5 Things You Need to Know About… Oswaldo Aranya

Brazilian Statesman

1. Osvaldo Euclides de Sousa Aranha was born in February 1894, one of eleven children. He was called “Spider,” his mother’s maiden name.

200px-Oswaldo_Aranha2. He was one of the chief organizers of the 1930 revolution in Brazil and held a number of high positions in the government. From 1933-37 he was ambassador to the United States. But why is he in this blog, and why should you know his name?

3. Here’s why: He headed the Brazilian delegation to the United Nations and was President of the General Assembly in 1947. It was he who postponed  the vote on the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine (UNGA 181) for three precious days, giving Harry S. Truman time to call on heads of state and persuade them to vote in its favor. Critical votes were changed and the partition plan adopted. The way was open for a Jewish state.

Aranya Square,  Jerusalem

Aranya Square, Jerusalem

4. He died in January 1960. Streets in Beer Sheva and Ramat Gan and a square in Jerusalem are named in his honor.

5. In 2007, Oswaldo Aranya Street in central Tel Aviv was named at a ceremony attended by his relatives and by Brazil’s ambassador to Israel.