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Committee of 300 Noted Americans Formed to Back Palestine Homeland

March 28, 1941
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More than 300 leaders of government, religion, education and civic life have joined in establishing the American Palestine Committee, under the chairmanship of Senator Robert F. Wagner, to support the movement for developing Palestine as “an outpost of freedom and social justice” and preparing the Holy Land for large-scale colonization of hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from war-torn European lands during the post-war period it was announced today at Senator Wagner’s office. The committee will seek public support for the program for the establishment of a Jewish national home.

Senator Charles L. McNary has been named co-chairman and vice-chairman are. William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor; former Senator William H. King of Utah and Monsignor John A. Ryan.

A dinner in Washington in April will mark the launching of the committee’s program of activities.

Among the members are Attorney General Robert H. Jackson, Secretary of Interior Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of Agriculture Claude A. Wickard, Wendell L. Willkie, Alfred E. Smith, Clarence A. Dykstra, Director of Selective Service and head of the Defense Mediation Board; Paul V. McNutt, Federal Security Administrator; John M. Carmody, Federal Works Administrator, and William Allen White, and more than 150 members of both Houses of Congress and Governors of 19 States.

Pointing out that by treaty and Congressional enactment the U.S. Government has formally approved establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, Senator Wagner declared that this policy had received the public endorsement of Presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover and Roosevelt. In assuming the chairmanship of the American Palestine Committee, Senator Wagner said:

“The Jewish National Home in Palestine has been a world-sanctioned experiment in democracy. It must be protected and cherished today as an outpost of freedom and social justice. Its continued upbuilding must be a vital part of a just world order when the present conflict is over. The American Palestine Committee will aim to give expression to the interest, sympathy and moral support of the American people for this humane and statesmanlike cause.”

Senator McNary said Palestine offered the greatest promise of solution for the refugee problem. “The solution of the age-old Jewish problem is as much the concern of enlightened Christendom as it is of the Jews themselves,” he said. The republican leader asserted that American Jews, who were seeking to provide a haven for refugees “made homeless by totalitarian brutality,” should be assured that in the promotion of this effort “they can count on the good will and the moral support of their Christian fellow citizens.”

Congressmen on the committee include: Senators Alben W. Barkley, majority leader of the Senate; Walter F. George, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Arthur H. Vandenberg of Michigan, Robert A. Taft of Ohio, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. of Massachusetts, Speaker Sam Rayburn of the House and Representatives John W. McCormack, majority leader of the House; Joseph W. Martin Jr., minority leader and chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Educators and religious leaders include. Dr. Harry Woodburn Chase, chancellor of New York University; Dr. George N. Shuster, president of Hunter College; Dr. Harry D. Gideonse, president of Brooklyn College; Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur, president of Stanford University; Dr. Daniel L. Marsh, president of Boston University; Bishop A. K. Moulton; Dr. Daniel A. Poling; Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr; Monsignor Ryan and Michael Williams. Marshall Field, Col. Theodore Roosevelt, Dr. Mary E. Wooley, Quincy Howe and Wythe Williams are also enrolled in the committee.

Governors of states include Homer M. Adkins, Arkansas; Culbert L. Olson, California; Ralph L. Carr, Colorado; Robert A. Hurley, Connecticut; Spessar L. Holland, Florida; Dwight H. Green, Illinois; Henry F. Shricker, Indiana; Sumner Sewall, Maine, Herbert R. O’Conor, Maryland; Leverett Saltonstall, Massachusetts; Murray D. Van Wagoner, Michigan; Harold E. Stassen, Minnesota; Robert O. Blood, New Hampshire; Charles Edison, New Jersey; J. Melville Brought, North Carolina; J. Howard McGrath, Rhode Island; Herbert B. Maw, Utah; William H. Willis, Vermont, and Matthew M. Neeley, West Virginia.

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