Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Off the Moral Road With Byroade

I became aware of Henry A. Byroade, chosen in 1952 by President Harry Truman to be Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, due to Dr. Rafael Medoff's articles (here and here).  Here he is:

So I researched a bit more.

On May 17, 1953, in Lebanon, American State Department officials convened to discuss several matters relating to UNRWA's operations for "Palestinian Refugees".  John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, was present.

Here's an insightful snippet from United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1952-1954. The Near and Middle East (in two parts) (1952-1954) on thre man's thinking:

At another meeting on April 1, 1953, at which time Syrian protests were registered against German reparations being awarded to Israel, Byroade expressed his personal opinion to Syria's ambassador:

Note there the link of a supposed similarity between the situation of Jewish refugees as a result of what Germany did in World War II to the Jews, aka the Holocaust, and the situation of Arabs who were refugees from the Palestine Mandate as a result of them and their allies violating UN decisions and launching a war of eradication and extermination against the Jews of Eretz-Yisrael,  That is an immoral comparison as much as it is historically incorrect but was adopted by a senior State Department official.

That same "balance" was at the root of Prime Minister Menachem Begin's retort to German Chancellor as recorded here:

While visiting Saudi Arabia in April 1981, Schmidt made some unguarded remarks about the Israel-Palestine conflict that succeeded in aggravating the always-delicate relations between Israel and West Germany. Asked by a reporter about the moral aspect of German-Israeli relations, he stated that Israel was not in a position to criticize Germany due to its handling of Palestinians, and "That won't do. And in particular, it won't do for a German living in a divided nation and laying moral claim to the right of self-determination for the German people. One must then recognize the moral claim of the Palestinian people to the right of self-determination." On 3 May, Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin denounced Schmidt as "unprincipled, avaricious, heartless, and lacking in human feeling", and stated that he had "willingly served in the German armies that murdered millions". Begin was also upset over remarks he (Schmidt) had made on West German television the previous week, in which he spoke apologetically about the suffering Germany inflicted on various nations during World War II, but made no mention of the Jews. While flying home from Riyadh, Schmidt told his advisers that war guilt could not continue to affect Germany's foreign relations

And a final (for now) "highlight" of Mr. Byroade, here is part of the transcript of a meeting in Washington on April 8, 1953 with Israel's Foreign Minister Moshe Sharret and Israel's Ambassador to the United States Abba Eban:

Researchers have asserted that

In 1954 he attracted criticism from both Israel and the Arab world for the administration's policy declaration in which he told the Israelis, "You should drop the attitude of a conqueror and the conviction that force is the only policy that your neighbors will understand," and told the Arabs, "You should accept this state of Israel as an accomplished fact."[1] That same year, he referred to Israel's Zionist ideology and its free admission of Jews through the Law of Return as "a legitimate matter of concern both to the Arabs and to the Western countries."[2]

So it seems Mr. Kerry in his speech two weeks ago was simply following in the long and failed, and quite biased tradition of State Department officials, seeking to undercut and weaken Israel with little regard to the facts of history and the morality that need be in international diplomacy.

I may return to Byroade in the future.


One more item, from a 1957 memorandum mentioning his 1954 speech on immigration to Israel:


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