as "United Nations forces" in a military campaign sanctified as a U.N. mission. These U.N. forces waged full scale war with everything short of nuclear weapons. But that was an unusual circumstance that has not repeated itself.
Recent decades, however, have seen more and more authority vested in U.N. agencies, together with greater reliance on blue-helmeted U.N. peacekeeping forces. Toward the end of 2002 and during the early months of 2003, the Security Council earnestly debated whether or not to authorize military action to enforce its earlier resolutions about disarming Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.
Will this prove to be a dress rehearsal for a military move by the United Nations against Israel? Time will tell. But the necessary U.N. resolutions that could lead up to such actions are already in place. If the Security Council could debate the possibility of calling for military action against Iraq to enforce its resolutions, it could certainly do the same with regard to Israel. In fact, some critics of the American push for a resolution authorizing force against Iraq argued that it would be a double standard to take action against Iraq and not against Israel.
Even now, although the world has not yet come together to authorize joint military force against Israel, it has already come together to oppose Israeli control of Jerusalem. It is only the military enforcement that is lacking, as of this writing.
Over the course of many decades, the groundwork has progressively been laid for international intervention to determine Jerusalem's fate.
Following the Allied conquest of the city at the end of 1917, Britain ruled Jerusalem and all of the land of Israel under a Mandate issued by the League of Nations, predecessor of the United Nations. This did not appear, at that time, to be hostile to Jewish interests concerning the city. Prior to that Jerusalem had been in the hands of the Ottoman Turks, Muslims who had no intention of establishing Jewish sovereignty. But the British government had, by its Balfour Declaration of 1917, announced that "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to
facilitate the achievement of this object." (See a later chapter in this book for a discussion, and for the full text of this document.) So, the League's grant of a Mandate for Britain to rule the area appeared to be a pro-Jewish move. Still, it established a precedent for international determination of Jerusalem's fate by a world body.
In 1947, after the League's demise, a United Nations resolution recommended partitioning the mandated territory of Palestine into two independent nations, one Jewish and the other Arab, and, after British forces withdrew, the nations of Israel and Jordan were born the following year. Thus, the United Nations has been involved with the modern state of Israel since before its birth.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 called for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state. It was approved on November 29, 1947, and included the following provisions relating to Jerusalem:
I.A.3. Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948. The boundaries of the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem shall be as described in Parts II and III below. ...
C. THE CITY OF JERUSALEM The boundaries of the City of Jerusalem are as defined in the recommendations on the City of Jerusalem. (See Part III, section B, below). ... Part III. - City of Jerusalem A. SPECIAL REGIME The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The Trusteeship Council shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority on behalf of the