New York (Oct. 6)
Backing up President Truman’s urgent request for the opening of the doors of Palestine to the displaced Jews of Europe, Gov. Thomas E. Dewey, in an address at a dinner session of the United Palestine Appeal conference at the Hotel Commodore tonight, warned the British Government “that demands for immediate immigration into Palestine far transcend partisan politics and actually have the wholehearted support not only of the leadership of both political parties, but also of the vast majority of the American people.”
Gov. Dewey called for the adoption of a bi-partisan policy with regard to the entire approach to the Palestine question, emphasizing that it “has no place in political campaigns.” Recalling that in 1944 the Republican party proposed the adoption of a bi-partisan foreign policy and that its adoption served to eliminate the question of the world peace organization from the Presidential campaign, Mr. Dewey urged that a similar policy of united action for Palestine could serve to remove the issue from politics and reaffirm the policy of the United States “that the pledges to the Jewish people must be fulfilled.”
“No one can say that a final solution in Palestine is easy. But the right of large and immediate Jewish immigration is fundamental to that solution and it must be an immigration of not 100,000, but of several hundreds of thousands,” the Governor declared.
Asserting that the displaced persons of Europe are a challenge to the sincerity of our leadership, he said: “For a year and a half this problem has been crying out for action, not talk. It is the problem of not one religion or of one group; it is a problem of humanity itself. If this is the way the brave new world will solve its international problems, we have made a bad start indeed.” He added that the promise of admission of 100,000 Jews to Palestine should have been fulfilled long ago and that it represents a “joint obligation of our government and the British government under their long-standing commitments.”
Stating that he wishes to “speak frankly to our British friends,” the Governor said: “It is no service to our own cause or to the cause of friendship to muffle the truth or to make widely and strategically spaced declarations, which are not followed by able, competent or productive action.” Describing the plight of the Jews in post-war Europe, Mr. Dewey emphasized that the only difference between the tragic situation of the Jews of Europe before the war and their status at present is that “they have had only a few more promises since the end of the war and some new camps in Cyprus.”
Freda Kirchwey, editor of the Nation, expressed the hope that President Truman’s request to the British Government would serve to silence the extreme pro-British and pro-Arab elements in the State Department. She added that the President’s request means Britain cannot initiate a new stalling operation without creating “serious resentment in this country.” In appraising British policy in the Middle East, Miss Kirchwey said it was incompatible with Jewish Palestine’s democratic way of life and that the British considered Zionist development a threat to their imperial interests.
Other speakers included Dr. Stephen S. Wise, James G. MacDonald, Judge Morris Rothenberg, Judge Bernard Rosenblatt, New York State Attorney General Nathaniel Goldstein and Rudolph G. Sonnenborn.
At the afternoon session a rare Hebrew Bible, a gift from Mayor Rokach of Tel Aviv in Palestine, was presented to Mayor William O’Dwyer by Jacob Sincoff, associate treasurer of the United Palestine Appeal and national co-treasurer of the United Jewish Appeal.
The conference adopted resolutions calling on the State Department to implement President Truman’s policy on Palestine, condemned the failure of governmental and inter-governmental agencies to aid the Jews of Europe and pledged support to the Jewish community of Palestine.