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Truman always opposed a religious state, but caved to ‘fanatical’ Zionist lobby

Israel/Palestine
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Harry-Truman-9511121-1-402Next week John B. Judis will publish a long-awaited book titled Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict; and in a sign of the shift in our discourse, The New Republic has excerpted the book here, in a piece titled, “Seeds of Doubt: Harry Truman’s concerns about Israel and Palestine were prescient—and forgotten.”

The piece is spectacular. It reverses the perception that Truman was a Zionist and makes clear that the plainspoken midwestern president believed in the separation of church and state as a universal principle, saw establishing a Jewish state as a mistake, wanted a democracy for all Palestine’s citizens established there, and wanted to see the refugees go back to their homes. But Truman was defeated in these resolutions again and again by the Zionist lobby in American life.

Judis has lifted the rock from a great buried tradition in American policymaking, the belief (defamed as Arabism) that sectarianism would only enflame the Middle East. He shows how a sectarian lobby was able to quash that tradition and — in the piece’s most inspired leap — states that the imposition of a Jewish state in Palestine fed the fires of Islamic nationalism and Osama bin Laden.

You should read the piece in its entirety, for Judis writes in a simple, clear manner, shaking off the clods of scholarship; and some of the commenters are het up. Below I offer a bunch of key excerpts.

Here’s the thesis. Notice that the biographer presents Truman as a noble American character (notwithstanding the fact he called New York “kike” city):

As president, Truman initially opposed the creation of a Jewish state. Instead, he tried to promote an Arab-Jewish federation or binational state. He finally gave up in 1947 and endorsed the partition of Palestine into separate states, but he continued to express regret in private that he had not achieved his original objective, which he blamed most often on the “unwarranted interference” of American Zionists. After he had recognized the new state, he pressed the Israeli government to negotiate with the Arabs over borders and refugees; and expressed his disgust with “the manner in which the Jews are handling the refugee problem.”

Of course, there were good reasons why Truman failed to achieve a federated or binational Palestine, and I don’t intend by recounting Truman’s qualms to suggest that he was wrong to recognize Israel. But Truman’s misgivings about a Jewish state and later about the Israeli stance on borders and refugees were not baseless.  Truman was guided by moral precepts and political principles and concerns about America’s role in the Middle East that remain highly relevant today. Understanding his qualms is not just a matter of setting the historical record straight. It’s also about understanding why resolving the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians needs to be high on America’s diplomatic agenda….

Today many say that civil war is inevitable in Israel and Palestine. Truman understood that fear a long time ago.

There were two aspects of Truman’s upbringing and early political outlook that shaped his view of a Jewish state. Truman grew up in a border state community that had been torn apart by the Civil War. That, undoubtedly, contributed to his skepticism about any arrangement that he thought could lead to civil war. And Truman, like his father, was an old-fashioned Democrat. His political heroes were Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, and he shared Jefferson’s insistence on the separation of church and state. He blamed Europe’s centuries of war on religious disputes, which, he said, “have caused more wars and feuds than money.” That, too, contributed to his skepticism about a Jewish state….

Judis is most forthright about the Israel lobby. The essence of the lobby theory is that religion is a more powerful force in history than materialism (that’s the reason Chomsky opposes it). Judis says the lobby overruled Truman’s democratic ideals, and his understanding of a national interest in peace in the Middle East:

Truman was first lobbied to back a Jewish state in September 1945 by Rabbis Abba Hillel Silver and Stephen Wise, the leaders of the American Zionist Emergency Council (AZEC), a coalition of Zionist groups. They urged him to support turning all of Palestine, which was about thirty percent Jewish, over to the Jews. Truman told them that he objected to a religious state, whether Catholic or Jewish. He also expressed fear that trying to establish one would lead to war. In November, Truman repeated his opposition to a Jewish state to a meeting of American diplomats in the Middle East. Proponents of a Jewish commonwealth, Truman said, “didn’t give consideration to the international political situation in that area.” In a December meeting with Jewish representatives, Truman said that “the government of Palestine should be a government of the people of Palestine irrespective of race, creed, or color.”…

Truman fought the lobby with the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, which recommended solutions to the Jewish refugee crisis and the future of Palestine.

The committee handed down its findings in the spring of 1946. It called on Britain to permit 100,000 refugees to enter Palestine, but also recommended that Palestine not become either a Jewish or an Arab state. It proposed instead that it continue under a United Nations trusteeship, administered presumably by Britain. That part of the proposal infuriated the Zionists who successfully lobbied Truman to withhold his endorsement of the plan, but Truman, who favored the idea, sent a State Department official Henry Grady to Britain…

Next Truman got behind the Henry F. Grady vision.

[T]he “Morrison-Grady Plan” … would establish a federated Palestine with autonomous Jewish and Arab regions. The British, or whoever the United Nations appointed, would retain control of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Negev until the Arabs and Jews, who would enjoy equal representation in a national legislature, were ready to rule all of Palestine without going to war with each other. Truman and State Department were eager to publicly endorse the plan, but Silver and the Zionist lobby mounted a furious campaign against the proposal….

Again, the lobby, using the levers that it uses to this day, voters and more important, contributions. Truman retreats, licks his wounds.

The Zionist lobby, which itself could call on thousands of activists around the country, was joined by Democratic officials and White House aides who were worried that without the Jewish vote in New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio, the Democrats could lose Congress that November..

Truman, who was sensitive to criticism from the British, insisted that he was immune to political pressure on Palestine, but he gave in, and failed to endorse the proposal he had helped to design.

Truman’s defeat on the Morrison-Grady plan marked the end of his active involvement in trying to shape Palestine’s future. From then on, Truman followed a pattern of fleeting involvement and resentful withdrawal. After agreeing under political pressure to take the Zionists’ side, he would withdraw from the issue, leaving it to the State Department, which generally opposed the Zionists. The State Department would then take a position unfriendly to AZEC [Zionist Emergency Committee], and the Zionist lobby would begin pressuring Truman, using the threat of electoral defeat. With the 1948 presidential election looming, this threat was even more credible than in 1946. Truman and the Democrats had to worry not just about the Jewish vote, but also about fundraising from wealthy Jewish contributors….

Then Partition loomed. Again, Truman was against it; again, humbled.

When the Jewish Agency in Paris issued a new proposal for partitioning Palestine—a breakthrough that occurred over AZEC’s opposition—Truman initially refused to take a public stand, and assured a visiting diplomat that he still could only support “some local autonomy arrangement.” But after visits from Democratic officials worried about Jewish support, lobbying from a major Jewish contributor, and the threat of a Zionist ad campaign against the Democrats, Truman gave in and issued a statement of support. Afterwards, however, a disgusted Truman washed his hands of the issue, writing to a Democratic National Committee official that “the situation is insoluble in my opinion.”…

Partition heads to the U.N. More lobbying:

“I don’t think I’ve ever had as much pressure put on the White House,” Truman wrote in a letter. But after the U.N. passed the proposal in November 1947 and the Arabs took up arms, as the State Department had warned, Truman, resentful toward the “pressure boys,” withdrew and let the State Department handle the repercussions.That winter, the State Department, worried about the raging war, won Truman’s tacit support for abandoning partition and reviving the idea of a U.N. trusteeship. But when America’s U.N. representative introduced the proposal, the Zionist movement reacted sharply…

Even after he recognized the state, in 1948, Truman said he was against it.

Yet throughout this period, Truman continued to admit privately that he preferred the Morrison-Grady plan for a federated Palestine and to blame AZEC and also (at various times), the British, the Jews in Palestine, and the Arabs for its abandonment…

Truman complained of “the fanaticism of our New York Jews,” Judis says, and on a couple of occasions said that the situation would work out the way he’d envisioned, binationalism.

[He wrote] “the report of the British-American Commission [sic] on Palestine was the correct solution, and, I think, eventually we are going to get it worked out just that way.” On May 18, he told Dean Acheson, who was between jobs at the State Department, that in 1946 “we had the problem solved, but the emotional Jews of the United States and the equally emotional Arabs in Egypt and Syria prevented that settlement from taking place.”…

Judis stresses the democratic nature of Truman’s views.

the considerations that led Truman to favor a bi-national or federated Palestine were not fantastic, and remain relevant today…

He was offended by the proposal, pressed by Silver and American Zionists, that a minority should be allowed to rule a majority. He wanted an arrangement that would respect the just claims of both Jews and the Arabs….

The refugees. Truman wanted them to go back home! (As Victor Kattan has documented, Nixon and Kenney also tried).

After Israel was established, and had defeated the Arabs, he supported a peace agreement that would allow some of the 700,000 Arab refugees from the war to return to their homes. (The Israeli ambassador to the United States complained that Truman was “sentimentally sympathetic” to the refugees.) In each case, however, Truman backed down under pressure from the Zionist lobby.

Here Judis becomes very realist, about the costs of the conflict. Has anyone said this in a mainstream publication, about Osama bin Laden?

Opposition to the Israeli occupation was central to the growth of Islamic nationalism in the Middle East in the 1970s and to the rise of international terrorist groups. Osama bin Laden’s 1996 Fatwa was directed at the “Zionist-Crusader alliance.” America’s continued support for Israel—measured in military aid and in its tilt to Israel in negotiations with the Palestinians—has fueled anti-Americanism.

The piece ends safely, with Judis saying there must be a two-state solution, overturning the moral core of his own argument. The piece documents an enormity: the imposition of a religious state on a minority that opposes it; the refusal of that religious state, itself a response to a refugee crisis of a few years’ standing, ever to allow the return of refugees forced out of their homes and away from its borders; the failure of a promise from the world 66 years ago to create a Palestinian state; and the corruption of the American political process by a religious pressure group– something liberals don’t just complain about, but fight hammer and tongs, when Christian groups are doing the pressuring.

The justice narrative will never end in a two-state solution as envisioned by John Kerry and liberal Zionists; because it’s too unfair to Palestinians to work. Judis’s piece was better titled, “Back to the Drawing Board,” with this argument:

A plainspoken Democratic president got it right 70 years ago. This is the only way to resolve the Israel/Palestine conflict. If you fear civil war as much as he did, lobby the world to embrace this idea and compel Israel’s transformation.

The piece can be read as a riposte to two noted authors. A few years ago, David Remnick quipped of Walt and Mearsheimer, if they’re right about the Israel lobby, then if the Israel/Palestine conflict were resolved, Osama bin Laden would go back into the construction business. Good joke. But Judis says Walt and Mearsheimer were right: that the U.S. bears responsibility for the religious wars of the Middle East, because we violated a sacred American principle, separation of church and state.

The other author is Michael Beschloss. This purveyor of the most conventional opinion wrote a book a few years ago saying that Truman showed great courage by recognizing the Jewish state and defying his own State Department. As John Judis makes clear, Truman lacked the courage of his convictions. And lo, we have reaped the whirlwind.

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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104 Responses

  1. hophmi
    January 27, 2014, 12:06 pm

    You’ve got to be kidding. Do you really think that Truman’s support of a binational state would have resulted in a state where church and state were separated? Look at the region. Is there a single state with more church-state separation than Israel?

    As I’ve said so many times, just because some Westerner wants it does o not mean it had any relationship to justice or to the reality on the ground.

    And by the way, are Jews entitled to any of your justice? Or only idealized Palestinians?

    • goldmarx
      January 27, 2014, 12:46 pm

      Hophmi: “And by the way, are Jews entitled to any of your justice? Or only idealized Palestinians?”

      Perhaps an exception will be made for Jews who intermarry….

      • Blownaway
        January 27, 2014, 3:58 pm

        Yair Netanyahu is “spitting on the grave of his grandfather and grandmother,” Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi, brother of Sara Netanyahu, said Monday of his nephew’s relationship with a non-Jewish Norwegian woman

        Read more: Netanyahu’s son sparks outrage | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-sons-romance-with-gentile-sparks-orthodox-outcry/#ixzz2rdPaN3Td
        Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

        Nope no break for intermarriage

      • Philip Munger
        January 27, 2014, 8:47 pm

        MK Nissim Ne’ev is furious, I say – furious!

        “It’s a big problem. As the prime minister of Israel and the Jewish people, [Netanyahu] must display national responsibility via the values he presents inside his own household. I bet it pains him. Any Jew who wants to maintain his roots wants to see his son marry a Jewish girl. There is no shortage of beautiful, successful girls without sowing in the fields of others.” emphasis added

        http://www.jewishjournal.com/hella_tel_aviv/item/sandra_leikanger_and_yair_netanyahu_who_is_the_mysterious_shiksa_girlfriend

      • James Canning
        January 28, 2014, 7:52 pm

        Netanyahu is “prime minister of the Jewish people”? Strange notion.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 28, 2014, 8:16 am

        “Yair Netanyahu is “spitting on the grave of his grandfather and grandmother,” Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi, brother of Sara Netanyahu, said Monday of his nephew’s relationship with a non-Jewish Norwegian woman”

        Ugh. What ugly, rancid racism. It’s a Klan-like attitude.

      • James Canning
        January 28, 2014, 2:12 pm

        Is the Norwegian woman a Christian? Is that the problem?

    • Bumblebye
      January 27, 2014, 1:36 pm

      Horsefeathers hophead.
      Despite the maelstrom of the end of WWII most of the countries in the region were at the time focussed westward, and hoping to modernise in a western fashion. This would never suit Israel, which *wanted* to be seen a s the ‘villa in the jungle’, so democratic and modernising movements were quashed throughout the region, with dictators being installed and supported by the west where possible. It was *not* only the Cold War that killed those movements. The crushing of democratic potential, imo, led to the rise of the Islamist parties throughout the region. And who did that suit best – in the region – both before and after the six day war? I can just vaguely (still had a way to go before age hit double digits) recall that the news progs used to refer to the ‘occupied territories’ before ’67(!) – those being the lands outside of the mandate partition.
      “And by the way, are Jews entitled to any of your justice?” Of course, but they won’t like it, will they?

      • Pamela Olson
        January 27, 2014, 3:25 pm

        “Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.”

        ~ H. L. Mencken

      • hophmi
        January 27, 2014, 5:28 pm

        “Despite the maelstrom of the end of WWII most of the countries in the region were at the time focussed westward, and hoping to modernise in a western fashion.”

        Oh please. There are how many countries in the region? And how many “modernized in a Western fashion?”

        NONE.

        “This would never suit Israel, which *wanted* to be seen a s the ‘villa in the jungle’, so democratic and modernising movements were quashed throughout the region”

        Please. Yeah, it’s Israel’s fault that Saudi Arabia is the way it is. It’s Israel’s fault that Saddam Hussein was a bloodthirsty tyrant. It’s Israel’s fault that Bahrain is Bahrain. It’s Israel’s fault that Nasser was a dictator. Assad is Israel’s fault. Blah, blah, blah. The Arabs are never responsible for their own destiny. It’s always SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 28, 2014, 8:25 am

        “It’s always SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT.”

        If you deny that israel, and the US promoting israel’s interest, have had a negative effect on the surrounding countries, then you are delusional. One only has to look at the farce that is the generations-long military dictatorship in Egypt, engineered by the US to protect the ingrates occupying Palestine to see that. One can’t see the present condition of Lebanon with taking into consideration the poison that has been leeching from the south regularly since 1947.

      • American
        January 28, 2014, 10:50 am

        ”The Arabs are never responsible for their own destiny. It’s always SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT.”’…hoppie

        That hysterically funny coming from someone who claims the Jews problems for 2000 years were ALL AND ALWAYS SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT.

      • talknic
        January 28, 2014, 8:57 pm

        @ hophmi “There are how many countries in the region? And how many “modernized in a Western fashion?”

        NONE.”

        Correct. I know of no Western country where women have to sit at the back of a bus. Or prove their bloodline or religion in order to immigrate or where women are prevented from praying at their most sacred available spot

        ” The Arabs are never responsible for their own destiny. It’s always SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT”

        The Arabs were definitely not responsible for the partition of their lands into the various states. They were shaped by outside interests for outside interests and Israel has been touted as the US’s largest aircraft carrier by booth the US and Israel pundits

    • Ellen
      January 27, 2014, 2:00 pm

      There is no separation of Judaism and the Zionist idea of the Jewish state. Before Zionism placed itself in the Middle East there were no religiously defined states. And those that are, ie, KSA and Qatar (but even there it is loosening up) only US and British tribal puppets were anointed.

      Roosevelt promised not to allow a religious Zio state in the region. He knew what that would mean for the region and how destructive it would be for US interests. His wife — feeble in mind and character as Truman — was the Zio tool at the UN.

      Jews have always had a secure place in the so-called Arab world. It has always been a shared world. Then came the Zionist colonial project, Israel. The US is a part of it and this is a bullet to the US.

      It is Truman’s legacy.

      • hophmi
        January 27, 2014, 5:55 pm

        “Before Zionism placed itself in the Middle East there were no religiously defined states.”

        Huh? Are you nuts? What the heck do you think the place was like, exactly? Islam’s been the official religion for over 1000 years.

        “And those that are, ie, KSA and Qatar (but even there it is loosening up) only US and British tribal puppets were anointed.”

        Iran is not a religiously defined state? Saudi Arabia is not a religiously defined state? Egypt is not a religiously-defined state?

        “Roosevelt promised not to allow a religious Zio state in the region. He knew what that would mean for the region and how destructive it would be for US interests. ”

        Yeah, it might hurt US access to oil. But that interest is OK when it hurts the Jews, right?

        “Jews have always had a secure place in the so-called Arab world.”

        As second-class citizens paying a protection tax.

      • Talkback
        January 28, 2014, 8:04 am

        Hophmi: As second-class citizens paying a protection tax.

        A little bit of education for our Hasbara automatons:

        “On February 18, 1856, the Ottoman Reform Edict of 1856 (Hatt-i Humayan) was issued, building upon the 1839 edict. … It again proclaimed the principle of equality between Muslims and non-Muslims, and produced many specific reforms to this end. For example, the jizya tax was abolished and non-Muslims were allowed to join the army.[37][38]”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhimmi

      • Denis
        January 28, 2014, 3:22 pm

        Agreed – America needs this historical discussion badly. MW writers and commentors are very knowledgeable on the details of this subject, but most Americans don’t have a clue what “AIPAC” means or where it came from, much less “AZEC” or the Jewish Agency. BTW, I loved the old UN map of Palestine. I hadn’t realized that there were tiny points of connection between the Palestinian parts.

        As welcome as a book on the subject is, what we don’t need is Judis wading in and whitewashing Truman’s moral cowardice and his abysmal contribution to the mess the world is now in. Judis’ approach is to balance Truman’s public record of unmitigated support of Zionism (by acquiescence) against his private musings and personal correspondence. Judis would have us judge Truman by what Truman claimed to believe and not by what he did. Hope I can be judged by that standard when someone writes my bio.

        Yeah, Mr. Judis, convince us of what a moral giant Truman was when, for the sake of the Jewish vote, he turned his eyes from the Palestinians being butchered and robbed of their land. And while we’re re-writing the Truman story, let’s include a chapter on how he privately told Beth how much he really loved Japanese children but was “pressured” by the military to turn them into radioactive bacon-bits.

        And as for the whitewashing, one is forced to question Judis’ candor and/or competence in view of his deleting from this discussion Truman’s most famous quote on the Palestinian Question:

        “I’m sorry, gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism: I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents.”

        That statement set the tone for America’s view of the ME for 60 years and counting.

        Thank you, very much, Harry, for your leadership and your moral stand. — signed AIPAC.

        Let me count the ways that Judis’ own words undermine his attempt to present Truman as a paragon of morality, and instead of the Machiavellian zio-junkie he actually was:

        1. That part of the proposal infuriated the Zionists who successfully lobbied Truman to withhold his endorsement of the [Morrison-Grady partition] plan . . .

        2. Thus, after having given in on Morrison-Grady in August 1946, Truman withdrew and turned his attention elsewhere.

        3. But after visits from Democratic officials worried about Jewish support, lobbying from a major Jewish contributor, and the threat of a Zionist ad campaign against the Democrats, Truman gave in and issued a statement of support [to the Jewish Agency partition plan].

        4. Truman’s political advisors warned that the [Zionist] rallies would be used to denounce the president. Truman once again gave in and agreed to recognize the new state that evening.

        5. Truman, who was sensitive to criticism from the British, insisted that he was immune to political pressure on Palestine, but he gave in, and failed to endorse the proposal he had helped to design.

        6. Truman, after tentatively backing a plan that would divide Palestine into parts roughly proportionate to the Jewish and Arab populations, agreed to help win support for a partition proposal that gave the Arabs only 40 percent of the lands.

        7. In each case, however, Truman backed down under pressure from the Zionist lobby.

        I mean, how many times can one person “give in” on doing what is right and exchange Palestinian lives for votes?

        Judis himself makes the case that Harry Truman was precisely the Zionist hawk history paints him as – that label is supported by every step Truman took or refused to take at that incredibly horrific and vital junction of Palestine’s history and future. To say Truman wasn’t an Israeli Hawk because he privately admitted to his friends he 1) didn’t have a clue what was going on in Palestine and 2) needed the Jewish money/votes to win re-election is ludicrous, if not duplicitous. Truman was the original Israel-firster — he wrote the book on taking shekels and votes from American Jews and giving GoI what it demands.

        I wonder if AIPAC funds Congress and the WH with bitcoins yet. Harry would be pleased.

      • Giles
        January 28, 2014, 8:05 am

        Hophmi: Your hate fueled paranoia confirms the notion that Zionism cannot be allowed to live on in any fashion.

      • eljay
        January 28, 2014, 8:15 am

        >> Iran is not a religiously defined state? Saudi Arabia is not a religiously defined state? Egypt is not a religiously-defined state?

        The practise of defining a state by a religion is something to avoid – it’s not something to emulate.

        What is it with you Zio-supremacists, always striving to be just a little bit better than the worst rather than as good as the best?

      • Ellen
        January 28, 2014, 9:36 am

        Hop, What the heck do you think the place was like, exactly? Islam’s been the official religion for over 1000 years.

        Islam is about 1400 years old and most none of the Arab states of the Arab peninsula existed 120 years ago. There were tribal territories. Zionism entered the scene about that time.

        Before this, the British offered protection to some of the regions and tribal leaders in return for secure passage into India.

        As I said, “Before……” I did not say now.

        Lebanon, Egypt were much more multi-culti 120 years ago than they are today.

        The tax imposed on non-muslims in the Arab wold (not just Jews, btw) came with advantages on property rights, and military exceptions.

        It is amazing how one interprets the world when they have been trained to be an eternal victim. Sad.

      • Keith
        January 28, 2014, 11:29 am

        ELLEN- “It is amazing how one interprets the world when they have been trained to be an eternal victim.”

        Yes, indeed, it is truly amazing the extent to which some folks will mangle reality to support their bias. In the thread about the book with “Jew” written 6 million times, I think that to put the Holocaust as part of World War II in perspective they would need to make that book part of a ten volume set with the other nine books containing the word “Goy” written 6 million times. But to even suggest such a thing would be considered by some as Holocaust denial and prima facie evidence of anti-Semitism. In today’s paper, venture capitalist Tom Perkins compared “recent activism against the San Francisco Bay Area’s tech elite to the early anti-Semitic actions of the Nazis.” (Seattle Times, 1/28/14) Can you believe it! Oh, the suffering of the fat-cat victims!

        “Needless to add, it was Jewish historiography, with its strong polemical and apologetical bias, that undertook to trace the record of Jew-hatred in Christian history….” (Hannah Arendt)
        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/j-street-is-quick-to-pounce-on-nyt-piece-shrugging-off-end-of-jewish-state.html/comment-page-1#comment-594214

      • Ellen
        January 28, 2014, 9:58 am

        Hop Yeah, it might hurt US access to oil. But that interest is OK when it hurts the Jews, right?

        Huh???

        The US is buying less and less “Arab oil.” Who is talking about oil?? Few US firms are involved in any infrastructure projects in the ME. The multi billion dollar projects our economy needs. The biggest import to the region are fast food outlets and junky movies.

      • Sibiriak
        January 27, 2014, 9:05 pm

        Ellen:

        Roosevelt promised not to allow a religious Zio state in the region….

        What about a secular Zionist state?

      • Ellen
        January 28, 2014, 9:54 am

        Sibiriak, in 1945 as the Zionist colonial project was well underway, FDR promised to the Saudis “I assured you that I would take no action, in my capacity as Chief of the Executive Branch of this Government, which might prove hostile to the Arab people.” So based on democratic values of the US, one might interpret that a secular non-Jewish state of Israel was supported and he was trying to get the Arab leaders behind it.

        Speaking for the US government, FRD wrote, “.. the attitude of the American Government toward Palestine and made clear our desire that no decision be taken with respect to the basic situation in that country without full consultation with both Arabs and Jews.

        A few years later Truman was challenged on the US promised commitments to that part of the world and responded:

        “I’m sorry, gentlemen,but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands of people who are anxious for the success of Zionism. I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents.”

        We’ve been paying for this betrayal by our government since.

      • James Canning
        January 28, 2014, 2:22 pm

        No “need” for a “state of Israel”, when FDR made that pledge.

    • Ellen
      January 27, 2014, 2:00 pm

      There is no separation of Judaism and the Zionist idea of the Jewish state. Before Zionism placed itself in the Middle East there were no religiously defined states. And those that are, ie, KSA and Qatar (but even there it is loosening up) only US and British tribal puppets were anointed.

      Roosevelt promised not to allow a religious Zio state in the region. He knew what that would mean for the region and how destructive it would be for US interests. His wife — feeble in mind and character as Truman — was the Zio tool at the UN.

      Jews have always had a secure place in the so-called Arab world. It has always been a shared world. Then came the Zionist colonial project, Israel. The US is a part of it and this is a bullet to the US.

      It is Truman’s legacy.

    • talknic
      January 27, 2014, 2:41 pm

      hophmi “Is there a single state with more church-state separation than Israel?”

      Ever read the Declaration for the Establishment of the State of Israel hop?

      “The state of Israel ….will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel

      “And by the way, are Jews entitled to any of your justice?”

      Yes.

      “Or only idealized Palestinians?”

      Nothing idealized about having your country ripped in half and given, gratis, to the Zionist Movement and settlers mostly new to the region (Israel paid nothing for its territory, Jewish land owners and Zionist colonizing institutions only bought ‘real estate’). Then having the newbies illegally acquire by war another 50% or so of what remained of Palestine and continue to illegally acquire more and more for the next 65 years.

    • Sibiriak
      January 27, 2014, 9:10 pm

      hophmi:

      Is there a single state with more church-state separation than Israel?

      The Jewish State’s very definition of a Jew–therefore the very definition of the state– is rooted in religion.

  2. Citizen
    January 27, 2014, 12:35 pm

    So, what’s new? Anybody who ever cared about the US foreign policy with Israel already knows all you say. Anybody can get the evidence for all you say just by going to the Truman Library Archives, and as to 9/11, spawned originally by Truman against his own best American and Christian ideology, even the official report points directly asses US rubber-stamping of Israel as a key motive, despite the fact the conclusion regarding motive in the 9/11 report was rendered generic by redacting to the fact all foreign policy has blowback.
    Truman’s letter recognition of Israel was made, what 11 minutes after Israel declared itself a state? That was a cold war decision too, not just Truman’s desire to have his whistle stop campaign for reelection financed by Zionist dollars, rather than have his adversary Dewey so financed . Even then, Truman personally deleted the characterization of the new state as Jewish with his own pen. Foreign Policy has been all about a handful of very rich Jews like Adelson and Soros, about those napkin 70 Senators at any moment who will support Israel right or wrong–ever since 1947. As Bill Kristol brags, we got the dumb goys by the balls. “Arabists have no chance.” Problem is, neither do Dick and Jane. Follow the money (& the complicit US corporate mainstream media, who should be subject to the trust-busting Sherman act same as the big banks–won’t happen. Similarly, the IRS code won’t change to a simple tax–the power in Congress comes from the power to legislate favoritism. This situation is not only a reality check on operating capitalist theory, but also on operating socialist theory. Loser: You and me.

    • doug
      January 27, 2014, 2:06 pm

      >> “Congress comes from the power to legislate favoritism. This situation is not only a reality check on operating capitalist theory, but also on operating socialist theory. ”

      Reminds me of Woody Allen’s line in Annie Hall: “I had heard that “Commentary” and “Dissent” had merged and formed “Dysentery.”

    • American
      January 27, 2014, 2:31 pm

      @ Citizen

      Indeed. Dont have a link handy but Truman’s diary and private papers are full of his regret about his part in establishing Israel. People can check out his presidential library. The presidential libraries were one of my first sources when I was trying to figure out the US-Isr deal.

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2014, 1:01 am

        Truman’s diary registers his annoyance in 1948 (he actually burnt a big stack of zionist orchestrated letters from NY Jews, without reading the letters), after he let in the big zionist honcho rabbi again as a favor to his old Jewish hat shop partner; he was deeply resentful and disappointed by the zionists, who he saw as former underdogs, who became top dogs, and did all the nasty things top dogs do.

  3. The Truth
    January 27, 2014, 12:53 pm

    What “justice” are the Jews being denied that the Palestinians are receiving? 95% of the world would say its been the other way around since 1900.

  4. pabelmont
    January 27, 2014, 1:09 pm

    TNR published this, which amounts (or could be said to amount) to criticism of Israel? That’s something new for TNR (these days), isn’t it? Do you put it on your signs-the-times-they-are-achanging list, or am I misreading?

  5. seafoid
    January 27, 2014, 1:57 pm

    The bots have always been fanatical but they never built up a decent popular base.
    Stupid.

  6. Kathleen
    January 27, 2014, 2:03 pm

    Can’t wait to read the book. Had read some years ago about Truman trying to stand up to the I lobby, early Zionist and how he had been relentlessly pressured beyond his good senses and deep understanding

    • Walid
      January 27, 2014, 2:43 pm

      From the summary here, the book sounds as if it’s more about sticking needles in the Zionist enterprise and its lobby than about Truman. He was against the creation of Israel but he needed the cash for his campaign; reminds me of the Nazi officers that claimed they were made to do it. He was against Israel, but took 11 minutes to recognize it. For me, the story of Truman is summed up in 2 words: Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      • Ellen
        January 27, 2014, 2:58 pm

        Thank you Walid . Truman represents the worst small minded, Ill-educated, well meaning provincial American. He was an ignorant tool and disaster.

        I wonder if the Judis book will cover his legendary fights with State Department. His relationship with the Kansas national guard and the “clean up” work they did on his behalf?

      • Kathleen
        January 27, 2014, 4:51 pm

        Solid points Walid

      • lobewyper
        January 27, 2014, 4:53 pm

        I don’t think you are being at all fair to Truman with your words, above. You overestimate (IMHO) Truman’s cynicism, and downplay his basic decency and sense of fairness (and, yes, he still possessed these qualities when he AND his closest advisors decided to atom-bomb Japan).

      • lysias
        January 27, 2014, 5:55 pm

        AND his closest advisors?

        It’s true that Jimmy Byrnes supported nuking Japan. But that step was opposed by Admiral Leahy, all the leading admirals in fact, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Hap Arnold, and all the other people mentioned as opposing it in Alperovitz’s The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.

      • lobewyper
        January 27, 2014, 7:51 pm

        @lysias

        I believe you are correct–thanks. (Many think Truman used the bomb to warn the Russians to not be too aggressive in post-war Europe.)

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 28, 2014, 9:10 am

        “downplay his basic decency and sense of fairness (and, yes, he still possessed these qualities when he AND his closest advisors decided to atom-bomb Japan).”

        Oh, baloney. Where was this “decency” and sense of “fairness” when he flat out lied to the American people in the radio address following Hiroshima, when he stated, “The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.”

        This was a lie from start to finish, and Truman knew it. Hiroshima was a city, not a military base. And it was filled with civilians, especially woman and children, given the fact that it was among the largest of Japan’s cities that had yet to be firebombed. Further, there was no warning to the population to leave, no leafletting (as weak a thing as that was), there were no steps taken to minimize civilians casualties. Indeed, the bombing of Hiroshima was scheduled for early morning, when people would be out and about, thus ensuring more people would be out in the open (and more susceptible to killing by heat, blast and radiation than if they were inside buildings.)

      • Walid
        January 28, 2014, 4:23 pm

        Having basic decency and a sense of fair play and still going ahead with the bombing when the war was technically over. That’s one hell of a tall order. Forgive me for not sharing your admiration of the guy. I guess you figured the Japanese deserved what they got.

      • James Canning
        January 28, 2014, 6:30 pm

        Wasn’t Truman concerned about the huge casualties that would be incurred, if the US invaded the main islands of Japan?
        But the war could have been ended sooner, w/o atomic attack.

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2014, 12:50 am

        It’s on public record that Truman was bought by the Zionists; they told him either he got their cash or Dewey would. He took the bribe and it bought him his whistle stop campaign, as well as good press from Jews in the media and, needed at the time–NY Jewish votes. You have to remember that nobody influential thought Truman could win at the time.
        As for Hiroshima and Nagaski, it’s arguable that, given how the Japanese fought the US Marines in the islands leading up to Japan proper, that was a wise decision; it appeals especially to old and new US veterans who would have had to go ashore to fight the entire Japanese nation.

    • lobewyper
      January 27, 2014, 4:50 pm

      I would guess that Truman had been heavily pressured by members of his own party as well as by the pro-Israel folks…

  7. American
    January 27, 2014, 2:24 pm

    Glad to see this article featured here. I read it a few days ago and took it as a sign some people at least are trying to counter the propaganda foisted on the public.

    I particulary like it because part of the Zionist propaganda effort is to convince Americans that American presidents supported Israel because it was the ‘right and moral thing’ to do….instead of the result of the dirty politics that is actually was.
    They think if Americans are told and believe their leaders believed it was right, then most Americans will believe it too.
    That is why the Jewish orgs will write about and praise Truman and are always trying to find some positive sound bit , something good that Kennedy, Johnson, etc. said about Israel or the Jews…they will even go back to the 1600’s in search of some famous person or founder in the US that supported ‘Israelites’ or the notion of a Israel nation. Trying to make people believe that supporting Israel was and is some kind of ‘American good’ when a ‘Jewish religious, ethnic State of Israel was actually ‘against’ everything America stood for.

    This is the flip side of their branding other US leaders and public figures who werent and arent pro Israel as anti semites.

    Zionist portray all American Presidents and important public figures as either anti semites like Nixon or philosemites and friends of the Jews or christian zionist like they portray Johnson as.

    We need to debunk this propaganda also.

  8. DICKERSON3870
    January 27, 2014, 2:35 pm

    RE: Next week John B. Judis will publish a long-awaited book titled “Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: I hope John Judis is prepared for the “Goldstone treatment” of biblical proportions that he will undoubtedly get from what James Petras calls “The ‘Israel First’ Industry”. As Petras put it: “In the past Jewish leaders, especially labor and socially-engaged activists had joined forces with Leftists in opposition to political bigots, McCarthyite purges and blacklists. Today’s leaders practice the very same bully, blackmail and blacklist politics against critics of Israel and its Zionist appendages.” In other words, “the Goldstone treatment”.

    SEE: “The ‘Israel First’ Industry and CEO Profiteering”, by James Petras, dissidentvoice.org, 1/16/14

    [EXCERPTS] During the first half of the 20th century, socially conscious Jews in the United States organized a large network of solidarity and charity associations financed mostly through small donations, raffles, and dues by working and lower middle class supporters. Many of these associations dealt with the everyday needs of Jewish workers, immigrants, and families in need. . .
    . . . Over the past fifty years a far-reaching transformation has taken place within Jewish organizations, among its leaders and their practices and policies. Currently, Jewish leaders have converted charities, social aid-societies and overseas programs for working class Jews into money machines for self-enrichment; converted charities funding health programs for Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism into the funding of colonial settlements for armed Zionist zealots intent on uprooting Palestinians; and organized a powerful political machine which buys US Congress people and penetrates the Executive in order to serve Israeli military aims. From defending human rights and fighting fascism, the leaders of the principle Jewish organizations defend each and every Israeli violation of Palestinian human rights – from arbitrary arrests of non-violent dissidents to the detention of children in ‘cages.’ Israel’s Kafkaesque prolonged administration detention without trial is approved by contemporary leaders. In the past Jewish leaders, especially labor and socially-engaged activists had joined forces with Leftists in opposition to political bigots, McCarthyite purges and blacklists. Today’s leaders practice the very same bully, blackmail and blacklist politics against critics of Israel and its Zionist appendages.
    In the past Jewish leaders of social aid organizations received modest salaries . . .
    . . . The moderately social liberal Jewish weekly, The Forward, recently completed a survey of the salaries of Jewish “not-for profits” leaders, with the aid of a professor from the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania). Among the leading profiteers was Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) earning $688,280, Howard Kohr of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — $556,232, David Harris of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) — $504,445, Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) — $435,050, Janice Weinman of Hadassah — $410,000, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations (PMJO) — $400,815, Mark Helfield of the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society — $268,834 and Ann Toback of the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring — $185,712. These salaries and perks put the Jewish leaders of non-profits in the upper 10% of US incomes — a far cry from the not-too-distant past. According to the analysis by the Forward and the Wharton team, ‘most leaders (CEOs) are vastly overpaid – earning more than twice what the head of an organization of their size would be expected to make”.
    While the membership has declined in many organizations, especially among working and lower middle class Jews, the funding has increased and most important the plutocratic leaders have embraced a virulent militarist foreign policy and repressive domestic policies. Forward describes Abraham Foxman as “diverting the ADL from its self-described mission of fighting all forms of bigotry in the US and abroad to putting the ADL firmly on the side of bigotry and intolerance.” . . .
    . . . The overwhelming response of the Jewish readers to the Forward’s survey was one of indignation, disgust, and anger. As one reader commented, “The economic disconnect between their (CEOs) salaries and the average incomes of those who contribute to their charities is unacceptable”. Another indignant reader remarked succinctly: “Gonifs! (Thieves!)”. Many announced they could cut off future donations. One formerly orthodox reader stated, “I would rather give to a street beggar than to any of these”.
    The drop-off of donations from lower-middle class Jews, however, will have little effect in reducing the salaries of the ‘non-profit’ CEO’s or changing the politics of their ‘non-profits; because they increasingly depend on six and seven digit contributions from Jewish millionaires and billionaires. Moreover, the contributions by big donors are linked to the politics of repression at home and securing multi-billion dollar military aid and trade programs for Israel from the US Treasury. The billionaire donors have no objection to funding the millionaire leaders – as long as they concentrate their efforts on buying the votes of US Congress members and aligning their politics with Israel’s war aims. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/01/the-israel-first-industry-and-ceo-profiteering/

    • traintosiberia
      January 27, 2014, 8:53 pm

      McCarthyism attracted overwhelming Jewish antagonism . Part of the reason was that Jewish people were involved with socialism,communism,international socialism movement,and trade union .Involvemnet was finacial and proviidng leadership .It was also global . Communism and Jewish were blamed for New Deal. Some already was blaming Roosevelt’s Jewish suporters for US entry to WW2.
      Mccarthy arose in this context where differnet forces combined – necessity of having an enemy,increasing the reach of the intelligence,and identifying potential Soviet agents . It was obvious that the Jewish citizen with doctrinal attchment to Stalin and Trotysky and associated activities would come under scrutiny.
      It was a bad time but no worse than the suppression and trial of WW1 and WW2 antiwar activists .

  9. lysias
    January 27, 2014, 4:40 pm

    Of course, there were good reasons why Truman failed to achieve a federated or binational Palestine, and I don’t intend by recounting Truman’s qualms to suggest that he was wrong to recognize Israel.

    Certainly there were reasons, but why does Judis say they were good reasons?

    Truman lacked the self-confidence to stand up to the lobby. Probably this is one of the reasons it was a tragedy FDR died when he did. He could have stood up to the lobby.

    • lysias
      January 27, 2014, 5:46 pm

      FDR had already agreed with the King of Saudi Arabia that there would be no Israel until he had consulted with him, the king.

    • James Canning
      January 27, 2014, 5:50 pm

      Let’s remember the threat made to Truman in the White House by Emanuel Cellar, in early 1948. That if Truman did not recognise Israel immediately, Cellar “and his rich Jewish friends in New York would ride [him] out of town on a rail”.

    • lobewyper
      January 27, 2014, 8:04 pm

      Morality should trump everything else, but our presidents and members of Congress have feared alienating the Jewish vote/Lobby for decades. If you want to stick around as an elected official, you simply can’t risk taking on the Lobby. The reasoning would be: “If I criticize the Lobby, I won’t be electable (or reelectable). If I’m not elected, I can’t serve the people as their representative, or be a part of any legislation. Therefore, I will refrain from criticism, because I want to serve in government.”

      What is needed are 1) some serious investigative journalism regarding the way the Lobby influences elections that is documented and attributes quotations to the people who uttered them, and 2) some members of congress to speak out about the Lobby and the fear it elicts in our elected representatives. (Maybe, have them be reps that are not going to seek reelection; and, they should do it as a group for self-protection.

    • RoHa
      January 27, 2014, 9:44 pm

      “Doesn’t sound like a good reason to me, ditching morality and the long-term good of America just to avoid being crucified by the members of one’s own party.”

      They are politicians. What do morality or the long-term good of America have to do with them?

    • Citizen
      January 28, 2014, 12:27 am

      Truman’s decision to recognize Israel was due to the simple fact nobody believed he could be elected and he had no money to campaign. He made his decision and immediately got a ton of Zionist cash to do his whistle stop campaign, Also, the Zionist money that would otherwise have gone to Dewey’s campaign went to Truman.

      • James Canning
        January 28, 2014, 7:44 pm

        True. Truman would indeed have been “ridden out of town on a rail”, thanks to rich Jews in New York (and elsewhere). Had he not made the deal.

  10. James Canning
    January 27, 2014, 5:47 pm

    Getting the truth out about Harry Truman and the run-up to the creation of Israel in 1948 is a fine thing indeed.

  11. Mayhem
    January 27, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Jews have always had a secure place in the so-called Arab
    world

    If people continue to trumpet this lie that before Zionism there was no problem between Jews and Arabs then we will get nowhere.
    Martin Gilbert has told the story of the persecution of Jews across the Muslim world throughout history in his book “In Ishmael’s House” and you can find what he has said corroborated at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_the_Arab_world

    • Talkback
      January 28, 2014, 8:11 am

      If people continue to trumpet this lie that before Zionism there was no problem between Jews and Arabs then we will get nowhere.

      Why did Zionist colonialize Palestine then instead of a safer place?

    • eljay
      January 28, 2014, 8:27 am

      >> If people continue to trumpet this lie that before Zionism there was no problem between Jews and Arabs then we will get nowhere.

      If Zio-supremacists continue to trumpet their numerous lies, including such gems as…
      – Palestine was empty and rightfully theirs for the (re-)taking;
      – Palestinians are not a real people;
      – the Nakba is a myth;
      – Israel is anything other than a supremacist “Jewish State”;
      – Israel is justified in occupying territory outside of its / Partition borders; and
      – Israel is not obligated to re-patriate refugees from the part of Palestine it legally occupies and controls,
      …then we will get nowhere.

      • James Canning
        January 28, 2014, 7:42 pm

        Martin Gilbert of course was well aware that a great many of the Jews expelled from Spain, settled in the Ottoman Empire.

    • Ron Edwards
      January 28, 2014, 8:30 am

      Corroborated by Wikipedia! Fail. When students tell me, “It’s on Wikipedia!”, I tell them, “Give me ten minutes.”

      Gilbert is an imperial hagiographer. Try reading a real book, in this case, The Jews of Islam by Bernard Lewis. Hardly an “anti-Israel” author, so you can’t pull that nonsense. Also, for most readers here who shudder at the name, he wrote it before his brain melted sometime in the 1990s.

      Did Jews across the non-Christian states enjoy idealized U.S. style equal rights? No, of course not – no one did, not in the U.S. either. Did they receive specific, Jews-directed hate-speech and hate-actions? No, they did not. (Special treat: learning the actual career of Maimonides)

      • Philip Weiss
        January 28, 2014, 8:35 am

        Helpful comment. Thank you

      • Mayhem
        January 28, 2014, 6:31 pm

        So here is the logic, even according to Bernard Lewis. Antisemitism spiralled dramatically as a result of the arrival of Zionism. Before
        that Arab anti-semitism lay dormant, as there was not a major factor to feed it. As long as Jews behaved appropriately as dhimmis and paid their jizya they were tolerated. They were NEVER given equal status.

        Zionism therefor only unearthed a deep-seated anti-semitism in the Arab population that was fed from Christian sources as these began to pervade Arab society. To blame Zionism for everything is to ignore the fundamental antagonism (non-acceptance) that is expressed from
        within Islam to other religions.
        @Ron, what was so edifying about Maimonides fleeing the fanatical Muslim Almohades in Spain, who offered Jews and Christians the choice of conversion to Islam or death?

      • Ron Edwards
        January 29, 2014, 10:03 am

        Garbage. That’s not a paraphrase of Lewis’ book at all. That’s clash-of-civilizations horse shit. I didn’t say anything about “edifying” either.

        There’s no point in replying seriously to your posts. They are nothing but sprays of flak.

      • Mayhem
        January 29, 2014, 8:19 pm

        @Ron, you have resorted to abusive, dismissive language. You have to do better than that if you want to persuade anybody besides yourself. Your aside to Maimonides is vague and unintelligible.

      • RoHa
        January 28, 2014, 9:54 pm

        “Try reading a real book”

        Bit of a radical suggestion there, don’t you think?.

  12. Herb Glatter
    January 27, 2014, 9:29 pm

    Harry and Bess Truman – Jews, Blacks et.al.:
    Truman replied, “You’re a Jew, David, and no Jew has ever been in the house. Bess runs it, and there’s never been a Jew inside the house in her or her mother’s lifetime.”
    http://worshippingchristian.org/blog/?p=2920

  13. dbroncos
    January 27, 2014, 10:54 pm

    “Osama bin Laden’s 1996 Fatwa was directed at the “Zionist-Crusader alliance.”

    The catastrophes of 9/11 and Iraq, and the long history of ME terrorism against Americans that preceded them, weren’t enough to open up a public discussion about the costs of Zionism.

    Neither the msm nor the US government wants any part of this discussion – not yet. BDS, however, is becoming too hard to ignore. Questions about Scarlett Johansson’s values are prompting a more honest, public debate which touches on Zionism than any msm questions to date about “why 9/11?” or “why Iraq?”

    • James Canning
      January 28, 2014, 7:40 pm

      Osama bin Laden said that Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon was a large factor in his thinking, leadding up to the “9/11” attacks. And, of course, Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians, which the foolish US Congress encourages year after year after year.

  14. miriam6
    January 27, 2014, 11:54 pm

    Ah yes! Harry S Truman that famed campaigner for racial equality !

    Does Philip Weiss have any notion at all of how historically ignorant and out of the true historical context his (mis)take on the racial thinking of the likes of Truman actually is?

    Why – Weiss’s ignorance is positively satirical!

    Race thinking

    “Though the Nazi government in Germany took racial thinking much further than anyone had thought possible , those prejudices were hardly unique to the Nazis.

    ‘ I think one man is a good as any other as long as he is not a nigger or a Chinaman’ , the future US President Truman wrote early in his career,
    ‘He’ ( his uncle Will) :
    does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I . It is race prejudice, I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion that Negroes ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia and white men in Europe and America.

    Not that Truman’s contemporaries were any less prejudiced ..

    Truman’s predecessor, though known for the executive order that guaranteed Black Servicemen their Civil rights, could also give rise to casual prejudice. Roosevelt discussed the high birth rate in Puerto Rico with his advisor Charles Taussig:
    “I guess the only solution is to use the methods which Hitler used effectively.” He said that it is all very simple and painless – you have people pass through a narrow passage and then there is the brrr of an electrical apparatus. They stay there for twenty seconds and from then on they are sterile.”
    All the same, Roosevelt was often taken aback by his ally Churchill’s choice of words. Frederick Eggleston, Australian Minister, in his diary records that Roosevelt
    ‘said that he had numerous discussions with Winston about China … and he continually referred to the Chinese as “Chinks” and “Chinamen”

    The casual prejudices of the time seem surprising, but they were endemic.
    Prejudice is not the same as the systematic racial laws that Hitler introduced in Germany. Still. the prejudices that the Allies shared were also linked to policy. Both Britain and America were societies that had white supremacy woven into their fabric.”

    From : ‘An Unpatriotic History of the Second World War’ by James Heartfield.
    Chapter Nine; Race War.
    Pages 89-90.

  15. miriam6
    January 28, 2014, 12:03 am

    Philip Weiss’s article also depends on presenting Truman as an unprejudiced witness towards the Jews.

    On July 21 1946 Truman used the diary to vent his anger at the former treasury secretary ,Henry Morganthau, who had sought his intervention on behalf of a ship of Jewish refugees who had been denied entry by Britain to what was then Palestine.
    “He’d no business, whatever to call me,” Truman wrote, “The Jews have no sense of proportion nor do they have any judgement on world affairs,”
    In the same diary entry Truman goes on to say:
    “The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvian , Finns , Poles , Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or misplaced as D [isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the underdog.”

    And of course Truman’s anti Semitic prejudice was again shared by his contemporaries.

    Churchill was steeped in racial prejudice and talked about the Soviet Union as a ‘worldwide Communistic state under Jewish domination, ‘the international Soviet Union of the Russian and Polish Jew’, or just ‘these Semitic conspirators’.
    British Minister Harold Macmillan complained in 1943 that Henry Morgenthau
    ‘He had a frightful little Jew – the worst type – Dr White with him’ who had an ‘insulting attitude to the British.’

    From : ‘An Unpatriotic History of the Second World War’ by James Heartfield.
    Chapter Nine; Race War.
    Pages 89-90.

    • Philip Weiss
      January 28, 2014, 8:38 am

      Miriam of course you’re right. He had conventional anti-Semitic prejudice of his time, and had Jewish business associates. Ernest Hemingway was a bestselling author, who expressed vile anti-Semitic attitudes and had Jewish friends.
      Truman surely had racist attitudes; and he desegregated the army.
      What does this have to do with his beliefs re the wrongness of a Jewish state? Or, as a consummate pol, his assessment of the lobby’s activities.

  16. Nevada Ned
    January 28, 2014, 12:59 am

    To me, what is really new is that John Judis and The New Republic (longtime Israeli asset) are publishing this. Judis has occasionally voiced opposition to some of Israel’s worst behavior, but nothing resembling his new book about Truman and the birth of Israel.

    Others have said the same thing earlier. For example, back in 2006, Alexander Cockburn (a longtime critic of Israel)
    wrote

    “For the past few weeks a sometimes comic debate has simmering in the American press, focused on the question of whether there is an Israeli lobby, and if so, just how powerful is it?

    “I would have thought that to ask whether there’s an Israeli lobby here is a bit like asking whether there’s a Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and a White House located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC. For the past sixty years the Lobby has been as fixed a part of the American scene as either of the other two monuments, and not infrequently exercising as much if not more influence on the onward march of history.

    “The late Steve Smith, brother in law of Teddy Kennedy, and a powerful figure in the Democratic Party for several decades, liked to tell the story of how a group of four Jewish businessmen got together two million dollars in cash and gave it to Harry Truman when he was in desperate need of money amidst his presidential campaign in 1948. Truman went on to become president and to express his gratitude to his Zionist backers.

    “Since those days the Democratic Party has long been hospitable to, and supported by rich Zionists. In 2002, for example, Haim Saban, the Israel-American who funds the Saban Center at the Brooking Institute and is a big contributor to AIPAC, gave $12.3 million to the Democratic Party. In 2001, the magazine Mother Jones listed on its web site the 400 leading contributors to the 2000 national elections. Seven of the first 10 were Jewish, as were 12 of the top 20 and 125 of the top 250. Given this, all prudent candidates have gone to amazing lengths to satisfy their demands. There have been famous disputes, as between President Jimmy Carter and Menachem Begin, and famous vendettas, as when the Lobby destroyed the political careers of Representative Paul Findley and of Senator Charles Percy because they were deemed to be anti-Israel.”

    I’m delighted that John Judis is coming out with this new book. It’s a sign that the Israel lobby is starting to lose control over the public debate, although they still have a helluva powerful lobby.

  17. talknic
    January 28, 2014, 9:00 pm

    May 15, 1948 Letter From the Agent of the Provisional Government of Israel to Truman, the President of the United States, “MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to notify you that the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.”

  18. Ron Edwards
    January 28, 2014, 11:06 pm

    I thought I’d add a little context and a couple of important points to the discussion of Truman. The following bit is excerpted from my book Shahida (http://www.adept-press.com/shahida)

    In 1947, the post-WWII British government effectively turfed the whole problem to the United Nations, setting the end of the Mandate at May 14, 1948. Immediately following the announcement, the Haganah (precursor to the Israeli Defense Forces) and paramilitary groups such as the Irgun terrorized, brutalized, and expelled over 700,000 people not only from the “Jewish area” as designated by the Partition Plan, but from wherever they could impose their reach. This process, called in Arabic al-Nakba (the Catastrophe) continued throughout the ensuing wars until their conclusion in 1949.

    Meanwhile, the partition was hotly deliberated at the UN, in terms which are mostly lost because none of them fit Cold War narratives later adopted by anyone. The result was the Partition Plan, assigning part of the area to “Jews” and part to “the Arabs,” proposed to the United Nations by the Soviet Union, immediately seconded by the U.S. It was voted in as UN Resolution 181 under circumstances which suggest strong-arming by both powers. This happened while these two states were embroiled in the Berlin Blockade. If you know any references which can help me understand that, please tell me.

    [Map: UN Partition Plan, 1947, passed at the United Nations]

    The Plan stipulated that both regions were to treat all residents in a democratic, rights-based fashion, and another was that the entire region should represent a single economic union. It was never implemented. Instead, the day before the British Mandate expired, the leaders of the Zionist community declared the existence of the State of Israel. Eleven minutes later, the Truman administration recognized the new state de facto, and a couple of days later, the Soviet Union recognized it de jure.

    Upon this event and the continued cleansing, armies from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan (then called “Transjordan”), Syria, and technically Lebanon (less than a dozen soldiers!), as well as irregulars from many other Arab states, invaded the former British Mandate and attacked, seeking to hold territory and to engage the Haganah. The latter were by no means outnumbered and were vastly better organized and armed with aircraft and weaponry, including the new AK-47, by the Soviet Union via Warsaw Pact nations. Not only were the Arab League forces repelled, the IDF now controlled territory in excess of the (ignored) Partition’s description, all of which was claimed for Israel, as imposed under armistice with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.

    [Map: Israel at the end of al-Nakba and the War of Independence, 1949]

    Given the recognition of Israel by what were now the two Cold War superpowers, it’s not surprising that widespread outrage at this irregular way to make a state could not stop its inclusion in the United Nations following the armistice in early 1949, via UN Resolution 273. It included some important provisos, such as the right of refugees to return to their homes, the international and independent status of Jerusalem, and the requirement of a democratic constitution. Despite becoming a UN member state, Israel was not recognized by a number of other states. This situation was not actually all that uncommon, the two Germanys being excellent examples at that time as well.

    What was not present in any of the international documents, before, during, or after UN Resolution 181, is any use of the phrase “Jewish state.” This phrase can be found only in Israeli national statements and is not acknowledged in any form by any other state.

    None of the provisos for UN membership were met. The State of Israel has not adopted a constitution, and did not and has never declared borders. Therefore the lines you see on maps are those recognized or accepted by other states. Various military conflicts have resulted in an ever-changing map.

    I posted this to emphasize a couple of points which some readers here might not know.

    First, that the Nakba began and was largely successful for the Zionists prior to the scheduled end of the Mandate, and while the Partition Plan was being debated and drafted, not after its vote.

    Second, that the Partition Plan, although passed in the UN, was never implemented. Not even a tiny bit.

    Third, that the “founding of the State of Israel” was internationally established strictly through the utterly unilateral recognitions by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Recognition technically doesn’t mean a damned thing. But only the informal, unofficial weight of those nations got Israel into the UN at all, even provisionally. That inclusion had nothing to do with the long-discussed end of the Mandate or the Partition Plan.

    Fourth, that Soviet policies at this time are almost impossible to understand critically and historically, as everyone on this earth has a stake in characterizing the final stage of Stalin’s premiership in some gaudy fashion or another. Amy Knight’s book Beria, the only non-hysterical biography of this historical figure I can find and which debunks the popular portrait of a homicidal pervert, suggests that both Stalin and Lavrenty Beria took great pains toward supporting Jewish Soviet interests, counter to most 1980s talk of anti-Semitic Soviet culture.

    Five, that the recognition by the U.S. (I don’t know about the U.S.S.R. one) did specify the borders as laid out by the Partition Plan, but was applied to a state which now controlled territory beyond those borders. This is completely raving incoherent: does the U.S. recognition text “justify” the Partition, in terms of “Jewish land,” but not in any other details? Does the recognition of Israel when it claimed land beyond that render the Partition irrelevant, regardless of the text, and regardless of the zero-actual-connection between U.S. recognition and UN inclusion? These and similar questions founder in the mess of contradictions and irregularities. Also, this whacked context renders all current Green Line talk, so popular after 1967, wholly moot.

    Six, that the “founding of the State of Israel” (announcement + the two recognitions) was timed to the end of the Mandate, exquisitely so, and had nothing whatsoever to do with fighting the Arab armies, hence calling that conflict a War of Independence is flatly inaccurate.

    A great deal of modern Zionist rhetoric, and especially all nitpicky land-trade talk associated with the two-state shibboleth, gleefully exploits modern people’s ignorance of this sequence of events.

    • Hostage
      January 29, 2014, 12:11 am

      If you know any references which can help me understand that, please tell me.

      During the Cold War, the United States was concerned that Israel would become another Soviet-aligned socialist republic and vice versa. The Jewish Agency Political Department/Israel was represented by Eliyahu Epstein in the United States. Golda Meir had just taken over her new post in the USSR. They undoubtedly “played both ends against the middle”.

      Eleven minutes later, the Truman administration recognized the new state de facto, and a couple of days later, the Soviet Union recognized it de jure.

      No, you’re confusing US recognition of the provisional government of Israel with recognition of Israeli statehood, which was immediate and unconditional. The UN plan called for a temporary government, pending elections. So recognition of statehood versus recognition of the unelected Jewish governing regime were actually treated as separate legal questions.

      The US practice of recognizing the statehood of a country during the mandate era was customarily considered separate from the related legal practice of recognizing the legitimacy of a government, or even the question of establishing and maintaining diplomatic relations with a new state. The US is a signatory of the Montevideo Convention, which the State Department still lists among its “Treaties in force”. Article 6 establishes the principle that recognition of statehood is considered “unconditional and irrevocable”.

      Stefan Talmon cited a portion of the Green Haywood Hackworth (editor), US State Department “Digest of International Law” to illustrate that point:

      (v) Israel. The White House Press Release announcing the recognition of the State of Israel stated that ‘The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel. With regard to US recognition of Israel, Dr Jessup. Deputy US Representative in the Security Council, informed the Security Council on 17 December 1948 that ‘so far as the Provisional Government of Israel is concerned, the United States did extend de facto recognition to that Provisional Government of Israel.’ In this connection it is also of interest to note Dr Jessup’s telegram of 13 July 1948 to Secretary of State Marshall stating: ‘it is our understanding that US recognition of State of Israel is unqualified, that is, de jure, while our recognition of PGI [Provisional Government of Israel] was a de facto recognition of government [of] that state. Is this interpretation correct?’ The Department, on 15 July, stated its agreement with New York’s understanding and set forth its belief that ‘in case of recognition of new states as distinguished from new governments no question of de facto as against de jure recognition is involved’

      — Stefan Talmon, “Recognition of Governments in International Law: With Particular Reference to Governments in Exile, Oxford University Press, 1998, page 62 http://books.google.com/books?id=scc8EboiJX8C&lpg=PA62&ots=SHgOm4m-MT&pg=PA62#v=onepage&q&f=false

      • Ron Edwards
        January 29, 2014, 7:51 am

        Thank you! You are a treasure.

    • MahaneYehude1
      January 29, 2014, 12:31 am

      @Ron:

      Upon this event and the continued cleansing, armies from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan (then called “Transjordan”), Syria, and technically Lebanon (less than a dozen soldiers!), as well as irregulars from many other Arab states, invaded the former British Mandate and attacked, seeking to hold territory and to engage the Haganah.

      Ron, I believe you read many documents and references while writing your book.

      Do you know what were the goals of the Arab armies invasion to Israel?
      Did the Palestinians accept the partition plan and were ready to recognize the Jewish state within the partition plan borders? I am asking since I read in this site many different opinions and it would be helpful if you can clarify the things.

      BTW, What is written in the title of your book in Arabic?

      • talknic
        January 29, 2014, 5:05 am

        MahaneYehude1 “Do you know what were the goals of the Arab armies invasion to Israel?”

        According to the Israeli Government the Arab states invaded “Palestine” http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/MFADocuments/Yearbook1/Pages/5%20Arab%20League%20declaration%20on%20the%20invasion%20of%20Pales.aspx not Israel. Their intentions are at the same link.

        UN Member states were and still are required to ” have respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force” http://wp.me/PDB7k-6r#unscresolution242 Something Israel has ignored on numerous occasions

        There are no UNSC resolutions against any Arab state for having invaded Israel. UNSC resolutions on the matter call for “peace in Palestine”, not Israel.

        “Did the Palestinians accept the partition plan”

        They had no effective say in the matter.

      • MahaneYehude1
        January 30, 2014, 3:02 am

        @talknic:

        According to the Israeli Government the Arab states invaded “Palestine” link to mfa.gov.il not Israel.

        No, not according to the Israeli Government. You linked me to the Israel Foreign Office web site. There is a section called “Historical Documents”. Under this section you can find many documents from Arab states like this one “Arab League declaration on the invasion of Palestine- 15 May 1948”. This is not an official position of Israel but only a depiction of documents (Do you think that the phrase “Zionist Aggression” appears in the document is an official Israeli position?).

        Their intentions are at the same link.

        There is a big difference between the “intentions” appear in the document and the reality and the armies plans to divide Israel and cut it in the middle. I sure that you, as the “document lover” person, can find those plans and the many declarations of Arab leaders prior the war. I will be glad to help you with Arabic documents.

        There are no UNSC resolutions against any Arab state for having invaded Israel. UNSC resolutions on the matter call for “peace in Palestine”, not Israel.

        I told you many times that there is no resolution against any Arab state for having invaded Israel, because we won the war and they were defeated. The fact that there is no such resolution doesn’t say that they didn’t invade Israel (or Palestine, if you wish).

        They had no effective say in the matter.

        Why not, talknic, why?

      • Hostage
        January 31, 2014, 3:17 am

        There is a big difference between the “intentions” appear in the document and the reality and the armies plans to divide Israel and cut it in the middle.

        By the time the Arab States entered Palestine, the Jewish Agency had spent two years planning to divide Palestine in half with UN assistance and had 60,000 armed militia members in the field waging a war of aggression beyond the borders of the proposed Jewish state.

        . I sure that you, as the “document lover” person, can find those plans and the many declarations of Arab leaders prior the war.

        I can find much earlier documents which say the Arabs were responding to threats and provocations from Jewish aggressors and terrorists. Here’s one from 1943:

        “I have noted in discussions with Zionist spokesmen visiting Cairo recently a marked hardening in their attitude (possibly owing in part to increased confidence resulting from alleged large-scale clandestine arming by Jews in Palestine) which in several cases has taken the form of frankly admitting that it is idle to continue to talk of “negotiations” with Arabs, in balance obvious that any solution satisfactory to Zionists would have to be “imposed” on Arabs by threat or use of force and this latter the only realistic line of action to adopt.

        — Kirk link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        After the massacre at Deir Yassin, Parodi and the other members of the Council concluded that if Abdullah and the Arab states entered Palestine to assist their beleaguered brethren, it wouldn’t be an act of aggression. For example here’s a cable from:

        The United States Representative at the United Nations (Austin) to the Secretary of State
        SECRET US URGENT NEW YORK, May 9, 1948-6: 43 p. m.:
        Parodi called meeting of British, Belgian, American, French representatives last night to discuss situation regarding truce and possible action which SC may be called to take following May 15. Hare and I attended. Parodi said time fast running out and essential to make up minds now regarding certain problems.
        He said that as of May 15 we would be faced by declarations two states of Palestine coupled with entrance of Abdullah. Regarding latter two ideas are current. The first is that if Abdullah moved beyond own frontier it might constitute an”act of aggression”. The second idea was that if he entered on invitation of Arab population of Palestine his act might not constitute aggression. Parodi said he was inclined to second theory and thought conclusion to that effect would avoid endless argument.

        – Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa, page 946
        Here’s another:
        Memorandum by the Director of the Office of United Nations
        Affairs (Rusk) to the Under Secretary of State (Lovett)
        SECRET [WASHINGTON,] May 4, 1948:

        “The Jews will be the actual aggressors against the Arabs. However, the Jews will claim that they are merely defending the boundaries of a state which were traced by the UN and approved, at least in principle, by two-thirds of the UN membership. The question which will confront the Security Council in scarcely ten days’ time will be whether Jewish armed attack on Arab communities in Palestine is legitimate or whether it constitutes such a threat to international peace and security as to call for coercive measures by the Security Council. The situation may be made more difficult and less clear-cut if, as is probable, Arab armies from outside Palestine cross the frontier to aid their disorganized and demoralized brethren who will be the objects of Jewish attack. In the event of such Arab outside aid the Jews will come running to the Security Council with the claim that their state is the object of armed aggression and will use every means to obscure the fact that it is their own armed aggression against the Arabs inside Palestine which is the cause of Arab counter-attack.

        The internal memo was published in the Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa , Volume V, Part 2, page 848

        Here is the cable from Transjordan:

        (The following cable was received by the Secretary-General of the United Nations
        today, 16 May from King Abdullah of Transjordan:-)

        “Secretary-General we were compelled to enter Palestine to protect unarmed Arabs against massacres similar to those of Deir Yasin. We are aware of our national duty towards Palestine in general and Jerusalem in particular and also Nazareth and Bethlehem. Be sure that we shall be very considerate in connection with Jews in Palestine and while maintaining at the same time the full rights of the Arabs in Palestine. Zionism did not react to our offers made before the entry of armed forces.

        (signed) Abdullah R”

        — Press Release PAL/167 16 May 1948 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/E2AB11675A195C3E85256A5700646474

      • talknic
        January 31, 2014, 6:19 am

        MahaneYehude1 “No, not according to the Israeli Government. You linked me to the Israel Foreign Office web site.”

        The Israel Foreign Office is not a part of the Israeli Government? WOW!!! I wonder if they know! I wonder who funds them? I guess morons for Israel will say anything.

        ” (Do you think that the phrase “Zionist Aggression” appears in the document is an official Israeli position?)”

        No. That’s from the Arab declaration, which starts oddly enough at 1). Preceding the declaration is the following statement

        The State of Israel came into being on the evening of Friday, 14 May 1948. On the night of 14-15 May, the regular forces of Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon invaded Palestine.

        “invaded” is past tense!
        It continues .

        The Egyptian Foreign Minister informed …

        “informed” is past tense!
        It continues

        … the Security Council that “Egyptian armed forces have started to enter Palestine to establish law and order” (his cable to the Security Council, S/743, 15 May 1948). The Governments of the Arab League States issued a statement on 15 May 1948, as their forces were advancing into Palestine.

        “There is a big difference between the “intentions” appear in the document and the reality”

        The reality is, they didn’t invade the territory of the State of Israel.

        ” and the armies plans to divide Israel and cut it in the middle”

        Evidence please…

        “I sure that you, as the “document lover” person, can find those plans and the many declarations of Arab leaders prior the war”

        Go find your own evidence pal

        “I told you many times that there is no resolution against any Arab state for having invaded Israel, because we won the war and they were defeated

        Your excuse is a nonsense..

        1) Iraq lost the 1991 war, there are plenty of resolutions against it prior to being booted out of Kuwait

        2) Israel’s war on Palestine isn’t over. Israel hasn’t won its war on Palestine yet

        3) in the 1948/49 war with the Arab States, Israel was prevented from taking all of Gaza and Judea & Samaria.

        The territories Israel did illegally acquired by war in 1948/49 have yet to be legally recognized as Israeli (Israeli claim http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/fd807e46661e3689852570d00069e918/c96e0252e7710bce85256d95006bc157?OpenDocument ) and (CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE rebuttal http://domino.un.org/pdfs/AAC25IS37.pdf ) None of those territories have ever been legally annexed by agreement to Israel

        “The fact that there is no such resolution doesn’t say that they didn’t invade Israel”

        The Israeli Government tells us
        A) they invaded Palestine (ibid) and;
        B) The war was in territories “ouside the State fo Israel” .. “in Palestine” http://pages.citebite.com/x1r0b4d1y6mkv
        C) The UNSC is obliged under the UN Charter to censure states in breach of the UN Charter (see Iraq/Kuwait)

        //They had no effective say in the matter//

        “Why not, talknic, why?”

        They weren’t asked. Here is what Balfour said.

        “The contradiction between the letters of the Covenant [of the League of Nations] and the policy of the Allies is even more flagrant in the case of the ‘independent nation’ of Palestine than in that of the ‘independent nation‘ of Syria. For in Palestine we do not propose to even go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country though the American Commission is going through the form of asking what they are.”

      • Ron Edwards
        January 29, 2014, 7:53 am

        Mahane: the Arabic conjugates the root word “shahida.” You live in Israel and can’t figure that out?

        Thanks talknic!

      • MahaneYehude1
        January 29, 2014, 9:11 am

        @Ron Edwards:

        Sorry, Ron, I asked you the question about the Arabic since I live in Israel and read Arabic perfect. Still, I don’t understand this kind of writing:

        ب ش ه ا د ت ه د ل ى ٫ ش ه د

        If I conjugate your letters in a proper way I get: بشهادته دلى٫ شهد
        What did you want to write?

      • Ron Edwards
        January 29, 2014, 10:06 am

        H’m … On the slim chance that you are actually going to be helpful, I invite you to contact me through the email at the site you visited. (And to others who have done so, my public thanks for your interest in the book/game)

      • MahaneYehude1
        January 31, 2014, 4:43 am

        @Hostage:

        Now, let’s see who accepted the partition plan and who rejected it, and by such, caused war between the two parties:

        H. R. H. Prince Seif El Islam Abdullah (Yemen):

        The Yemen delegation has stated previously that the partition plan is contrary to justice and to the Charter of the United Nations. Therefore, the Government of Yemen does not consider itself bound by such a decision for it is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Charter. The Government of Yemen will reserve its freedom of action towards the implementation of this decision.

        H. R. H. Amir Faisal al Saud (Saudi Arabia):

        We came to the General Assembly filled with hope that both the large and small nations would direct their efforts towards the elevation of moral standards. We came here filled with hope that all nations would unanimously respect and uphold human rights and justice, and that this Organisation would be an instrument for establishing international peace and security. At the same time, we had hoped that it would afford a sound basis for mutual understanding among all peoples. But alas! Today’s resolution has dissipated our hopes.

        We have pledged ourselves before God and history to fulfill the Charter in good faith, thereby respecting human rights and repelling aggression. However, today’s resolution has destroyed the Charter and all the covenants preceding it.

        We have felt, like many others, the pressure exerted on various representatives of this Organisation by some of the big Powers in order that the vote should be in favor of partition. For these reasons, the Government of Saudi Arabia registers, on this historic occasion, the fact that it does not consider itself bound by the resolution adopted today by the General Assembly. Furthermore, it reserves to itself the full right to act freely in whatever way it deems fit, in accordance with the principles of right and justice. My Government holds responsible those parties that hampered all means of co-operation and understanding.

        Mr. Jarnali (Iraq):

        In San Francisco we had high hopes for the world. Today, those hopes are shattered. We always thought that, after all, humanity was a bulwark of peace and a bulwark of justice. Today, that faith is destroyed. We did our best during the last few weeks to expound the spirit and the letter of the Charter and apply it to Palestine. The fact that we failed to win your support is not the result of a lack of good will on the part of the members of this Assembly. It was not due to a lack of understanding and appreciation on the part of most of you. On the contrary, we understand very well that it was great pressure and great influence that worked itself through UNSCOP, through the Ad Hoc Committee and through the General Assembly to direct the matter in a course which led to this conclusion.

        We believe that the decision which we have now taken is a very serious one. It is one that undermines peace, justice and democracy. In the name of my Government, I wish to state that it feels that this decision is anti-democratic, illegal, impractical and contrary to the Charter. It contradicts the spirit and letter of the Charter. Therefore, in the name of my Government, I wish to put on record that Iraq does not recognize the validity of this decision, will reserve freedom of action towards its implementation, and holds those who were influential in passing it against the free conscience of mankind responsible for the consequences.

        Amir Arslan (Syria):

        Even before the Assembly took this decision, I think that most of the delegations had suspected a dictatorial attitude. It is useless to speak about it at length, but as it is customary to allow those condemned to death to speak freely to their executioners, we shall address ourselves to ours.

        Gentlemen, the Charter is dead. But it did not die a natural death; it was murdered, and you all know who is guilty.

        My country will never recognize such a decision. It will never agree to be responsible for it. Let the consequences be on the heads of others, not on ours.

        Abdul Rahman Hassan Azzam, Secretary General of the Arab League (1947):

        “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”

        Except the last quote, I chose the delicate quotes (I avoid the declarations of Al-Husseini and Al-Quwatli, since I assume you know them better than me). Now, let me quote only one small paragraph from the Israel Declaration of Independence:

        On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.

        Hostage, look, we both can bring tens of documents to support our different arguments. What is hard to me is that most of you see the Arab side (Palestinians and the Arab states) as the side that always followed the laws, operated according to the international law, respected the human rights, avoiding harm innocent people, hit only armed combatants but not civilians etc. This is your big mistake. The Arabs did not want us here on any part of the land of Israel (or Palestine, if you prefer). The fact that the 1948 war of independence was on their lands and not on our lands does not mean they were in the right side, but that they were the weaker side in the war. I’m not sure if the situation was reversed and they were the stronger side, they would stop in the lines set by UN Partition resolution (181).

        Still, I didn’t receive an answer to my simple question to talknic: Why the Palestinians had no say on the issue of the Partition Plan?

      • Hostage
        February 1, 2014, 11:06 am

        @Hostage:

        Now, let’s see who accepted the partition plan and who rejected it, and by such, caused war between the two parties:

        None of those statements amount to a casus belli and weren’t a declaration of war. Your desperation is showing. Let’s see what “steps” the partition plan required the people of Israel to take:

        The Provisional Council of Government of each State shall, within the shortest time possible, recruit an armed militia from the residents of that State, sufficient in number to maintain internal order and to prevent frontier clashes.

        Settling all international disputes in which the State may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered;

        Accepting the obligation of the State to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations;

        http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

        FYI, Israel obviously wasn’t taking the steps necessary to implement the General Assembly resolution when its militias invaded the Corpus Separatum and the Arab State and began leveling villages, bombing motion picture theaters, hotels, & etc. The Partition plan called for the Palestine Commission to appoint the provisional governments of each state to represent both the Jewish and Arab communities of the state. The Jewish Agency and Vaad Leumi appointed themselves and did NOT represent the Arab inhabitants at all. The Plan also prohibited Israel from attacking or invading any other State and required its militias to preserve internal order and prevent border clashes. Israel’s war plans actually did the opposite and required the militias to initiate border clashes and carry-out attacks inside the Arab State.

        Hostage, look, we both can bring tens of documents to support our different arguments.

        There’s difference between bringing documents and making effective arguments. You aren’t going to be able to support the case that the Jews were not the primary source of aggression. There are too many UN, US, and UK documents which say otherwise.

      • MahaneYehude1
        January 31, 2014, 7:37 am

        @talknic;

        he Israel Foreign Office is not a part of the Israeli Government? WOW!!! I wonder if they know! I wonder who funds them? I guess morons for Israel will say anything.

        What you are doing is just unfair: you take half paragraph that I wrote, publish it and than mocking me by saying: “I guess morons for Israel will say anything.” Here is the full paragraph from my comment: “No, not according to the Israeli Government. You linked me to the Israel Foreign Office web site. There is a section called “Historical Documents”. Under this section you can find many documents from Arab states like this one “Arab League declaration on the invasion of Palestine- 15 May 1948″. This is not an official position of Israel but only a depiction of documents (Do you think that the phrase “Zionist Aggression” appears in the document is an official Israeli position?).”

        I didn’t say the foreign office is not part of Israeli government. I said that the site of the foreign office published documents. I don’t understand why I have, time after time, to explain you my comments. I think they are clear and understandable.

        For the rest of your comment, please, see my reply to Hostage although I almost sure it won’t convince you and you will repeat that the war was on Palestinian land.

      • MahaneYehude1
        February 1, 2014, 11:27 am

        @Hostage;

        Your desperation is showing.

        I didn’t expect to receive honest reply and I am not surprised. I chose the delicate documents and declarations. If those statements weren’t a declaration of war (by rejecting the partition plan), so I don’t know what else convince you. I only can imagine what would you say if an historian will find an Israeli document signed by Ben Gurion says “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.” I sure I will receive other kind of reply and I can only imagine the big celebration in MW.

        Thanks for letting me the opportunity to bring those statements and let the honest readers of MW to see who is the aggressor side in our conflict.

    • talknic
      January 29, 2014, 1:31 am

      @Ron Edwards “Eleven minutes later, the Truman administration recognized the new state de facto”

      This Government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and- recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof.
      The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

      “(I don’t know about the U.S.S.R. one)”

      Russia 17 May 1948
      Letter from Mr. Molotov stated: “Confirming receipt of your telegram of May 16, in which you inform the Government of the USSR of the proclamation, on the basis of the resolution of the United Nations Assembly of November 29, 1947 , of the creation in Palestine of the independent State of Israel and make re-quest for the recognition of the State of Israel and its provisional government by the USSR. I inform you in this letter that the Government of the USSR has decided to recognize officially the State of Israel and its Provisional Government.”

      “… did specify the borders as laid out by the Partition Plan, but was applied to a state which now controlled territory beyond those borders”

      Nope. 22nd May 1948 Israeli government admission of Israel’ s sovereign extent and territories under its military control“outside the State of Israel” .. “in Palestine” (Military control = Occupation http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?pr=71&code=mwp&p1=3&p2=4&p3=6&ca )

      As late as 31st Aug 1949 (after admission to the UN) Israel was admitting those territories were not yet Israeli http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/fd807e46661e3689852570d00069e918/c96e0252e7710bce85256d95006bc157?OpenDocument

      It was turned down http://domino.un.org/pdfs/AAC25IS37.pdf

      “calling that conflict a War of Independence is flatly inaccurate”

      Indeed. Israel announced that it was independent effective May 15th 1948 at precisely 00:01 (ME time) (ibid)

    • Sibiriak
      January 29, 2014, 2:33 am

      Ron Edwards:

      What was not present in any of the international documents, before, during, or after UN Resolution 181, is any use of the phrase “Jewish state.”

      In the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, the phrase “Jewish State”, and “Arab and Jewish States” appears numerous times. For example:

      The mandatory Power shall advise the Commission, as far in advance as possible, of its intention to terminate the mandate and to evacuate each area. The mandatory Power shall use its best endeavours to ensure that an area situated in the territory of the Jewish State, including a seaport and hinterland adequate to provide facilities for a substantial immigration, shall be evacuated at the earliest possible date and in any event not later than 1 February 1948.

      Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948. The boundaries of the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem shall be as described in Parts II and III below.

      The period between the adoption by the General Assembly of its recommendation on the question of Palestine and the establishment of the independence of the Arab and Jewish States shall be a transitional period.

      http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

      • Ron Edwards
        January 29, 2014, 7:58 am

        Thanks! (and phooey for more corrections …)

    • Sibiriak
      January 29, 2014, 2:58 am

      Ron Edwards:

      It was voted in as UN Resolution 181 under circumstances which suggest strong-arming by both powers.

      See Ilan Pappe, “A History of Modern Palestine”:

      On the basic outline for Palestine, however, Russia and the USA, the two superpowers concurred: Palestine was to be divided between the Zionist movement and the Palestinians.

      The eleven members of the official UN body appointed to decide the fate of Palestine, UNSCOP, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, also arrived at this conclusion. These officials had no experience in the Middle East or any knowledge of the Palestine situation, and had visited the area very briefly. They seemed to be more impressed by their gloomy visit to the camps of the Jewish Holocaust survivors in Europe than by what they saw in Palestine. In Europe, however, the tragedy had already occurred; in Palestine it was about to happen.2 It took UNSCOP nine months, between February and November 1947, to make a decision on the country’s fate. They had been given a ready-made partition programme by the able and well-prepared Zionist representatives, while the Palestinian and Arab side failed to propose any coherent alternative. Despite this, the Palestinians’ consensual rejection of partition was fully known to UNSCOP. For the Palestinians, leaders and common people alike, partition was totally unacceptable, the equivalent in their eyes of the division of Algeria between the French settlers and the indigenous population. The strong Palestinian objection prevented a unanimous decision on partition, but it was not strong enough to avert a majority one, achieved to a certain extent by American and Russian pressure.3 In their infrequent tours of Palestine, the committee members were welcomed by the Zionist leadership, but boycotted by the Palestinian politicians, an imbalance that also contributed to their decision to back the Zionist demand for partition as a logical solution to the conflict. The last British attempt to limit illegal Jewish immigration, the return of the Exodus, full of Holocaust survivors, to Germany, which coincided with one of UNSCOP’s visits, accentuated even further the nexus between the Holocaust and the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.

      […]On 31 August 1947, UNSCOP presented its recommendations to the UN General Assembly. Three of its members were allowed to put forward an alternative recommendation. The majority report advocated the partition of Palestine into two states, with an economic union. The designated Jewish state was to have most of the coastal area, western Galilee, and the Negev, and the rest was to become the Palestinian state. The minority report proposed a unitary state in Palestine based on the principle of democracy. It took considerable American Jewish lobbying and American diplomatic pressure, as well as a powerful speech by the Russian ambassador to the UN, to gain the necessary two-thirds majority in the Assembly for partition. Even though hardly any Palestinian or Arab diplomat made an effort to promote the alternative scheme, it won an equal number of supporters and detractors, showing that a considerable number of member states realized that imposing partition amounted to supporting one side and opposing the other.

      (pp.122-123; 126)

      • Hostage
        January 29, 2014, 7:20 am

        It took UNSCOP nine months, between February and November 1947, to make a decision on the country’s fate.

        The UNSCOP report was finalized in UN Document A/364 of 3 September 1947. It was turned-over for action by a Committee made up of the entire UN General Assembly membership (a.k.a. “the Ad Hoc Committee”) convened during the second regular session of the UN.

        The General Assembly was the only UN organ that ever had the authority under the terms of the Charter to adopt any decisions on the future government of Palestine. Neither the UNSCOP majority nor the minority recommendations were deemed acceptable by the parties concerned. Between September and November of 1947, the Ad Hoc Committee and its sub-committees adopted their own majority and minority proposals that represented significant modifications to the original recommendations contained in the UNSCOP report regarding the length of the transition period to independence, and the constitutional and territorial provisions.

      • Talkback
        January 31, 2014, 9:19 am

        Hostage: The General Assembly was the only UN organ that ever had the authority under the terms of the Charter to adopt any decisions on the future government of Palestine.

        Since when does the GA have the power to deny the right to self determination of state citizens and violate the integrity of state territories under UN Charter?

        The proposal to refer the following question to the ICJ was rejected only by 21 to 20 votes: “(viii) Whether the United Nations, or any of its Member States, is competent to enforce or recommend the enforcement of any proposal concerning the constitution and future Government of Palestine, in particular, any plan of partition which is contrary to the wishes, or adopted without the consent of, the inhabitants of Palestine.”
        http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/CB265C939B5A551F802564B40053D359

      • Sibiriak
        January 31, 2014, 11:12 am

        @Talkback:

        From the UNSCOP Report to the General Assembly:

        http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/5ba47a5c6cef541b802563e000493b8c/07175de9fa2de563852568d3006e10f3?OpenDocument

        176. With regard to the principle of self-determination, although international recognition was extended to this principle at the end of the First World War and it was adhered to with regard to the other Arab territories, at the time of the creation of the “A” Mandates, it was not applied to Palestine, obviously because of the intention to make possible the creation of the Jewish National Home there. Actually, it may well be said that the Jewish National Home and the sui generis Mandate for Palestine run counter to that principle.

        It seems fair to say that the UNSCOP ultimately grounds its conclusions in the Mandate for Palestine which which provided for a “national home for the Jewish people” as formulated in the Balfour Declaration.

        And that Mandate is ultimately grounded in the power of conquerors:

        179. There would seem to be no grounds for questioning the validity of the Mandate for the reason advanced by the Arab States. The terms of the Mandate for Palestine, formulated by the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers as a part of the settlement of the First World War, were subsequently approved and confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations.

        180. The spirit which prevailed at the creation of the Mandate for Palestine was explained by Lord Balfour at the opening of the eighteenth session of the Council of the League of Nations as follows:

        “The mandates are not our creation. The mandates are neither made by the League, nor can they, in substance, be altered by the League. . . .

        “Remember that a mandate is a self-imposed limitation by the conquerors on the sovereignty which they obtained over conquered territories. It is imposed by the Allied and Associated Powers themselves in the interests of what they conceived to be the general welfare of mankind and they have asked the League of Nations to assist them in seeing that this policy should be carried into effect. But the League of Nations is not the author of the policy, but its instrument. It is not they who have invented the system of mandates; it is not they who have laid down the general lines on which the three classes of mandates are framed. Their duty, let me repeat, is to see, in the first place, that the terms of the mandates conform to the principles of the Covenant, and in the second place, that these terms shall, in fact, regulate the policy of the mandatory Powers in the mandated territories.

        “Now, it is clear from this statement, that both those who hope and those who fear that what, I believe, has been called the Balfour Declaration is going to suffer substantial modifications, are in error. The fears are not justified; the hopes are not justified. . . . The general lines of policy stand and must stand.”

      • Hostage
        January 31, 2014, 7:06 pm

        Since when does the GA have the power to deny the right to self determination of state citizens and violate the integrity of state territories under UN Charter?

        Ever since the day the UN Charter entered into force. Why don’t you try reading it? There are several chapters devoted to the subjects of “non-self-governing territories”, preservation of the existing rights of peoples and member obligations under existing “mandates”, and the creation of “trusteeships” like British Togoland, French Togoland, British Cameroon, French Cameroon, Western Samoa, Tanganyika, Ruanda-Urundi (which the UN General assembly also partitioned into two states), New Guinea, Somalia, & etc.

        FYI, the mandate instruments were contained in “resolutions” adopted by the Council of the League of Nations. Where did those “resolutions” derive their authority from to ignore existing Ottoman administrative boundaries and divide-up Ottoman Asia into new states? Where did the authority come from to divide the Syrian “Mandate” into two states called Syria and Lebanon, or the Palestine Mandate into two states called Palestine and Transjordan? Answer: Articles 5 and 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.

        The General Assembly is not a world legislature. But it is empowered under Article 10 to discuss any “question or matter” pertaining to subjects mentioned in the UN Charter, like the mandates (Article 80). The Jewish Agency demanded the termination of the Mandate and the establishment of a Jewish state. The Arab Higher Committee demanded the termination of the mandate and independence. The British government also advised that it intended to withdraw its armed forces and civil administration after the UNSCOP adopted its unanimous recommendation that the mandate should be terminated.

        Article 28 of the mandate stipulated that in the event of its termination the establishment of a perpetual regime of international safeguards was required for the holy places and the existing rights of the communities under the terms of Articles 13 and 14 of the Mandate. The UNSCOP report noted that several international treaties and Article 13 had establish the duty of the mandatory to maintain the status quo ante bellum that existed at the end of the Crimean war (1855) and the Russo-Turkish war (1878). In other words, the mandate itself required the establishment of another international regime. FYI, the ICJ summarized that situation in paragraph 129 of the advisory opinion in the Wall case.
        * http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp#art28
        * http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf

        The ICJ has repeatedly ruled that when it comes to the nine enumerated areas listed in Article 18(2), including the operation of the trusteeship system, or any question adopted by a majority under the terms of Article 18(3), the General Assembly’s “decisions” can include ones that are legally dispositive (i.e. final and legally binding) or have operative designs and effects.

        For example, Bernadotte was murdered while “on mission” for the United Nations under the terms of UN General Assembly resolution 186 (S2). In the “Reparation for Injuries Suffered in the Service of the United Nations case”, the ICJ ruled, among other things, that that General Assembly resolution or the concerns for the safety of other officials expressed in the preamble of another General Assembly resolution formed the basis of a legal claim the UN could pursue and for which a Court could grant relief. The Court said the members had given the UN organization and its organs their own international legal personality and the express or implied legal capacity to fulfill their functions or purposes, including the power to deal with threats to peace and security from non-member states. The bottom line was that General Assembly resolutions can contain directives that have operative design and legal consequences for others.

        In the Certain Expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter) case. It was argued that the decision to dispatch the Secretary General and approve his plan to deploy the UNEF forces to the Sinai were merely recommendations and that the resulting operational costs did not represent “expenses of the Organization” or assessments that a member could be required to pay. The ICJ ruled that the word “action” in Article 11(2) regarding the questions put to the General Assembly by members or non-member states under the terms of Article 35(2) of the Charter means “coercive or enforcement action”.

        It noted that the General Assembly was not only empowered to “consider” the budget and member assessments by Article 17, but also to “approve” it. It also noted in connection with actions that:

        the functions and powers conferred by the Charter on the General Assembly are not confined to discussion, consideration, the initiation of studies and the making of recommendations; they are not merely hortatory. Article 18 deals with “decisions” of the General Assembly “on important questions”. These “decisions” do indeed include certain recommendations, but others have dispositive force and effect. Among these latter decisions, Article 18 includes suspension of rjghts and privileges of membership, expulsion of Members, “and budgetary questions”. In connection with the suspension of rights and privileges of membership and expulsion from membership under Articles 5 and 6, it is the Security Council which has only the power to recommend and it is the General Assembly which decides and whose decision determines status”

        Articles 80, 81, and 85 say that the General Assembly has the power to “approve trusteeship agreements” and that it can even place a territory under direct UN administration. There was no requirement for it to consult any of the parties concerned, before acting on the Mandate Article 28 requirement to set up a religious and minority protection plan and a Corpus Separatum under UN organization administration (after it decided to honor the unanimous requests that it terminate the mandate). Article 18 says that the General Assembly has the power to adopt “decisions” on any “important question” regarding “questions relating to the operation of the trusteeship system” so long as two-thirds of the members present and voting agree. Decisions on routine Charter questions only require a simple majority. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art18

        Article 81 stipulates:

        The trusteeship agreement shall in each case include the terms under which the trust territory will be administered and designate the authority which will exercise the administration of the trust territory. Such authority, hereinafter called the administering authority, may be one or more states or the Organization itself.

        http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art81

        Article 85 says:

        1. The functions of the United Nations with regard to trusteeship agreements for all areas not designated as strategic, including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship agreements and of their alteration or amendment, shall be exercised by the General Assembly.

        2. The Trusteeship Council, operating under the authority of the General Assembly, shall assist the General Assembly in carrying out these functions.

        http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art85

        All of these powers were on full display in the Namibia case too where General Assembly resolution 2145 terminated the mandate, told the Union of South Africa to get the hell out of Dodge, and placed the country of Namibia under direct UN administration. In the “Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970)”, South Africa argued that the Security Council resolution was invalid because its administration was authorized by the mandate and the Security Council resolution was based upon an invalid General Assembly resolution. The Court pointed out that it does not possess powers of judicial review or appeal in relation to the decisions adopted by the General Assembly, but observed that the mandate had been validly terminated and that the General Assembly was not making a finding on facts presented by others, but had been “formulating a legal situation”, i.e. laying down the law. It said that:

        “it would not be correct to assume that, because it is in principle vested with recommendatory powers, it is debarred from adopting, in special cases within the framework of its competence, resolutions which make determinations or have operative design.

        http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/?sum=296&code=nam&p1=3&p2=4&case=53&k=a7&p3=5

        I hope that answers your question.

  19. Sibiriak
    January 31, 2014, 9:34 am

    Talkback:

    Since when does the GA have the power to deny the right to self determination of state citizens and violate the integrity of state territories under UN Charter?

    What “right to self-determination of state citizens “? The “right of self-determination” in international law belongs to peoples (nations), not citizens of states, does it not?

  20. Talkback
    February 1, 2014, 5:55 am

    Unfortunately there’s no reply button under your comment, Hostage.

    Ever since the day the UN Charter entered into force. Why don’t you try reading it?

    The UN can do a lot of things regarding trusteeships or existing mandates. But again. There’s not a single word in the charter (or in your argumentation) that these things include the denial of the peoples right to self determination or the violation of the territorial integrity of their country. To the contrary. The right to self determination and to territorial integrity are enshrined in the UN Charter and you yourself quoted the “preservation of the existing rights of peoples” as another principle regarding mandates/trusteeships.

  21. Hostage
    February 1, 2014, 8:44 am

    The UN can do a lot of things regarding trusteeships or existing mandates. But again. There’s not a single word in the charter (or in your argumentation) that these things include the denial of the peoples right to self determination or the violation of the territorial integrity of their country.

    You haven’t demonstrated that “The Plan for the Future Government of Palestine” did either of those things. It 1) didn’t call for any population exchange; 2) contained a specific transition plan to full independence covering the period from 29 November 1947 to 1 October 1948 that established two self-governing states and a Corpus Separatum- all under direct UN administration of the General Assembly’s Palestine Commission; 3) it guaranteed equal civil and political rights for everyone; 4) it required the establishment of an “Economic Union with Right of Transit” and joint government control of:

    * A joint currency system providing for a single foreign exchange rate;

    * Operation in the common interest on a non-discriminatory basis of railways inter-State highways; postal, telephone and telegraphic services and ports and airports involved in international trade and commerce;

    * Joint economic development, especially in respect of irrigation, land reclamation and soil conservation;

    * Access for both States and for the City of Jerusalem on a non-discriminatory basis to water and power facilities.
    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

    I cited the relevant Articles of the UN Charter that empowered the General Assembly to take decisions to perform all of those actions with respect to a non-self-governing territory. I cited several UN trusteeships that were established, at least in part, because the UN decided against immediately granting the inhabitants full independence.

    I also cited the example of a bi-national mandate, Ruanda-Urundi, that was placed under UN trusteeship. On 20 June, 1962 the UN General Assembly adopted a decision to accept a UN commission’s proposal to partition Ruanda-Urundi into two independent states, Rwanda and Burundi, and establish an Economic Union. See UN resolution 1746 (XVI) http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/1746%28XVI%29

    It did that in the very same way that it had adopted the recommendations of a UN commission’s proposal to partition the bi-national mandate of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state with an economic union.

    Articles 81 and 85 of the UN Charter explicitly allowed the General Assembly to place non-self governing territories under direct UN administration or the administration of another state and to adopt, approve or amend the terms of the its own trusteeships or those of other states:

    Article 81

    The trusteeship agreement shall in each case include the terms under which the trust territory will be administered and designate the authority which will exercise the administration of the trust territory. Such authority, hereinafter called the administering authority, may be one or more states or the Organization itself.

    Article 85

    1. The functions of the United Nations with regard to trusteeship agreements for all areas not designated as strategic, including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship agreements and of their alteration or amendment, shall be exercised by the General Assembly.

    2. The Trusteeship Council, operating under the authority of the General Assembly, shall assist the General Assembly in carrying out these functions.

    In ICJ President Taslim Olawale Elias wrote:

    Article 18(2) lists a number of “important questions” on which “decisions” of the General Assembly “shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting.” Among such questions are recommendations regarding the maintenance of international peace and security, the election of the non-permanent members of the Security Council and of the Economic and Social Council and of the Trusteeship Council, the admission of new Members, the suspension of the rights and privileges of membership, the expulsion of Members, questions relating to the operation of the trusteeship system, and budgetary questions. Decisions on all other
    questions “shall be made by a majority of the members present and voting.” Article 10 provides that the General Assembly “may discuss any questions or any matters within the scope of the present Charter” and may make “recommendations” to UN members or to the Security Council or to both. It is in the light of these that Hans Kelsen has observed that “there is hardly any international matter which the General Assembly is not competent to discuss and on which it is not competent to make recommendations.”

    The perennial question has been: What legal effects have the General Assembly resolutions? On the correct answer to this question must surely depend our assessment of the value of those resolutions in the development of modern international law. It seems clear that, as far as General Assembly recommendations in respect of the nine specifically enumerated matters in Article 18(2) are concerned, its “decisions” in the form of “recommendations” are binding upon all concerned once they have been adopted by a two-thirds majority. As regards all other matters within the competence of the Assembly, a simple majority is all that is required by Article 18(3) of the Charter. And, yet, despite these apparently clear provisions, problems have arisen in connection with their interpretation.

    — Africa and the Development of International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1988, pages 69 & 70 http://books.google.com/books?id=0dol1fMSM-AC&lpg=PA69&ots=uUzuEh7kV2&pg=PA69#v=onepage&q&f=false

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