Menu JTA Search

American Jewish Committee Reports on Its Activities for Israel

An extensive report on the American Jewish Committee’s relations with and work on behalf of the Palestinian Jewish settlement prior to 1948, and on behalf of Israel since the Jewish State was reborn in 1948, was issued here today. The AJC report traces many vital aspects of these activities during the last 50 years, noting that, “from its earliest days, the Committee vigorously defended the rights of the Jewish community in Palestine.”

Starting with the period of Turkish rule in Palestine, the 72-page report shows that the late Louis Marshall, then president of the American Jewish Committee, protested to the U. S. Department of State, calling for effective action against some Turkish discriminations against Jews in Palestine. The report notes that, in 1913, Turkey abolished certain restrictions previously invoked against American and other foreign Jews in Palestine.

One chapter of the report recalls that the AJC pledged, after the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917, “to cooperate with those who, attracted by religious or historic associations, shall seek to establish in Palestine a center for Judaism, for the stimulation of our faith, for the pursuit and development of literature, science and art in a Jewish environment, and for the rehabilitation of the land.”

CITES ISRAEL GOVERNMENT STATEMENT ON STAND TOWARDS JEWS IN U. S.

Other AJC achievements and attitudes are recalled in the report, through the period of the British Mandate, during World War II, during the United Nations debate on Palestine partition in 1947, and since the rebirth of Israel. The report also recalls that the AJC’s former president, Jacob Blaustein, and Israel’s former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion issued joint statements in 1950 and in 1961, clarifying the relationship of Israel toward Jews in the United States and in the rest of the world. This policy was reaffirmed in 1963 in a letter to Mr. Blaustein from the present Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.

Significant contributions by AJC leaders toward the development of Israel and some of its outstanding scientific and educational institutions were also recalled in the report. A final chapter dealt with the AJC’s Israel office and touched on some of the important projects conducted by that office in Israel at present.

The report is prefaced with a statement made in 1959 by Abba Eban–now Israel’s Deputy Premier–prior to his leaving the post of Israel’s Ambassador to the United States to return to Israel. The statement read: “No one will ever forget how you stood in vigilant brotherhood at the cradle of our emergent statehood; and how you helped us lay the foundations of our international status and of our crucial friendship with the Government and people of the American Republic. Faithful to your own American principles and to your sentiments of Jewish brotherhood, you were able to play an indispensable role.”

NEXT STORY