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October 13, 1989 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-10-13

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Truman Legacies, Plus Israel, Contra Bigotry


Editor Emeritus


rthur Krock, a most acclaimed
commentator and a veteran
New York Times correspondent
in Washington, had no sympathy for
Zionism or Israel. It was when he dealt
with his admired president, Dwight D.
Eisenhower, that he merely approach-
ed commenting favorably on an Israeli
action. In his book Sixty Years on the

Firing Line — Presidents I Have Known,

he described his experiences with
presidents since Theodore Roosevelt. He
wrote glowingly about Eisenhower with
this reservation:

A blemish on this record, in
both the contemporary and
hindsight judgment of some ex-
perts in foreign affairs, was the
frustration by the United States
of the Anglo-French-Israeli
military expedition against
Egypt in 1956. It is conceivable
that these allies, probably the
Israelis alone, could have kept
the Suez Canal international
and free for all shipping, over-
thrown Gamal Abdel Nasser's
regime in Egypt and at least
postponed for a while the threat
of general conflict generated in
1967 by the provocations of the
Six-Day War in the Middle East.

In an explanation of the article titl-
ed "He Didn't Like Ike" by Harry S.
Truman, the New York Times carried
this annotation in the contents of the



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On Oct. 23, 1956, there was a
revolution in Hungary, which
the Russians had dominated for
some time, and the Hungarian
people appealed to the United
States for help. Eisenhower ig-
nored the plea completely, and
Russian tanks rolled into
Hungary and killed many peo-
ple and the revolution was soon
over. And the United States
began to get a reputation for tur-
ning its back on its friends.

A few months before that, a
serious disagreement developed
between the United States and
Egypt. The United States had
promised Egypt a grant of $70
million so that Egypt could
build a dam at Aswan, on the
Nile, but some of Eisenhower's

people didn't care much for
Gamal Abdel Nasser, and we
suddenly and unexpectedly
canceled the loan. Nasser was
furious and announced that he
was nationalizing the Suez
Canal, which in turn infuriated
Britain, France and Israel,
which needed free movement on
the canal for oil supplies; the
first two countries also needed
free movement on the canal
because of their dependencies
in the Pacific and elsewhere. All
three countries asked the
United States for help, hinting
that it had, after all, been this
country that had started the
thing by making a promise and
then breaking it.
Eisenhower ignored this
plea, too, and Britain, France
and Israel invaded Egypt. All
that Eisenhower did about that
was to join Russia in a cease-fire
resolution at the United Nations,
which, of course, Britain and
France vetoed immediately. The
three countries eventually left
Egypt after Eisenhower's
Secretary of State, John Foster
Dulles, assured them that he'd
guarantee free access to the
Nasser came through on this
for Britain and France but not
for Israel, a fact that
Eisenhower and Dulles also ig-
nored. I'd recognized Israel im-
mediately as a sovereign nation

when the British left Palestine
in 1948, and I did so against the
advice of my own Secretary of
State, George Marshall, who
was afraid that the Arabs
wouldn't like it. This was one of
the few errors of judgment made
by that great and wonderful
man, but I felt that Israel
deserved to be recognized and
didn't give a damn whether the
Arabs liked it or not. So as you
can imagine, I wasn't very hap-
py about what ammounted to a
double-cross of the Israelis by
Eisenhower and that stuffed-
shirt Dulles.

There is much more to this matter
that is needed for retention of the ac-
tual record of what occurred in 1956.
Eisenhower threatened Israel with
sanctions for involvement in the occur-
rence, together with Britain and
France. As usual, it was and is easy to
"blame Israel first." The sanctions
threat was prevented by the interces-
sion on a non-partisan senatorial basis
by Senators Lyndon Johnson and
William Knowlands. This also is a story
to be remembered. First let it be in-
dicated that Eisenhower found it
necessary to make an explanation at
one of his press conferences. Here is an
actual clipping from a transcript made
to Abba Eban, then Israel's am-
bassador, in which Eisenhower stated:

Please sit down. Good mor-
ning. I have one correction I

Continued on Page 44

Initials With A Message

t is not often that a non-pro-
fessional author, especially if his
major work could be called semi-
autobiographical, reaches the stage of
a second edition.
Meet Leonard N. Simons. For
months before he reached his 85th bir-
thday on July 24, many community
movements and his house of worship ac-
claimed his leadership. He had
popularized so many in his midst that
it became a hope for the rest of us to
earn the privilege of being mentioned
by him, as the many were in his
"Simons Says."
L.N.S. had covered much ground
that needed addenda. To complete or at

Vol. XCVI No. 7

Sept. 17 New York Times magazine:
"Margaret has collected her father's un-
published manuscripts. This one faults
President Eisenhower on almost every
The memoirs are an indictment of
Eisenhower's aproaches to many issues.
One is in relation to Israel. Another
very important rebuke is Ike's treat-
ment of the immigration problems and
McCarthyism. The second will be dealt
with in this column later. Now with
regard to Israel.
On the matter relating to the Mid-
dle East to Egypt, the Aswan Dam and
the involvement of Israel, together with
Britain and France, there is this excerpt
from the "He Didn't Like Ike" article:

October 13, 1989


least extend his messages, the adden-
dum became a necessity.
There is much in the newest
"Simons Says" to relish. If it were only
for his "Bible Trivial Pursuit," which
reveal him as student of scriptures. His
book invites new cheers for a fellow
There is a thriller in the new
"Simons Says" — the L.N.S. message to
his granddaughter how his marriage to
her grandmother Harriette became a
worshipping success. No wonder the
Detroit Free Press sensationalized it.
There are many more personalities
with recognition in the "Addendum" —
and special mention is due here to
Leonard's partner of more than half a
century and how they functioned with
argumentation. It's told in the story
about the great honor shared by this
partner, Lawrence Michelson in the
"Chair in Advertising" established in
honor of both by the Adcraft in 1988 and
by Wayne State University.

L.N.S. is already widely quoted by
Dr. Jacob R. Marcus, whose History of
the Jews in America 1776-1987, is be-
ing published by Wayne State Univer-
sity press, salutes Leonard Simons as
one of his dearest friends. He has in-
formed Leonard that he will be quoted
in his book, Ethics and Ethos, which is
to follow his American Jewish History.
Readers of "Simons Says" will

Leonard N. Simons

especially be grateful for the author's
inclusion of an important credit he had
written 10 years ago and is now
reprinted in the enlarged second edi-
tion, Reflections at 85. Here is its text
that remains a guideline for his entire

Reflections at 85
THAT there is much more to life
than "begin, beget, and be
gone" .. .

THAT the most important words in
the dictionary are Love,
Respect, and Generosity .. .
THAT if I do well in business, I
should never forget to share
because a shroud has no
pockets .. .
THAT essential to happiness is
something to do, someone to
love, something to hope for .. .
THAT life's greatest satisfaction
comes from realizing your own
capabilities as full as possible —
for the benefit of others .. .
THAT there is a difference between
putting your nose into other pe-
ple's business and putting your
heart into other people's pro-
blems .. .
THAT schools of higher learning
should be assisted because the
salvation of the world lies in the
education of young men and
AND, if I had a chance to live my live
over again, I would try to do the
very same things because I
believe in them.

lb this classic he has added an im-
portant hand-written note: "I said it
before and I say it again — because I
believe it."
That's how the initials L.N.S. con-
tinue to earn admiration for the author
of "Simons Says" from family and
fellow citizens. ❑

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