Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Dominant Interest of American Jewish Citizens in Palestine in...1940

It seems that we Jewish Americans at the time were known as "American settlers".

In 1940.

As per a telegram of May 20, 1940 that deals with evacuating American citizens from Mandate Palestine from the Consul General at Jerusalem to the Secretary of State, which, in part, reads:

...the estimated 8,000-odd American citizens in Palestine present a very special problem.
Almost 90 percent are Jews, of whom at least two-thirds are naturalized citizens. They have been admitted to Palestine under immigration schedules on visas authorizing permanent residence. For the most part ardent Zionists, their dominant interest is Jewish settlement and realization of the National Home ideal. Their first and preeminent loyalty is to that ideal and its concomitant concept of Jewish statehood in their lifetime.
It follows that retention of American citizenship by these settlers is in many cases primarily a matter of not wanting to burn one’s bridges. Few only among them, I believe, will want to leave Palestine even in the event of Italy entering the war and consequent hostilities in the Mediterranean. To these relatively few, of whom I anticipate most will apply to me for advice, I propose to communicate the pertinent substance of the telegram under reference and to extend all possible assistance in obtaining transportation.
Other American residents include several hundred naturalized citizens of Palestine, Arab origin, against at least a majority of whom presumption of expatriation due to protracted residence abroad has arisen. They are for the most part safely situated in scattered inland villages. If desirous of returning at this time, they may be counted on to consult my office. Its advice and assistance will be freely given.

And on July 20, 1940 we read:

As to the general problem of evacuating American Jews from Haifa, and possibly Tel Aviv, I early suggested to Jewish-American leaders that these communities would do well to consider, through their local organizations, the question of how their position might be affected by a possible spread of hostilities to the Eastern Mediterranean...I arranged for the formation of a small committee of three representative Americans with whom the Consulate General might consult informally regarding any emergency which might arise. Its members were:

Dr. J. L. Magnes, President of the Hebrew UniversityDr. Totah, Director of the American Friends’ SchoolsMr. A. L. Miller, Director of the Jerusalem Y. M. C. A.

Subsequently, and largely on Dr. Magnes’ recommendation, we decided it would be advisable to form a special subcommittee of leading American Jews to consider the problems especially affecting resident citizens of that faith. Such a committee finally met with me on June 26. Its members were:

Dr. J. L. Magnes, as ChairmanMr. J. Simon, President of the Palestine Economic CorporationDr. I. Kligler, of the Hadassah Medical OrganizationMr. H. Viteles, of the Central Bank of CooperativesMr. H. Margalith, head of the Jerusalem branch of the American-Jewish Association of Palestine.

...In conclusion and to recapitulate the major points made in the present despatch and its enclosures:
1) Some 250 resident citizens have left Palestine since receipt of the Department’s telegram of May 16 advising Americans to return to the United States; and an approximately equal number are known to wish to leave and to possess funds more or less sufficient for the purpose;

2) There remain in the country some 7,000 citizens (roughly 6,500 Jews, 400 Arabs and 100 others) against at least 3,000 of whom presumption of expatriation is believed to have arisen; 

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