State Dept. Efforts to Block the Creation of a Jewish State Revealed
Menu JTA Search

State Dept. Efforts to Block the Creation of a Jewish State Revealed

Download PDF for this date

Efforts on the part of United States diplomats in the Middle East to influence the United States Government against supporting the Jewish request for large-scale admission to Palestine of Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe in 1944–as well as the opposition of the State Department to Jewish aspirations in Palestine–were revealed here today with the publication of previously secret State Department documents.

State Department high officials stressed, according to the documents, that the interests of the United States demanded a pro-Arab policy and rejection of Jewish attempts in Washington to gain government support for Zionist objectives. Displeasure by the State Department against both political parties for their sympathy with the Jewish aspirations was indicated by the State Department which sought to block pro-Zionist expressions by Congress, the documents disclose.

The State Department secret papers published today also reveal that the Roosevelt Administration was warned by State Department officials in 1944 that Britain might propose the partitioning of Palestine after World War II into two separate states, one Jewish and one Arab. The officials urged that the United States should not support any partition plan. They emphasized that the Soviet Government was opposed to the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine and aimed at penetrating the Arab world.


President Roosevelt’s 1944 message to American Zionists, sympathizing with the Jewish situation, was protested by State Department officials on the ground that such pro-Jewish statements helped create “a very serious problem for American interests” in the Arab world.

Wallace Murray, then Director of the State Department Office of Near Eastern Affaire, sought to blame pro-Zionist statements in the United States for indirectly encouraging “the more extreme Zionist elements such as the assassins of Lord Moyne.” Lord Moyne, British Minister of State in the Middle East, was assassinated in Cairo by the Stern Group on November 5, 1944.

Loy Henderson, U.S. Minister in Iraq in 1944, raised questions about “internal political expediency” in opposing American sympathy for Jewish aims. He complained that the better educated Arabs were asking whether it was possible that American foreign policy was shaped “to meet the demand of private pressure groups possessed of ample funds and exercising extensive control over American channels of information.”

A report from the U.S. military attache in Beirut, in 1944, was based on a conversation with the assistant chief of the British Security Mission for Syria and Lebanon. It made a point that Arab-Jewish difficulties were caused by “the mistaken allied policy of over-emphasizing Jewish aims.”

One State Department memorandum, openly revealed that the State Department was deeply interested in learning the nature and contents of private talks between Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Rabbi Israel Goldstein, and other Zionist leaders in London with Dr. Chaim Weizmann “and presumably with high British officials.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund