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January 30, 1976 - Image 56

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-01-30

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January 30, 1976


Palestinian Refugees: Created, Fostered by Arab Politics

(Editor's note: Outlining
"The Case of the Jews in

Arab Countires; " on be-
half of the World Organi-
zation of Jews from Arab
Countries, Dr. Maurice M.
Roumani has exposed
many distortions and lit-
tle-known facts about
Jewish and Arab refugees
in the Middle East. Dr.
Roumani is a research as-
, sociate at Bar-Ilan Uni-
versity and head of the re-
search division of the
department of Sephardic
communities of the World
Zionist Organization.)
Many opportunities were
available for the proper set-
tlement of Palestinian refu-
gees. Even prior to 1948, the
Arab world was in need of a
population redistribution in
order to influence progress.
This condition could have
provided easy ground for
refugee absorption. For ex-
ample, in March of 1951, the
1- 0- International Bank for Re-
construction and Develop-
ment reported that the en-
tire Palestinian Arab
refugee population could
easily be absorbed by Iraq
alone, "were its natural re-
sources developed."
The need for a population
increase in Iraq was obvious
as early as 1928 when the
Prime Minister, Ja'far
Pasha Al-Ashari stated:
"What Iraq wants above ev-
erything else is more popu-
lation, this is a necessary
condition for progress."
Another country that
could have-easily absorbed a
large portion of the refugees

was Syria. The Chatham
Report in 1949 estimated
that "Well over 200,000 Pa-
lestine refugees could be
absorbed within five years
in agriculture alone if Syria
had the required political
To this day, none of the
four Arab host countries,
with the exception of Jor-
dan, has awarded citizen-
ship to the refugees. In
Lebanon, refugees are re-
garded as being there on
sufferance, they are not
granted residence visas
nor are they entitled to cit-
Work permits are diffi-
cult to acquire and restric-
tions are placed on move-
ment. In many cases, local
leaders prohibit refugees
living in camps from leaving

The situation in Syria and
Egypt, while somewhat less
critical, is nevertheless com-
parable, especially in so far
as the political rights of ref-
ugees are concerned.
Even though refugees
have been offered full citi-
zenship in Jordan, their sit-
uation is yet unsatisfactory.
It was reported in an analy-
sis of the Quaker Report
that, "Some 300,000 Arabs
left the West Bank and East
Jerusalem between 1949
and May 1967 as a direct
result of persistent unrest
and lack of economic oppor-
tunity in the area."
UNRWA describes the
deplorable condition of
Arab refugees as: "Legally,
humanly and economically

speaking, little better off
than they were when they
first left Palestine," and di-
rectly relates this situation
to the fact that "No govern-
ment, except Jordan, has
proclaimed the right of ref-
ugees to stay."
Arabs have repeatedly
rejected proposals for a re-
settlement of Palestinian
refugees. In 1957, the Beirut
daily L'Orient wrote:

"The responsibility of the
Arab governments is very
great. For eight years these
governments have been ap-
plying to the refugees an ab-.
stract and inhuman policy.

"Under the pretext of
cultivating in the refugees
the. longing for their
homes in Palestine, and
for the purpose of main-
taining a menacing popu-
lation on the frontiers with

Israel, these governments
have systematically re-
jected attempts at organi-
zation and employment for
the refugees."
The following are some of
the major appeals for a solu-
tion of the Palestinian refu-
gee problem rejected by the
• In 1949, a special UN
survey mission headed by
Gordon Clapp proposed a
development plan for the
Middle East that would also
help solve the refugee prob-
lem. Arab obstructions
killed this program.
• An agreement signed
by Egypt and UNRWA in
1951 to settle 70,000 refu-
gees from the Gaza Strip in
Sinai, as part of a regional
waterworks project, was
abrogated by Egypt.
• A proposal by UN Sec-

Manuel Josephson, as a
commission merchant in
New York and then in Phila-
served as a
supplier to
ton's army,
selling it,
among other things, "guns,

cutlasses and bayonets."
As a congregation leader
(in New York he was in 1762
president of Shearith Israel
and in Philadelphia from
1785-1791 president of Mik-
veh Israel), he succeeded for
the first time in uniting the
Jewish congregations in
New York, Charleston,
Richmond and Philadelphia
in a joint Address of sup-


• In 1955, President Ei-
senhower's special envoy,
Ambassador Eric Johnston,
succeeded in obtaining
agreement for the resettle-
ment of 240,000 refugees in
the Joidan River Valley, but
as Johnston wrote in the
New York Times on Oct. 19,
"After two years of dis-

The American Revolution's Jewish Soldiers


American Jewish Archives

There were many Jewish
soldier-patriots during the
American Revolution.
After enlisting in the
Third Maryland Regiment
at the age of 23, Joseph
Smith saw service . in Penn-
sylvania, the Jerseys, and
the South. Wounded at
Camden, South Carolina, in
1780, he fell into British
hands and remained a pris-
oner until he returned home
to Baltimore.
In signing the company

payroll, he made his mark.
When he applied for a pen-
sion after the war, it devel-
oped that Smith's real name
was Elias Pollock; he could
write, but the only script he
employed was the Hebrew.
Why had he concealed his
He may well have been a
runaway debtor seeking to
escape imprisonment; he
may have been an inden-
tured servant or a Mary-
land "transport," a crimi-
nal serving out his term in
the colonies. Or the simple

Colonial America's Most Learneg Jew

Editor, Jewish Currents

• In 1952, an Arab Refu-
gee Rehabilitation Fund of
$200 million was established
by UN Resolution 513. This
fund was never utilized due
to Arab objections to the
rehabilitation projects.

cussion, technical experts of
Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and
Syria agreed on every im-
portant detail of a unified
Jordan Plan. But in Octo-
ber, 1955, it was rejected for
political reasons at a meet-
ing of the Arab . League."
• At the 18th session of
the UN Special Political
Committee in November
1963, Mrs. Golda Meir,
then Israel's foreign min-
ister, offered direct nego-
tiations with Arab govern-
ments on the refugee
problem, as an urgent
Two years later, Israeli
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol
made the same offer. When !-
Mrs. Meir became prime
minister she renewed her
proposal. So did her foreign
minister, Abba Eban. Nev-
ertheless, all offers from the
Israeli side have been ig-
nored or denounced.

A Bicentennial Feature

A Bicentennial Feature


retary General Dag Ham-
marskjold in 1959 to use
the refugees as a reservoir
of manpower in a program
for the overall develop-
ment of the region was
shelved as a result of op-
position by the Arabs.

port for Washington.
Born in Hamburg, where
he acquired a fund or rab-
binical lore that made h,im
the most learned Jew in
Hebraic literature in colo-
nial America, he came to
New York as a young man.

In 1757, during the
French and Indian War, he
was already a sutler for the
armed forces. In 1759, he
married Rachel Judah in
New York.
Prospering as a mer-
chant in New York, Man-
uel Josephson was yet one
of the majority of the
Cong. Shearith Israel that
evacuated from New York
rather than stay and colla-
borate with the British-
Hessian occupation of the
In Philadelphia he contin-
ued his patriotic service, his
name being recorded a
dozen times in the official
diaries of the Office of Fi-
nance (forerunner of the
U.S. Treasury Department).
When Haym Salomon
died in 1785, leaving his
23-year-old widow and three
children with money that
,just about paid off his debts,
Josephson personally aided
her. (Salomon's estate, fin-
ally accounted Dec. 23, 1789,
showed a deficit of $560,
with assets of $44,732 and
debts of $45,292.)

Mrs. Josephson

For some years his per-
sonal physician was the cel-
ebrated Dr. Benjamin Rush.
In the Address to Wash-
ington that he drafted and
personally presented Dec.
13, 1790, Josephson spoke
of the "late glorious revo-
lution" which had
"opened the way to the
reign of freedom." (This
Address and Washington's
reply were printed in full
in _ the Pennsylvania
Packet, Dec. 15.)
How this way of thinking
permeated Josephson may
be seen from the way in
which, in a petition May 21,
1784 to get Mikveh Israel to
build a mikve, he praised
"the Almighty God of Is-
rael" for enabling Jews to
live in a country in which
"we enjoy every desirable
privilege and great preemin-
ence far beyond many of our
brethren dispersed in differ-
ent countries . ."
Much of Josephson's cor-
respondence was in Yiddish.

answer may be that, fear-
ing prejudice, he adopted
the innocuous Anglo-
Saxcin "Smith" to conceal
his Jewish origin.
The Jewish historian Bar-
nett A. Elzas documented
the presence in South Caro-
lina of .at least 34 Jewish Re-
volutionary War veterans,
among them a few Georgia
Most of these Jews served
under Captain Richard Lu-
shington, whose outfit was
known — rather erro-
neously — as the "Jew Com-
pany." The Jews who served
in his command did not con-
stitute a majority, but since
most of them were King
Street shopkeepers, all
bunched together, they had
been conscripted as a group.
They gave a good account
of themselves. One of the
captain's men was Jacob I.
Cohen, who fought with his
comrades at the Battle of
Lushington certified in
1779 that Cohen had "in
every respect conducted
himself as a good soldier
and man of courage." Five
years later, as a member of
the -Richmond firm of
Cohen & Isaacs, Cohen
hired a frontiersman
named Daniel Boone to
survey his lands on the
Licking River in distant
The most distinguished
Jewish Carolinian of Revo-
lutionary days was Francis
,- Salvador, a member of one
of the richest Jewish fami-
lies in England.
After Joseph Salvador,
Francis' uncle and father-
in-law, had lost his money ; -
he repaid his nephew to
whom he was indebted by
ceding to him large tracts in
the Carolina hitherland.
They were known as the
"Jews' Lands."
When young Francis lost
his own fortune, he left his
London family behind and,
in 1773 and 1774, carved out
a large plantation for• him-
self in South Carolina's
Ninety-Six District.
Salvador soon emerged as
a Whig leader. It may not be

difficult to guess what moti-
vated him.
Twenty years- earlier his
uncle, then one of the great
financiers of the empire,
had helped sponsor a Jew-
ish Naturalization Act.
After passing, it had been
speedily scuttled by Par-
liament in a wave of anti-
Jewish hostility and scur-
rility. Uncle Joseph Salva-
dor had been hooted out of
a London theater.
Who can doubt that Fran-
cis Salvador, cultured and
wealthy, never forgot that
back in London he was only
a second-class citizen?
Because of his back-
ground, he was immediately
accepted in good Carolinian
society and was invited to
sit in the rebel provincial
congresses and in the first
general assembly of the new
state of South Carolina.
Salvador was the first
unconverted Jew to serve in
an American legislature. By
1776, this attractive young
man had become a member
of a number of important
committees and thus a nota-
ble political figure.
When the British army
and navy struck at the
East Coast in 1776, and
their allies, the Indians
and Tories, moved in to
massacre the settler's and
farmers on the western
frontier, Salvador rode 28
miles to rouse the militia.
On the night of July
31-August 1, the punitive
expedition which he had
joined was ambushed. Sal-
vador fell, shot andscalpe
by the Indians. He may ha-:
been the first Jew to die in
defense of the new United
Toda in Charleston's
City Hall Park there is a
plaque dedicated to his
memory: -

Born an aristocrat he
became a democrat.
.In Englishman he cast
his lot with .1tnerica;
True to his ancient
faith he gave his life
For new hopes of hu-
man liberty a nd under-


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