U.S. Delegate Warren Austin last week read to the Security Council the long-awaited "clarification of the U.S. position" on Palestine. After 20 minutes of Austin's ponderous prose, a fellow delegate summed up his remarks in this mocking sentence: "We must do nothing—and do it quickly."

Thin Distinction. "The Council's action," said Austin, "[must be] directed to keeping the peace and not to enforcing partition." The thin distinction would be easier to make in the Council chamber than in the embattled Holy Land. The comic effort to make it, however, followed logically from...

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