The committee held hearings in Palestine, in the summer of 1947. They were present when the ship Exodus arrived carrying Jewish immigrants from European DP camps, Holocaust survivors who wanted to come to their Jewish "national home" in Palestine. The British intercepted the the ship and forcibly dispatched the passengers to Hamburg. Abba Eban invited UNSCOP members to witness the scene, which made a lasting impression.

All eleven members of UNSCOP agreed on termination of the mandate, a foregone conclusion given the position of Great Britain. Seven members endorsed a partition plan favored by the Zionists, while three members endorsed a federal state similar to the Morrison-Grady plan that had been rejected by both Jews and Arabs. No members endorsed the unitary Arab state recommended by the Arab Higher Committee.

Source: Report of the UN Special Committee on Palestine - by permission.

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information: Report of the UN Special Committee on Palestine. Testimony of Chaim Weizmann Gurion at UNSCOP, Testimony of David Ben Gurion at UNSCOP

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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This work and individual entries are copyright 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel

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