An Historic Anniversary ... An Indeliable Declaration
Setting Record Straight on Jewry's Holy Land Role . .
Refutation of False Claims to Our People's Cradleland
Jews as well non-Jews have fallen Prey to false claims that what was Palestine
and is now as it should be Israel —' Medinat Israel — always referred to as Eretz
Israel — has any time been anything other than the cradleland of the Jewish people.
In November of 1947 the great tribune of the Jewish people, the eminent scholar
and historian, Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, set the record straight in a great address that
will remain indelibly a part of world history.
Rabbi Silver spoke before the Ad Hoc Committee of the United Nations and
proved the reality of Jewish life in the historic home of our people. His address was
one of the significant declarations that led to the United Nations' decision, on Nov.
29, 1947, in support of a Jewish State. On that day the UN voted in favor of Palestine's
Partition — a decision that led to Israel's statehood which was declared on May 14, 1948.
But a state of ignorance persists. Contrary to historic facts analyzed by Dr.
Silver, there still are people who believe that there was at one time an Arab nation
within Israel. It is one of the major historic misconception of our age. Now we must
go back to the declaration by Dr. Silver to disprove untruths.
The important anniversary itself seems to be forgotten! Except for a few areas
where it received attention, the 20th anniversary of the UN Partition decision—Nov.
29, 1947—was not noticed. There were major functions on that day in Detroit. but the
speakers were concerned with nonsense. How urgently we need new approaches to
public relations, to programming, to study and knowledge of Jewish historic devel-
The famous speech by Dr. Silver needs new attention and we wish to give
at this time.
In that historic speech in November of 1947. when Dr. Abba Hillel Silver was
among the principal pleaders of the Jewish cause. the distingushed spokesman for
the Jewish people said:
When the Allies liberated Palestine in 1917 along with other parts of the former
Ottoman Empire, Palestine was a segment of a Turkish province. There was no politically
or culturally distinct or distinguishable Arab nation in that province. There never had
been. The Arabs who conquered Palestine in the 7th Century of the common era
held sway over that country, which contained a very mixed and heterogeneous popula-
tion for 437 years between 634 and 1071 CE-437 years out of more than 3,000 years
of recorded history in Palestine. After 1071 the country was conquered by various
non-Arab peoples, such as the Seijuks, the Kurds, the Crusaders, the Egyptian flame=
Jukes, and finally by the Ottoman Turks.
By the time the Arabs conquered Palestine in 634 CE. the Jewish people had
already completed nearly two thousand years of national history in that country,
during which time they created a civilization which decidedly Influenced the course of
mankind, gave rise both to Judaism and Christianity, produced the Bible and brought
forth prophets, saints and spiritual leaders who are venerated not only by Judaism,
but by Christianity and Islam as well.
"In the 12 centuries or more that have passed since the Arab conquest," reads
Jewry's Historic Rights to Israel . . . Arabs'
Corruption of Facts... Silver Enlightened UN
the relied of the Royal Commission of 1937, "Palestine had virtually dropped out of
history ... In economics and in politics Palestine lay outside the main stream of the
world's life. In the realm of thought, in science or in letters it made no contribution to
The very identity of Palestine as a unit of human society is an achievement of
Jewish history. The country lost its separate character with the Jewish dispersion and
in that important part of the world. What the Jewish people has already achieved in
Palestine in a short time and In the face of enormous obstacles is indicative of what
it hopes to do in the future along with, and in fullest cooperation with, all of its
Neighborliness, however, is a two-sided affair. Sincerely and without reservations
we bring the offer of peace and friendship. If it is met in the same spirit, rich and
abundant blessings will redound to all. If not, we shall be compelled to do what any
people must do under such circmustances, defend our rights to the utmost. We have
builded a nation In Palestine. That nation now demands its independence. It will not
be dislodged. Its national status will not be denied. We are asked to make an enormous
sacrifice to attain that which, if uninterfered with, we would have attained long ago.
In sadness, and most reluctantly, we are prepared to make this sacrifice. Beyond it we
cannot, we will not go ... We have reached one of the important crossroads of history.
The course which will be followed will be fraught with destiny for all, the Jews, the
Arabs and the United Nations. We hope that it will be a course of wisdom, justice
and courage. The Jewish people hopefully await the decision of this body.
Twenty-five years ago a similar international organization recognized the historic
claims of the Jewish people, sanctioned our program and set us firmly on the road
of realization. We were not then regarded as intruders or invaders, not even by the
foremost leaders and spokesmen of the Arab world, but as a people returning home
after a long sad exile. The world approved and acclaimed the return of Israel to Its
ancient homeland. The statesmen of the world faced the tragic problem of Jewish
national homelessness and they set about to solve It.
The Jewish people was confirmed in its right to rebuild its national life in
its historic home. It eagerly seized the long hoped-for opportunity and proceeded to
rebuild that ancient land of Israel in a manner which evoked the admiration of the
whole world. It has made the wilderness blossom as the rose. Surely this great inter-
national body, surveying this faithful and fruitful work, will wish to see that work
continued, that undertaking advanced, that hope of the centuries consummated. It will
be a noble achievement which will redound to the everlasting glory of this world
organization. It will be a supreme act of international justice.
Perhaps, by letting the truth be known, there will be a better approach to
realities. But Jews must be first to recognize the realities. Dr. Silver pleaded for
them. We have had him reiterate his views as a mark of tribute to his memory and
in appreciation of the historic services he had rendered our people.
A serious misunderstanding was laid to rest by Dr. Silver. A historic lie was
demolished. Let the facts remain on the record! Let there be an end to the maligning
of Jewish claims to historic justice! Let there be an end to slandering of truth!
De Gaulle: The Agony of France
'Social Injustices Causing Tension
Among Races Must Concern Jews'
Dr. Clark told the AJC leaders:
BOSTON (JTA) Black national-
ists who seek to drive whites from "Those black nationalists who seek
the struggle for racial justice, and; to preempt the civil rights strug-
Jews looking for excuses to with- gle for themselves are among the
draw from the civil rights move-I most pathetic victims of the vir-
merit. were sharply criticized here ! ulence of American racism.
"If I were white, I should con-
by Dr. Kenneth B. Clark of New.;
York. Negro rights leader, and:' sider it absurd that anyone could
Rabbi Arthur J. Lelyveld, presi-' tell me that, by virtue of my color,
dent of the American Jewish Con- 1 I am disqualified in asserting and
gress. They joined in condemning working for Jewish and human
"isolationists in both camtis" who: dignity. I would consider myself
believe Jews and Negroes muse demeaned if I were intimidated
now "go it alone." They sphke at into removing myself from this
a meeting of the national govern-; struggle by black or white
ing council of the AJC here '..; ■ racists."
Dr. Clark proposed joint Negro-
In urging that Jews concern. .
aetionary, anti - Semitic white
"Anti-Semitism, among those
portions of the black nationalist
movement which seem addicted
to it, may reflect not only a pat-
tern of racial cynicism and the
method of racial racketeers but
also a specific sympton of the
general problem of racism in
America," he said. He continued:
"The problem of anti-Semitism
among Negroes in general is not
a serious issue which requires
serious concern or any special pro-
gram to deal with it. Anti-Semitism
among black nationalists, however,
may present the problem of under-
standing and exposing the rela-
tionship between such groups and
white reactionaries and segrega-
themselves "not so much with Jewish action programs "to meet
anti-Semitism as with the social the racist challenge of black
injustices that cause racial and power" in three major areas of
religious tension," Rabbi Lelyveld Negro - Jewish contact: education,
declared: ''We do not protect our consumer-merchant relations, and tionists.
Jewish future by abandoning our housing.
"Anti-Semitism among Negroes
On education, he urged that is a barometer of Negro morale.
Jewish principles. Those who seek
to save their skins may end up Jews and Negroes in major cities Increased expressions of anti-
losing not only their skins but also' join forces "to remedy the crimi- Jewish feeling among Negroes
nally inefficient and intolerable may be interpreted as an indica-
Rabbi Lelyveid was apparently i education now being provided tion of low morale. Systematic
taking issue with Bertram IL Gold. ■ Negro children in predominantly anti-Semitism among Negroes or
executive director of the APierican' Negro ghetto schools. "This prob- whites—or even among Jews—is a
Jewish Committee, who has called lem cannot be remedied by the manifestation of the systematic
for a Jewish coalition with the blind-alley approach of the black disease of racism."
Negro middle class to combat anti- nationalists who are insisting upon
Rabbi Lelyveld called the French
white hostility, including anti- all-black schools in all-black com-
munities. This is not a job for French President de Gaulle's at-
This is the old-line approach Negroes alone. It is a job for all tack on the Jews and Israel last
to anti-Semitism, which seeks concerned and committed Ameri- week as "a relapse into near
racism that shames the French
to overcome it by arguing it cans."
down," Rabbi Lelyveld said.
On consumer-merchant relations, ideals of Liberty, Equality and
"My own proposal is to enter he proposed that Jewish groups Fraternity" but "happily" is not
into an alliance with those who organize "merchant associations shared by the French people.
Rabi Lelyveld called the French
are just as angry with injustice that would assume primary respon-
and inequality as I am." Our sibility for policing the methods, leader's "attack upon the corporate
task is not merely to promote techniques and practices of all personality of the Jewish people"
harmony between middle-class merchants doing business in Ne. a "profound distortion of all his-
tory and a tragic insensitivity to
Jews and the deprived Negro gro- Fommunities."
On' housing, he called for Negro- what such gross and immoral sen-
masses, but rather to build a
society that will eliminate pov- Jewish cooperation "in insisting timents have produced in the past.
erty and injustice and close the on more effective government ac- The grandeur and leadership of
'affluence gap' between white tivity in slum clearance and code France will hardly be enhanced
by these sad and shabby views"
and black in America. Preoccu- enforcements."
Dr. Clark said that anti-Jewish which were "an attempt to justify
pation of other agencies may be
and anti-Israel black extremists an untenable and unjust attack
with ameliorating anti-Semitism.
were exploring the possibility of upon the state of Israel by an
Our emphasis must be on it."
liniiing up with right-wing re- equally untenable and insupport-
social- problems that generate
able assault on an entire people:'
The supreme test was met well by the UN on Nov. 29, 1947. But the UN still
is being tested. The world's conscience still is being tested. The Jewish people still
Negro-Jewish Ties Examined
2 Friday, December 8, 1967
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Rabbi Lelyveld declared.
The conscience of France had been eased in the past two decades
after the agonies that were occasioned by the Affaire Dreyfus. From
time to time an anti-Semite would appear on the scene reiterating the
lies and the bigotries of the era when militarism and clericalism played
vicious roles in dividing the French people.
There was a period of French Nazism, under the leadership of
Marshal Philippe Petain and Pierre Laval. Their ideology was an
appeasement of Hitler and a heritage from the anti-Semitism of
Charles Maurras and other French anti-Semites.
Now comes Charles de Gaulle, the president who plays the role
of dictator, and repeats the outworn charges against Jews — that
they are domineering (he used the French term "dominateur") since
the formation of Israel; he resorts to the nonsense about the wander-
ing Jew's legend; he gives comfort to Israel's enemies with charges
Once again France, for 20 years the friend of Israel, Israel's ally
in the 1956 Campaign, once again is in agony. But the people of France
do not seem at all influenced by the bigotry of its president. On the
contrary, French leaders consider their new dictator an anti-Semite.
The people of France are not abandoning a friendship mixed with
admiration for Israel. There may even be genuine protests against the
breaking of contracts: the refusal of de Gaulle to fulfill agreements
to supply Israel with planes purchased and already paid for. In the
interim French business deals with Israel are affected by prejudices and
the president-dictator's hatreds.
But the French have spoken. Not only Grand Rabbi Jacob Kaplan
of France has branded de Gaulle an anti-Semite; the same derogatory
term was applied to him by many in his country, including some of his
associates' an editorial in Le Monde said de Gaulle's views had "an
unpleasant smell of anti-Semitism," Aurore, also editorially, considered
it "unthinkable" that racial discrimination should be resorted to by
a French leader and expressed the view that the French people reject
its president's "incredible attitude;" only the Communist newspaper
L'Hurnanite agreed with de Gaulle.
Not only the French newspapers, but those of Belgium, West Get-
many and other countries assailed the de Gaulle view. Dutch Foreign
Minister Dr. Josef Lunz utilized the occasion of the de Gaulle attack,
in an interview with Aurore in Paris, to reject the charge of aggression
The complete text of the de Gaulle speech, made known in an
official transcript released at the UN, indicates that the French presi-
dent'z hatreds were steeped in traditional anti-Semitic bias, in charges
impugning that the Jewish people had provoked ill will "in certain
countries at certain times" and that this has taken place "through the
It is no wonder that Guy de Mollet, a former political asso-
ciate of de Gaulle, should have said, in the name of the French
Democratic and Socialist Federation, that de Gaulle "smelled the
oil of the Middle East," that only the oil interested him "but not
the future of peace In the area nor the fate of a martyr-nation."
It Is no wonder that de Gaulle's critics should include Emile Servan-
Schreiber, editor of Combat; Andre Franeols-Pohscet, editor of
Figaro; M. Diomede Catroux and M. Claude Gerard Marcus, former
Gaullists; Jean Louis Tixier•Vognancourt, rightwing leader; Jean
Adrien Lecanuet, president of Movement Republlcaln Populaire,
aid leaders of other French political parties.
That is why Israel's Foreign Minister Abba Eban formally pre-
sented a protest, on behalf of his government, to the French ambas-
sador to Israel, Bertrand de la Sabliere.
The protests haven't ended. Perhaps the de Gaulle bias against
Israel will arouse sufficient policies to force a halt to his venom.