Monday, April 16, 2018

Magnes, and the State Department, Continued

I have detailed the nefarious scheme to thwart Israel's independence in 1948 which involved Judah Leib Magnes coming to America in May 1948 and meeting Secretary of State George Marshall and President Harry Truman, in that order. And see the documents here.

I see now that Efraim Karsh has added more information:

the State Department, sensing an opportunity to reap some domestic political benefit, leapt into the fray. “We should abandon our present defensive attitude and take the offensive in a confident and courageous manner,” Loy Henderson, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and African Affairs, wrote to Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett on April 22


Henderson lost no time in transporting to Washington. There he met Marshall on May 4, dutifully assuring the secretary that the administration had needlessly been “too apologetic” in pushing its trusteeship proposals. Instead, Magnes urged, U.S. sanctions were called for: these would stop “the Jewish war machine in Palestine” dead in its tracks and disabuse the country’s “artificial” Jewish community of its dreams of statehood. Impressed by “the most straightforward account on Palestine” he had yet heard, the secretary arranged for his guest to be seen by President Truman.

But what has special interest to me, on the background of the activity of the IfNotNow group saying Kaddish for Gaza Arabs killed as they seek to invade Israel, is this thinking of Henderson:

We must persuade the more moderate Jews in this country to break the hold which a minority of extreme American Zionists now has on American Jewry so that Jewish leaders in this country, instead of continuing to push Palestine Jews into an extremely nationalistic position, will endeavor to impress upon them the importance of assuming a reasonable and moderate attitude with the Arabs.

Nothing has changed in the past 70 years, just has nothing had altered prior to 1948, in 1919, when hundreds of assimilationists, Reform Rabbis and anti-Zionists published their anti-Balfour Declaration in the New York Times, attempting to influence President Woodrow Wilson, a "tradition" carried on throughout the 1930s and 1940s. And it continued and continues: Breira, Open Zion, Jewish Voice for Peace, J Street, etc.



Joe in Australia said...

I don't know if this term reached the Israeli blogosphere yet, but people like Magnes are often referred to as "asaJews" because of their frequent use of the introductory phrase "As a Jew, I deeply deplore ..."

Anyway, here's what Albert Einstein had to say about him, according to a quote on Magnes' biography on Wikipedia:
"[A] failed American rabbi, who, through his dilettantish enterprises had become uncomfortable to his family in America, who very much hoped to dispatch him honorably to some exotic place. This ambitious and weak person surrounded himself with other morally inferior men, who did not allow any decent person to succeed there ... These people managed to poison the atmosphere there totally and to keep the level of the institution low […]"


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