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When Truman and Ben-Gurion took a stand for… terrorism

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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I’m reading an amazing book on the U.S. decision to recognize Israel in ’48 called A Calculated Risk, by the late State Department aide Evan Wilson.The two excerpts below are from the year 1946. The first refers to David Ben-Gurion’s testimony before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry of 1946 (which Wilson served and which deprecated partition of Palestine). The second excerpt describes a diplomatic incident in the summer of 1946. Bear in mind that within three weeks of the second incident, Jewish terrorists blew up the King David Hotel, killing 91 people.

Oh and it goes without saying, but: Substitute Palestinian for Jewish in these excerpts, and then consider what the U.S. position would be.

Ben Gurion refused to be drawn out on the subject of Jewish terrorism, on which he was repeatedly questioned, saying only that it was "futile" for the authorities to try to stamp out the Jewish resistance movement when it commanded the support of the whole Jewish community…. He said that the Jewish Agency [the official representative of Jews in Palestine, which Ben Gurion headed] had nothing to do with the Haganah [Jewish paramilitary force] and that he had no knowledge of who the head of the Haganah was or where its headquarters were…

On June 28 [British Prime Minister Clement] Attlee cabled the President [Harry Truman] informing him that the British had decided to take stern measures to curb Jewish terrorism in Palestine, including the arrest of certain leaders of the Jewish Agency. Attlee added that anything the President might feel able to say in support of the British decision would be welcome. Truman, however, after receiving a group of American Zionist leaders on July 2, issued a statement saying he had not been consulted by the British about this action and expressing the hope that the persons arrested would soon be released.

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

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