Sunday, September 10, 2017

Subversion 1943 (Updated)

Have American State Department officials ever intervened to subvert and sabotage official Israel government policies by either disseminating their views with favorable recommendations rather than just plain information or by intervening and actively suggesting that oppositionists by assisted and even brought to the United States?
Sure. It happened with Judah Magnes* and here is another instance from an internal State Department memo written by the Minister in Egypt, Alexander Kirk, to the Secretary of State Cordell Hull, in Cairo and sent on January 23, 1943:

On the Jewish side in Palestine there are fortunately also certain individuals and groups that increasingly realize the necessity of working out a peaceful solution with the Arabs. Among these are Mrs. Henrietta S. Zold of the Youth Immigration Bureau, Dr. J. L. Magnes, President of Hebrew University, and Mr. Bendashov [Mordechai Bentov, editor Al HaMishmar - YM], leader of one wing of Jewish labor movement, Hashon Mirhatzair [HaShomer HaTzair - YM]. Dr. Magnes has outlined his ideas of a compromise in the current January issue of Foreign Affairs. I suggest that these moderates also be allowed to visit the United States to develop their case. In doing so they would, I believe, gain support of many American Jews who favor additional home for the Jews in Palestine, but who do not favor extreme Zionist position of the Jewish Agency.


...I told Dr. Magnes that this was the most straightforward account on Palestine I had heard, and asked him if he had an appointment to see the President. He replied that he had not but very much hoped it would be possible to call at the White House. I asked McClintock to make arrangements for Dr. Magnes to see the President.

As Dr. Magnes was leaving, he asked permission to direct a very blunt question: “Do you think there is any chance to impose a solution on Palestine?”. I replied that imposition of a regime implied the use of force. It was clear as daylight that other governments were eager to sidestep and leave Uncle Sam in the middle. I did not think it was wise for the United States alone to take the responsibility for military commitments in Palestine but I would be glad to give this matter further thought. (A memorandum of May 5 toy McClintock to Carter indicated that the ribbon copy of this memorandum of conversation, marked “Preliminary Draft”, was sent to Clifford for the President’s information prior to his meeting with Magnes that morning. (501.BB Palestine/5–548. The ribbon copy is in the Truman Papers, President’s Secretary’s File. Magnes’ account of his meeting with the President, as subsequently related to McClintock, is contained in a memorandum by McClintock to Secretary Marshall, May 5 (501.BB Palestine/5–548).

And the memo that preceded this Washington meeting from The Acting Secretary of State to the Consulate General at Jerusalem:

Washington , April 10, 1948—2 p. m.
For Wasson from Henderson. 

Unless you perceive some reason for not so doing it is suggested that you make arrangements at once to see Magnes and give him orally following confidential message from me:

“Gravest danger exists that unless success is achieved in UN efforts to bring about truce and an arrangement whereby interim governmental machinery will be provided for Palestine after May 15 chaotic conditions involving great loss of life and property will prevail in Palestine. At no time has there been a greater need for courageously conciliatory attitude such as yours on part of both Arabs and Jews. If such attitude is to prevail cooperation on part of moderate and conciliatory Arabs and Jews is essential. It is therefore hoped that you either alone or accompanied by such other Jewish leaders as you may consider appropriate will come to US at earliest possible moment.”


And by the way, from an internal 1938 memo:

It should be borne in mind that while Dr. Magnes is admitted, even by those Jewish leaders who differ with him, to be one of the most distinguished intellectuals in American, as well as international Jewry, his outspoken views on the subject of the National Home in Palestine for the Jewish people have for years been a cause of resentment and even bitter attack on the part of extreme Zionists. Dr. Magnes’ thesis is and always has been that there will never be a satisfactory solution of the Palestine problem in the absence of a serious effort in which the Jews should take the leadership to arrive at a settlement through conciliation and compromise with the Arab leaders. He has emphasized that the Jews, by reason of their greater intelligence, and particularly in as much as they are seeking to impose a practically unlimited immigration of Jews into Palestine, contrary to the wishes of the overwhelming mass of the established population there, should take the lead and spare no effort in coming to an early settlement that would be acceptable to the Arabs.

And does this not remind you of Oslo? Negotiating with Arab Higher Committee, the Mufti's organization which parallels the PLO in 1993?

The Consul General at Jerusalem ( Wadsworth ) to the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs ( Murray )
Jerusalem , June 9, 1938

Dear Wallace: Further to the mention made in my letter of May 3143 to the so-called Magnes–Nuri conversation of February 6, last, I am now able to report fully to you personally the substance of a two hours’ conversation I had this morning with Dr. Magnes. He spoke freely but in strict confidence.

The genesis of the matter is to be found in the discussions and final resolution of the Jewish Agency Council meeting held in Switzerland last August following the World Zionist Congress. At this meeting, you will recall, the non-Zionist members, notably the so-called Warburg group, insisted that an effort be made to bring Jews and Arabs together on a solution other than Partition (please see my despatches Nos. 286 and 297 of August 20 and September 3, last44). The final resolution, while empowering the Executive to ascertain the precise terms for the establishment of a Jewish State, approved the convening of a conference to explore the possibilities of settlement “in an undivided Palestine”.

There followed informal Jewish (non-Zionist) efforts, both here and in the United States and in London, to explore the field opened by this resolution. The most successful were those made in London by Mr. Albert Hyamson, formerly Palestine Commissioner for Migration. Speaking for the group of English non-Zionists headed by Lords Samuel and Bearsted, he discussed the problem at length with Colonel S. S. Newcombe, Treasurer of the Arab Information Bureau in London and British representative of the then still-recognized Arab Higher Committee.

The result was the so-called Hyamson–Newcombe draft of a “suggested basis for discussion between Jewish and Arab representatives” dated October 9, 1937. Its text is the first of the three drafts annexed to Dr. Magnes’s letter of February 23, 1938, to Nuri Pasha (sent you as an enclosure to Knabenshue’s letter of March 3).

...On December 15 Dr. Magnes consulted with Bishop Graham-Browne and Dr. Izzat Tannous (leading Christian member of the Mufti’s party), with both of whom earlier conversations had been had, as to the most efficacious method of approaching the Mufti who had meanwhile established himself in Lebanon. It was decided that the Bishop should lay the matter before the Palestine Government. This he did, and the latter, by implication at least, gave the endeavor its blessing by authorizing Dr. Tannous to act as a go-between in arranging that the proposed discussions be held with the Arab (Mufti group) leaders in Beirut.

On December 22, Dr. Tannous having made the necessary arrangements, the Bishop went with him to Beirut. Nothing, however, came of this visit, for on the same day the Palestine press carried the Jewish Agency public denial of Arab-Jewish parleys and statement that the Arab assumption that the Jews would accept permanent minority status “ab initio voids the possibility of negotiations” (please see my Press Review of January 10, 193845). The Mufti, according to Dr. Magnes, “waved these reports in the Bishop’s face” and was “vigorously forthright” in declining to discuss the proposal until assured anew as to the Agency’s bona fides.

This Dr. Tannous was able to do and a meeting was finally set for January 12. It had first been arranged for January 4 but was postponed because of announcement that the British White Paper would be published on that date.

Here I should interpolate that Dr. Magnes assured me he at no time has personally seen or discussed the compromise proposals with the Mufti or with any of the fugitive members of the Arab Higher Committee. The Bishop was his willing intermediary.

Thus, on January 12 the Hyamson–Newcombe draft was for the first time seriously discussed with the Mufti by the Bishop and Dr. Tannous. The result was the Beirut counter-draft of that date, i. e., the second draft enclosed with Knabenshue’s above-mentioned letter to you...

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