New York Post

TUESDAY, MAY 4, 1948

Two Down, One Up

The Prestige of the U. S. and U. N. Down,
Faith in the Jewish People Up


On Black Friday, when the United States made its about-face on Palestine, it presaged not one tragedy, but three tragedies bound together. The United States would become known as a power greedy for profits and a nation that makes deals with its principles. The United Nations would degenerate into a debating society, powerless to carry through its decisions; an international tribunal that reverses its own judgments even before it tries to implement them; intimidated by the Arab members of the organization.

And the Jewish nation; how could it stand up against this treachery? Decimated in the last few years, would it not crumble under the new turn of events, a deceived nation, abandoned and cheated?

Now, six weeks after the Black Friday, we see two tragic prophecies become realities, but not the third.

If a poll should be taken among the delegates of the United Nations on the question. “Which of the nations of the world at present commands the least respect?” the almost unanimous response would be: The United States of America.

* * *

Mr. Austin took upon himself the most ungratifying task of standing before the nations of the world and uttering words of confusion, often unable to clarify what he meant, and often mute when expected to speak. During the present Assembly session delegates of nations look upon him with pity.

A great name has been lowered, the name of a nation that shortly before had spelled magnanimity, honor, and leadership. If tomorrow the United States would like to rally around itself the nations of the world for some great cause, who will follow? Who could be certain its promises would be kept?

The United Nations, which for more than a year occupied itself with little Palestine, sits impotent, unable to make its will respected, or its decision stand. And if tomorrow one among the nations should defy the will of the United Nations, nothing could be done because a precedent has been created that a decision can be flouted, voting is a paslime, and a resolution is a scrap of paper.

* * *

The President of the United States said that, because of grave peril to world peace, the General Assembly of the U. N. should reconvene to reconsider the Palestine question. Subsequent to this speech, the United States delegate at the Security Council refused to acknowledge that there is a threat to peace in Palestine in order to avoid the application of sanctions and the sending of troops against the violators of the decision of the United Nations.

If ever a mockery was made of international rights, it was here. The United Nations is a decomposing body. If it does not know this, it is because it is dead. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalm 1:1)

The third tragedy; however, has not materialized. Clinging to the earth of their motherland, the boys and girls of Jewish Palestine in a few weeks have become the idols of all who love freedom, respect devotion, and admire courage. The Arabs have not thrown the Jews into the sea, as they predicted. Quite the opposite. They themselves have run away, 60,000 from Haifa alone—in boats and schooners—or surrendered. They ran away from Palestine to neighboring states.

* * *

Other Arabs are coming in their stead from Iraq, from Lebanon from Syria from Trans-Jordan from Saudi Arabia, and from Egypt carrying weapons supplied by the British from the arsenal of the Empire. The British use tanks and field guns and aircraft “to stop the attacks of the Jews.”

But the Jews have not abandoned a single hamlet, though surrounded and attacked by Arab bands, and, in defiance of all the rules of strategy, hold their ground in walled cities, in streets, on beaches, in the hills, and in the deserts. The performance of the Jewish Haganah is the pride and the hope of all decent and humane people in the world.

Might we not have known on that Black day as we pondered the betrayal and its consequences, that the reaction of the Jewish people in Palestine would be an inspiration, that their deeds would sound a clear call like a Liberty Bell ringing in these days of deceit and power politics? Was it not the Jewish people whom the poet had in mind when he wrote:

I am old, I am bent, I am cheated,
But don’t count me among the defeated,
For tomorrow I start again.