LONDON (Jun. 8)
A letter written by Emir Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia to President Roosevelt in November, 1938, requesting his assistance in resisting “Zionist rule in Palestine” has come to the fore as a weapon of Nazi propaganda to alienate the Arabs’ sympathies for Britain, it was learned here today.
The network of Axis propagandists in the Middle East has been making a point of dwelling on the Palestine question and has been making strenuous efforts to convince the Arabs that Britain has not fulfilled pledges she made to the Arabs during the last war. The Emir’s two-and-a-half-year-old letter is being used in an attempt to play his known sympathies for the Palestine Arabs.
The text of this letter has just been made public here for the first time, and in connection with its publication British circles emphasize that it is especially important “because it shows the mind of Ibn Saud.” The letter reads, in part:
“I have heard it stated that the Americans are biased in favor of the Zionists and support their designs on Palestine. This means that they have been taken in by their false claims and propaganda, and so have paid no attention to the case of the Arabs. By so doing, they doubtless think that they are serving the cause of humanity in general, whereas nothing could be further from the truth, for what could be more tyrannical than to turn out of their homes and lands a peace-loving people who trusted in the justice of the democratic world in general and the U.S.A. in particular.
“As we have complete trust in your love for truth and Justice, and we believe that the government of the U.S.A. is based upon the truest democratic principles, I have made up my mind to draw the attention of your excellency to the case of the Arabs in Palestine, and to explain to you their incontrovertible rights in that country, and I hope that this letter will make their case quite clear to you and to the people of the U.S.A.; and I am sure that when you have read it your excellency will support the claim of the Arabs who live in their own lands…..
“If the Jews base their claim on having inhabited the country for a period, the Arabs have lived in it much longer. Anyhow, the fact that the people, having resided in a country for a period cannot establish their right to that country, for if that principle were applied to the world in general today, some astonishing difficulties would arise:
“I do not clearly understand what the ‘Jewish problem’ really is. Is it to find a ‘home’ for all the Jews who are scattered all over the Earth? Or is it to establish Zionist rule in Palestine? If it is the former, then it must be realised that Palestine has already absorbed more Jews than any other country, and even were the Arabs to be turned out, it could not possibly contain all the Jews in the world, so you see how unfair it is to burden Palestine with any more Jews; if, however, they wish to establish Zionist rule in Palestine, it is surely a most tyrannical proposal to turn a peace-loving, law-abiding people out of their homes to satisfy the greed and personal ambitions of a few Zionist leaders. With regard to the Balfour Declaration, which, in any case, was made without having been considered by the government of the day, it can only be said that it was a thoroughly unjust and illegal proposal….
“Verily the Arabs and all Islam will fight for Palestine, and they refuse to have their lands handed over to foreigners who have no connection with the country. I hope that the great and just United States of America will assist us in this, for it is obviously unjust that the Jews, of all people, who are being expelled from other civilized countries, should be foisted on to Palestine.”