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July 21, 1961 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1961-07-21

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THE DETROIT JEW ISH NEWS — Friday, July 21, 1961 —

Commentator's Review of Sir . Leon Simon's 'The Balfour Declaration'

(Continued from Page 2)

Jewish leaders and their viewpoints, President
Wilson and others are among those whose roles
in the shaping of the Balfour Declaration are
described in this book.
A number of texts were proposed before the
final one finally was adopted. The successive drafts
and the final text are included as an appendix
in the volume.
The American role as described by Stein • is an
interesting part of the Balfour Declaration story.
There was an effort by Balfour and others to have
the United States assume responsibility for the
Palestine Mandate, but opposition to it was too
President Wilson had written to Dr. Stephen
S. Wise assuring him of his personal goodwill. In
1919 he told Weizmann that he could count on his
personal support. When Wilson favored the appoint-
ment of a commission to deal with conditions in
the Middle East area, there was concern and Felix
Frankfurter then appealed to the President to use
his influence in favor of an early settlement in
harmony with the Balfour DeclaratiOn. Wilson
replied to Frankfurter on May 16, 1919: "I never
dreamed that it was necessary to give you any
renewed assurance of my adhesion to the Balfour
Declaration, and so far I have found no one who
is seriously opposing the purpose which it
embodies." Nevertheless, Stein writes:

"Wilson's 'adhesion' to the Declaration is not
in doubt, but there is nothing to suggest he was
at any time particularly interested in Zionism.
There was here no American Balfour. Once
Wilson had been induced to assent to the Declara-
tion, he never changed his mind, but what seems
to be reflected in his handling of the Zionist
question is a certain vague benevolence rather
than any strong feeling or serious thought."
Then,. as later under President Truman, there


was a divergence of views between the , State
Department and the White House, and the opposi-
tion of Secretary of State Lansing and the deter-
mination of his Department that no far-reaching
promise to the Jews is to be read into the Balfour
Declaration are reviewed in Stein's account.
When alternatives were offered to giving the

Palestine Mandate to a nation other than Britain
—the .United States having been considered—
Zionists were disturbed, according to Stein. But
he points out that Lloyd George had not ` ,.`seriously
contemplated relinquishing the fruits of the British
victory in Palestine." Stein states:

"The whole idea of an American Mandate
turned out to be a chimera and was soon cast
aside, not to be revived until in 1945 Winston
Churchill,- in a moment of understandable
exasperation, suggested that the time had come
for Great Britain's position in Palestine to be
re-examined. 'I do not think,' he wrote to the
Colonial Secretary and the Chiefs of Staff, 'that
we should take the responsibility upon Ourselves
of managing this very difficult place while the
Americans sit back and criticize. Have you ever
addressed yourselves to the idea that we should
ask them to take it over?'
"It is not surprising that Churchill should
have been tempted, in 1945, to look for some
way of getting rid of the Mandate. Nevertheless,
it was fortunate for Great Britain, as well as
for the Jews, that in the distribution of respon-
sibility in 1919.1920 Balfour's dream of an Ameri-
can Mandate for Palestine did not come true.
No great effort of the imagination is needed to
picture the situation in which Great Britain
would have found herself in 1940-41 if, with
Syria looking to Vichy and the Germans thrust-
ing towards Egypt, her shaky position in the
Middle East had been still further complicated
by the presence in Palestine of the then neutral
United States. As for the Jews, there is not the
least reason to suppose that the Americans would
have been more skilful or more successful than
the British were in dealing with the difficulties
inherent in the Palestine Mandate. Though it
gradually grew tired, discouraged and resentful
and in the end abandoned the. task in despair,
the British government, once having chosen to
accept the exacting duties imposed upon it by
the Mandate, made an honest attempt, over a
long period of years, to muddle its way through.
The Americans would have found the problem no
less intractable, and they might well have been
less patient and quicker to tire of their frustra-
tions. For the American Jews, the backbone of the

Zionist movement outside Palestine, an American
Mandate might have proved a serious embarrass-
ment. In England the Jews suffered surprisingly
little from the backwash of the tension between
Jews and British in Palestine. It may be doubted
whether the American Jews, a much larger and
more conspicuous section of a less tolerant
society, would not, in like circumstances, have
found themselves in an unenviable position.
Weizmann's instinct was sound when he showed
his unwillingness to contemplate any alternative
to a British Mandate, just as (Lord) Curzon's
was when, at the 'end of 1918, he invited the
War Cabinet Eastern Committee to consider the
position which might arise under an American
Mandate, with 'the Americans, placed as they
would be, if French ambitions in Syria are ful-
filled, midway between the French and our-

Stein's views may be interpreted as being too
tolerant' to his British government, but his view-
point on American Jewry's position in "a less
tolerant society" is interesting and worth consider-
ing in a study of social conditions in this country.
In "The Balfour Declaration," Stein shows how
a _ deep interest in Palestine arose in official Ger-
man quarters—in the era long before Nazism—in
an effort also to gain Jewish support in World
War I. Of course, those German efforts were
It is a pity that a book review, even as lengthy
as this one, must be limited and can not cover
all the results of the author's research. It is
especially regrettable that in the instance of the
present book under review it is necessary to skip
over many aspects that deserve to be referred to
and to be commented upon. Leonard Stein's "The
Balfour Declaration" is history in the completest
sense of the term and should be studied thoroughly.
Jewish leaders should especially become fully
acquainted with its contents and with the issues
it brings to light.
Because the book is so important, it is to be
hoped that it will be made the object of discussion,
review and study. If this review can inspire even
wider interest than it is certain to promote, this
review will have achieved an intended purpose.

Washington's Amateurism Columnist Would Treat lifockwell as a Bit of Dust
Marcus is saying:
nRegard to ArabRefugees I don't
ment was authorized by a king
feel at all worried on

J.T.A. Correspondent
at the United Nations

(Copyright, 1961,
Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Inc.)

What the Kennedy Administra-
tion needs, in regard to the
Arab refugee problem, is a
good, 25-cent magnifying lens,
the kind with which one can
read small print.

That's the firm opinion of
many diplomats here who
have been watching with a
good deal of amazement the
Kennedy Administration's hit-
and-miss efforts to arrive at
some sort of solution for the
refugee question.

entitled "How Many Arab Refu-
gees?", there were, as of June
1958, no more than 548,610
genuine Arab refugees.
UNRWA listed 366,000 refu-
gees in Jordan. Dr. Pinner
showed that the number of
genuine reftigees,who went into
Jordan in 1948 was 248,000. He
added the increase through na-
tural accretion as totaling 68,-
000; subtracted 101,000 who had
left Jordan refugee camps
through resettlement or emigra-
tion; thus bringing that total
figure in Jordan alone down to

* * *

account of that Rockwell.
He's the one, who calls him-
self boss of the American Nazi
After reading a piece about
him in the paper I wipe him off
my memory, as I've just done
with that speck of dust which
was 'on my glasses. Yes, he's
only an incident in a world full
of much more dangerous
How unimportant to the wor-
ries of mankind is the small
guy who is tossing pebbles at
Jews; though it appears that
Bnai Brith's Anti-- Defamation
League is somehow worried
about him. And just now I'm
feeling sorrow to observe him
being noticed by the scholarly
Dr. Jacob R. Marcus who is di-
rector of the American Jewish
Archives in the Hebrew Union
College of Cincinnati.
Anyway, Dr. Marcus isn't
noticing that fellow with alarm„
but only by way of American
history . far back there in
Carolina in the 17th century.
In a letter on the stationery of
the Hebrew Union College Dr.

"Under the 17th century
Carolina law, anti-Semitic meet-
ings of the kind held by George
Lincoln Rock w'e 1 1 and his
American Nazi Party would
have been clearly illegal," says
Dr. Marcus.

He found this old Carolina
law in his Hebrew Union Col-
lege Archives, embodied in
"The Fundamental Constitu-
tions of Carolina." It reads
as follows: "No person of any
other church or religious prof
fession shall disturb or molest
any religious assembly," and
it says also: "No man shall
use any reproachful, reviling

or abusive language against
any religion, or church or
profession; that being the cer-
tain way of disturbing the
peace, and of hindering the
conversion of any to the

of England; it was in the time
of history when Carolina and
other American colonies were of
England and its king. The king:
Charles II and the document
was drafted in 1669 by John
Locke, Restoration England's
most outstanding philosopher
and "one of the spiritual fathers
of America's Declaration of. In-
Anyway, it seems that also in
these. times that Nazi Party, as
it calls itself, has been banned
from Washington by the Depart-
ment of the Interior. And only
recently that speck' of anti-
Semitism and his followers
were picked up by police in a
city of the South and tossed
into jail. Their leader, as he's
called, is out on bail. One of
these days he'll probably vanish
from the public scene . . . all
There's so much more for

Now for the small print. In
UNRWA's own report, there is
The issue came to a 'head a footnote which reads: "The
when a Senate subcommittee above statistics are based on
met in Washington to consider the Agency's registration rec-
And Dr. Marcus adds: "The
the refugee problem. Among ords which do not necessarily
document provided further that
witnesses with documents at reflect the actual refugee popu-
`No persons whatsoever shall us as Jews to worry about;
that session were representa- lation owing to factors such as
disturb, molest or persecute such questions as; How Jew-
tives: of the United States Com- the high rate of unreported
another for his speculative opin- ish are our ,• kids growing up
mittee for Refugees — a quasi deaths, undetected false regis-
in religion, or his way of to be, and how shall we teach
governmental body formed a trations, etc."
'em on the meaning of Juda-
couple of years ago as Ameri-
ism, and is it enough to em-
It is in that footnote where
ca's contribution to World Refu- the body is buried—even if Dr.
phasize Judaism only as a
practice of synagogues?
gee Year. Pinner's figures are dismissed
The committee's contribu- and- UNRWA's own statistics
The matter of anti-Semitism
tion to the Senate committee- are accepted at full value. But
is the least of Jewish concern
consisted of obfuscation, be- all the U.S. Committee told the
and, particularly unimportant is
cause it evidently can read Senate is that there are some
FERNDALE, N.Y. (JTA)—A In another resolution, the prin- that grain of dust called Rock-
only official figures, without efforts being made to cleanse group of 90 principals of Hebrew cipals endorsed the efforts of well. He hopes to be noticed
noting the small type, and UNRWA's registration rolls.
day schools from all parts of the Chairman Newton Minow of the and enlarged by our public op-
thereby succeeded in casting * * *
United States hailed "the in- Federal Communications Com- position to him and I recom-
a new haze around the old
creased interest of Jewish fed- mission to improve television mend that Bnai Brith's Anti-
The Kennedy Administration erations" in the financial prob- programming for children. The Defamation League not notice
refugee problem.
is now, or should be by now,
at all.
The committee presented fig- out of its swaddling clothes. lems of such schools and ex- resolution charged that Minow's him
Indeed, in the last few days
ures about the numbers of refu- Its delegation here should, by pressed the hope that this would efforts were being "frustrated by I've
been trying out the mean-
gees. They came straight out this time, know the facts—all of lead to greater participation by Congress and the television in- ing of Rockwell on non-Jewish
of the last report, filed 'here the facts. They should also have
provide the closest possible su- friends of mine. I ask 'em,
by the UN Relief and Works studied, and taken to heart, by the schools.
That stand was taken by the pervision against "any indiscrim- "What do you think of that
Agency for Palestine Refugees this time, the analysis made by principals as delegates at the inate use" by children of tele- Rockwell?"
in the Near East. That report Dr. Pinner.
And one answers, "Who the
fourth annual convention of the vision. They asserted that tele-
is understood here. In Washing-
hell is Rockwell?"
ton, it was merely confused.
And another: "Never heard of
the UNRWA costs — we have Principals. The principals, in a fluence" on children. •
* * *
Who is he?"
paid out well over a qu , rter of
In another resolution, the prin-
And another: "What did you
The UNRWA figures. cited a billion dollars until now. The ing session of their convention, cipals warned there was "a say
that name is?"
by the committee, list the total least we can do is study all also said they agreed that if the broad gap" in the Jewish stand-
But here I myself have given
of Arab refugees as 1,120,889, the facts—and not merely write federations had faced their ards of the day school and the
a whole column to that person.
as of June 1960. But even if we nice letters to Arab dictators. "communal responsibility and homes of its pupils. They urged However,
it's all between our-
take the total figure at its face And when we study the facts— supported day schools in the
Jews . . . written in
Value, is it necessarily true? let's not overlook the small type. same measure that federations
order that we may not let this
According to a well - known Experienced diplomats here feel support other communal agen- closely with parents" to com- bit
of dust take our eyes off
scholar, Walter Pinner, who is- they have a right to lecture cies, the need for .Federal aid municate the school's programs t he high
road on which we all as
sued a booklet two years ago our people in this respect.
omight have been obviated."
and goals.
Jews must try to keep going.

Hebrew Day School Principals Cite
Federations"Increased Interest'

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