Egyptian Press Criticizes Roosevelt Statement on Jewish Commonwealth

The Egyptian press, although differing widely on many domestic issues, is unanimous in its criticism of President Roosevelt’s message to the American Zionist Organization pledging support of efforts to establish Palestine as a Jewish Commonwealth.

The newspaper Al Misri, organ of the WAFD party of ousted Premier Nahas Pasha, devotes seven columns to discussion of the Palestine question, including a three-column attack on President Roosevelt. The President’s statement, the paper says, does not jibe with his previous praise of and sympathy with the Arab people and their cooperation with the Allies.

Al Balagh, most widely circulated Moslem paper in the world, publishes an editorial pointing out that Roosevelt’s statement is contrary to the provisions of the White Paper and further complicates the Palestine problem. It expresses the opinion that British statesman are bound by the White Paper and cannot follow the American lead.

The English-language Egyptian Gazette, which is influential in the British community here, writes that “there can be only one reason for these declarations (Roosevelt and Dewey), the hope of gaining Jewish votes. But the men who make these facile promise seem to overlook the fact that they do not have the power to fulfill them, since Britain is the mandatory power.” It deplores the statements as a threat to “the precarious tranquility” in Palestine and the Middle East.

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