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June 28, 1985 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-06-28

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Friday, June 28, 1985


Baruch And FDR

Continued from Page 2

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Hecht." The Hecht account of the
ship's voyage relates:
My namesake craft sailed
900 refugees to Palestine. It
was captured by the British
Navy. Six hundred of the refu-
gees were carted off to the Isle
of Cyprus where the British
were holding some 50,000
Jews in escrow. The other 300
passengers escaped and
made, most of them, for the
Irgun ranks.
(The Committee repossessed
the S.S. Ben Hecht from the
British and turned it over to
the government. It flourished
for a time as the flagship of the
Israel Navy.)
Hecht thereupon also relates
the reactions to one of his drama-
tic endorsements of the Irgun and
the Jewish protests against the
British obstructions in the adver-
tisement, which appeared in 15
newspapers at their usual rates
and hundreds reprinted it gratis.
This is where Bernard Baruch
appears in the Ben Hecht auto-
biography, the prominent adviser
to several Presidents and friend
of Roosevelt.
Hecht was recovering from ill-
ness when, as he describes it:
"One day the door of my hospital
room opened and a tall white-
haired man entered. It was -Ber-
nard Baruch, my first Jewish so-
cial visitor. He sat down, ob-
served me for a moment and then
"I am on your side," said
Baruch. "The only way the
Jews will ever get anything is
by fighting for it. I'd like you
to think of me as one of your
Jewish fighters in the tall
grass with a long gun. I've al-
ways done my best work that
way, out of sight. It's what I
told President Wilson when he
gave me my first mission."
The true FDR sentiment was
revealed in a matter of days. The
amazing revelations, about the
FDR submission to Arab influ-
ence, the meeting with Ibn Saud
which outraged Jewish public
opinion, the Bernard Baruch re-
joinder in repudiating the FDR
sentiments, were viewed as a be-
ginning of a new anti-Zionist pol-
icy. FDR's endorsement of the
Arab anti-Zionist position de-
mands renewed recollecting. It
follows in the recorded detailed
A month later President
Roosevelt returned from his
visit to the Near East. He had
consorted with many leaders,
but no Jewish ones. The most
important of his conferees was
Ibn Saud, ruler of Saudi
Arabia, and recipient of a
hundred thousand dollars a
day as royalties from Ameri-
can oil companies. In addition
to being the darling of Ameri-
can industry, Ibn Saud was,
next to Hitler, the most out-
spoken anti-Semite on the
world map.
In a statement by Ibn Saud a
few weeks before President
Roosevelt's conference with
him, the dusky and gilded
Arab chief had said, "The only
way to solve the Jewish situa-
tion in the Near East is to take
all the Jews out of Palestine

Ben Hecht

Bernard Baruch

and send them into Central
Africa where they won't be
able to bother anybody. If
they refuse to go, the only
other alternative is to exter-
minate them where they are,
and be rid of the Jewish situa-
tion for good."
On his return, President
Roosevelt made a report to
Congress in March 1945. The
report had been written by
Judge Rosenman, President
Roosevelt and son-in-law
John Boettiger. In delivering
it to Congress, Roosevelt
added an extemporized para-
graph that he had never dis-
cussed with his collaborators.
Said Roosevelt, standing be-
fore the world, "For instance,
on the -problem of Arabia, I
learned more about that
whole problem — the Moslem
problem, the Jewish problem
— by talking with Ibn Saud for
five minutes, than I could have
learned in the exchange of two
or three dozen letters."
In his book, Working with
Roosevelt, Rosenman, the Jew,
comments naively, "This was
a thought that must have pop-
ped into his head at just that

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