New York Post

SUNDAY, MARCH 28, 1948

The General Surrenders

The Consistent Record of Pro-Arab Policy
by Our Secretary of State


The American Administration—Truman and Marshall—and the United Nations delegate to the United Nations, Austin, have made a serious blunder by proposing at this late date a trusteeship for Palestine.

It would be an appropriate step if it applied to the Arab part of Palestine for which no authority is prepared to take over at the end of the Mandate on May 15, but in the form in which the proposal was presented, it reverses partition itself.

This about-face makes a mockery of the United Nations and of all its deliberations, investigations, reports, and resolutions.

It demonstrates that the United States is not a leader, but a wavering colossus who can be intimidated by bands armed by the British, and at American expense and with American consent. It also proves that the Administration has no idea, even a single hour in advance, what the immediate reaction of the American press and public would be, in itself a sign of ineptness.

* * *

It demonstrates, too, that the Administration is unaware of even the most elementary requirements of fair procedure. If there was a change of mind, the State Dept., instead of taking the Arabs into its confidence, should have consulted rather with the Congress, or the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, the Secretariat of the United Nations, and the Jewish Agency, the possessor of rights acquired by the vote of the General Assembly on Nov. 29 which the State Dept. intends to nullify.

The Administration has shown itself to be wholly ignorant of the influence its act would have on the political situation in Palestine. The Arabs are easily cowed and respect force above all else, but they always try to bully you first.

Their bands, which did not intimidate the Jews, who fought without adequate arms, succeeded in intimidating Gen. Marshall and President Truman. The result? The fight has flared up more intensely, with this difference, that now the Arabs are given the green light to destroy the Jewish community in Palestine, which is a “shabby trick” on the part of America, in the words of the Times editorial of Mar. 21.

* * *

Even before the change of mind the Arab states were not asked to abide by the decision of the United Nations and not allow armed bands to cross the border into Palestine; now they are actually being invited to send these bands to prevent the partitioning of Palestine.

Thus, ineptness in action, breach of faith, ignorance of American public sentiment, disregard of the results of this about-face on the Near Eastern situation, and ignorance of elementary fairness in handling political matters are combined in lone single bundle as never before in any situation in American political history. The result the United States is a laughing stock all around the 360 degrees of the globe.

Why did not Gen. Marshall go to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before announcing the reversal of the United States stand? He might have received some advice on the proper thing to do. Instead, Austin went to the Arabs to inform them of the impending about-face. To make matters worse, not one concession was asked as the price of this surrender, in matters of immigration or anything else.

* * *

The ex-Chief of Staff, who is now Secretary of State, seems also to be completely uninformed of the military strength of the Arabs in the Middle East. Before the First World War all these Arab states constituted an Asiatic province of Turkey, and Turkey was not a strong power.

These countries have made no progress militarily; just the opposite. Turkey, if permitted, could easily subdue them all again. These six or seven Arab states together are weaker than the one democratic ally in Palestine, the Jewish community which has forty thousand men who were trained in Allied armies during the war.

The Arabs are backward, inefficient, analphabetic; that they are treacherous, too, is evidenced by the declaration of war against the Allies by Iraq on May 2, 1941, an episode liquidated by 700 Allied soldiers.

Four years ago, when the war was still going on, Gen. Marshall appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

For several months the Senate had been prepared to pass the Taft-Wagner resolution favoring immigration of Jews to Palestine. The immediate question was the admission of Romanian and Hungarian Jews, since these countries were threatened by German occupation.

At first the State Dept. opposed the passage of the resolution; then President Roosevelt had the State Dept. inform the Senate that it withdrew its opposition.

But in the first days of March, 1944, Gen. George C. Marshall, then Chief of Staff of the Army, appeared before a closed session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and urged rejection of the Palestine resolution that was before both Houses of Congress. The result was that the resolution was shelved and was not brought up at that session of Congress.

* * *

On March 10, 1944, Germany began the military occupation of Hungary. As a first step, Jewish children were separated from their parents and sent to gas chambers in Poland.

President Roosevelt protested, but his protest could not help. Three hundred thousand Jews in Hungary were destroyed, not because the door of Palestine was kept closed to them by the Nazis, but, because it was locked on the inside by the British in default of American demand for its opening as intended by the Taft-Wagner resolution.

After the Jews of Hungary came the turn of the Jews of Romania, who for five years lived with the specter of being captured by the Nazis before them.

Did Gen. Marshall correctly appraise the situation when he sacrificed hundreds of thousands of human lives by allowing them to be trapped? Certainly not. The Arab world is as vociferous as it is impotent. Moreover, in the spring of 1944, the Axis was on the decline and the Arabs had started to shift to the other side of the fence.

On March 24, 1947 General Marshall again went before the Senate foreign Affairs Committee, behind closed, doors. Again he covered himself with the phrase, “national defense demands it” and this despite the obvious fact that national honor forbids it. Must not national honor be safeguarded by national defense, first and foremost?

* * *

To make the picture even more somber, the beneficiary of American retreat, in 1944 as now, is the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem. Before Hungary was occupied by the Nazis on June 28, 1943, the ex-Mufti in Berlin addressed the following letter (in French) to the Foreign Ministers of Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria:

“I beg your Excellency to permit me to draw your distinguished attention to the necessity of preventing these Jews from leaving your country for Palestine, and if there are any reasons which make their withdrawal necessary, “that they be sent to other countries, as for example Poland, where they would find themselves under active surveillance.”

By an irony of history, Gen. Marshall tried to prevent the Hungarian and Romanian Jews from reaching Palestine; this was also the aim of the ex-Mufti in Berlin. Success was complete. Gen. Marshall is a great soldier and has a kind heart. How could it happen that he is so blind to the vital problem, the very survival of a persecuted nation? How could it happen that he makes the same call for the second time and by doing this shepherds the United Nations to humiliation?

The ex-Mufti, instead of hanging from gallows (his file has not yet been made public by the State Department), plays the role of Gen. MacArthur, leaving to President Truman the role of the Mikado. Little wonder the world is shocked by American surrender.