American Jewish Conference Scores President Truman’s Retreat on Palestine Issue

The American Jewish Conference, supported by the American Jewish press, today criticized President Truman’s withdrawal of support from the Wagner-Taft resolution on Palestine and his opposition to the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. They termed his attitude a “retreat from the Palestine plank in the Democratic Party’s election platform.”

“Mr. Truman’s retreat is not mitigated by the assurance that he still favors large-scale emigration of European Jews to Palestine,” the American Jewish Conference said. “Jews in the United States, Europe and Palestine, can no longer regard expressions of sympathy as a substitute for deeds, nor can the reiteration of sentiments, no matter how ardently professed, lessen the impact of harmful political pronouncements. The President’s action clearly demonstrates that American policy has succumbed to British diplomatic pressure.

“Reportedly,” the statement continued, “Mr. Truman expressed opposition to the establishment of any sovereign nation based on religion, race or creed. The establishment of Palestine as a democratic Jewish Commonwealth is not a religious or racial issue, and any attempt to present it in such a light is a travesty on truth. Behind the Jewish Commonwealth plan is the urge of a homeless people to achieve security and to dwell in a home, solemnly promised and guaranteed by fifty-two nations. Whatever may be the motives for the President’s change of heart, it should be stressed that the United States is a partner to the Balfour Declaration – a solemn pledge which the British Government is now trying to cancel out. This pledge cannot be abrogated by anyone, however highly placed.”

The statement strongly criticized the American Council for Judaism’s memorandum to President Truman, in which formal repudiation of “all official declarations on Palestine in any way discriminating for or against a segment of the population” was urged. The statement emphasized that there is no cleavage between Jews and Zionists on the fundamentals of the Palestine issue. “When non-representative and minority Jewish groups jam the wires with propaganda on the Palestine issue, in opposition to the definite stand of responsible organs of American Jewry, they are sabotaging the aims and hopes of a people for whom justice now hangs in the balance,” the statement said.

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