"I Won’t Say I Wanted the Job": The United Nations' Search for a Special Municipal Commissioner in Jerusalem, 1948–49
United Nations
Harold Evans

As the British Mandate drew to a close, the future of Jerusalem was brought into full focus. The newly formed United Nations tasked itself with creating a solution for its own constructed problem: how the city ought to be administered. The findings of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) delivered the everfamiliar two-state solution, but also included a third, lesser-known aspect of post-British Palestine. Through the employment of a Special Municipal Commissioner for Jerusalem, the United Nations attempted to not only bring the Holy City under its purview, but also to implement the internationalization portion of its partition plan for Palestine. Despite its unsuccessful endeavor to install a commissioner in the city, the United Nations did manage to sow the seeds of resentment at a crucial stage of proceedings immediately before and after the Nakba. Through acts of continued imperialism, and under the facade of eventual selfdetermination as outlined in its charter, the United Nations sought to implement its mandate in Jerusalem while disregarding the desires of Palestinians, Arabs, and Zionists of the region. The result, ultimately, was a continuation of the British Mandate under a new name.

Author biography: 

Harris Ford is a PhD student at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, located on Treaty 6 territory. His work focuses on Mashriq-West relations, especially through the United Nations, as well as global communication networks and the decolonization of information.