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Post Israel And Jewish Community After World War II

Until the mid-1900's, when Israel became a state, it was inhabited mostly by Arabs. Israel became a state in 1948, but the movement to create a Jewish homeland, called Zionism, started in the 1890's. One of the trailblazers on this subject was Chaim Weizmann, a Russian-born chemist and Zionist leader, who in 1949 became the first president of modern Israel. Weizmann was a key factor in getting the Balfour Declaration signed by the British. The Balfour Declaration was a letter issued in 1917, during World War I, by foreign secretary and British statesman Arthur James Balfour. The letter expressed Britain's approval of Zionism and also that the British government would make the" best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." As an indirect result of the Balfour Declaration, Israel was established as "an independent state" in 1948.(1) 1. Arthur Hertzberg, "Israel and American Jewry," Commentary (August 1967), 69.

In this paper I would like to observe the issue of Israel formation and what problems it caused for people in this land. In 1920, the League of Nations, which later gave rise the United Nations, declared Palestine a mandated territory of Great Britain, and gave the British the responsibility of keeping order between the Jews and the Arabs, whose relationship had become increasingly hostile. Also, the mandate said that Britain was to help in making a national homeland for Palestinian Jews. Many Zionists viewed the mandate as helpful to their cause, but Britain, fearful of the hostile Arab population, proposed limits on the number of Jewish immigrants allowed to enter Palestine. These limits were not enforced, but they helped to alleviate the pressure being put on the British by Arab inhabitants of Palestine.

The mandate period lasted until 1948 and during that period the Jewish population in Palestine increased tenfold. During the mandate uprisings were common and led to two major revolts, one by the Arabs, the other led by the Zionists. As Jewish immigration to Palestine increased, so did the Arab opposition to Zionism and British rule. Several uprisings occurred and they culminated in a general Arab revolt which lasted from 1936 to 1939 and was finally quieted by British troops on the night before World War II (2).

About 6 million Jews were killed by German Nazis during World War II. Zionists soon realized that the need for a Jewish homeland was growing and their efforts intensified towards getting one. By the end of WWII most of the Jewish population in Palestine was revolting against British rule. In 1947, after seven years of war and exhausted by the revolts, the British decided to withdraw from Palestine and handed the problems in Palestine over to the United Nations, who on November 29, 1947, agreed to divide Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state (2). Under the plan, Jerusalem was to be put under international control due to its religious and ceremonial values to both Jews and Arabs.

The Jews accepted the idea, however it was not so for the Arabs. They protested against the partition and the protests erupted in to violence which later led to a civil war between the Jews and the Arabs, a theme which has plagued the state of Israel throughout its existence. The British did not get involved, as they wished to leave Palestine by August 1, 1948, the date in the partition plan for the termination of the mandate. As it 2. W. Cohen, Not Free to Desist: The American Jewish Committee, 1906-1966 (Philadelphia, 1972.)became clear that the British were going to leave by May 15, the leaders of the Jews in Palestine decided to form a Jewish state, an idea that was a part of the partition plan. In Tel Aviv, on May 14, 1948, the Provisional State Council, which had formerly been the National Council, proclaimed the "establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called Medinat Yisrael (the State of Israel) to the immigration of Jews from all the countries of their dispersion." Within 24 hours the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded the newly formed country and presented it with the first of many military challenges that it would face.

Israel ended up victorious in the war that lasted some 15 months and claimed the lives of over 6,000 Israelis, about 1% of the country's Jewish population. The war became known as Israel's War of Independence. During the early part of 1949 negotiations were conducted with the UN's help between Israel and its invading countries, except for Iraq which has refused to negotiate with Israel to date. According to the agreements Israel controlled the coastal plain, Galilee and the entire Negev, an area in the south of Israel. Jerusalem was divided, with Israel controlling the western sector, while Jordan controlled the eastern part, which included the Old City.

With the war over, Israel focused its efforts in building the state which it had fought for, for over fifty years. The first job was to form a coherent and cohesive government system. A national election was held on January 25, 1949, and soon after the first Knesset (Parliament) went into session (1). Two of the people that had led Israel to its existence were elected President and Prime Minister. Chaim Weizmann was elected as the country's first President and David Ben-Gurion, who had been head of the Jewish 1. Arthur Hertzberg, "Israel and American Jewry," Commentary (August 1967), 69 Agency was elected as the first Prime Minister. In the first months of independence some 50,000 newcomers entered Israel. By the end of 1951 687,000 people had arrived, mainly Jewish, thus doubling the Jewish population. In about sixty years the State of Israel went from being one man's dream to a reality.

AJC (American Jewish Community) leaders were active Zionists, the majority were opposed to the movement. To be sure, hardly anyone was against helping unfortunate Jews from benighted countries find new homes in Palestine, the ancestral land of the Jewish people. In fact, many leading figures in the early AJC, most notably Jacob Schiff, donated large sums of money for that purpose. But the concept of a Jewish political entity was another matter entirely. In 1918 the Committee announced its support for the Balfour Declaration, in which the British government said it would "look with favor" upon "a national home for the Jewish People" in Palestine. AJC understood that document to mean only that the British government would facilitate the settlement of Jews in Palestine without infringing on the rights of the Arabs and would encourage the development of Jewish cultural life there.

Jewish sovereignty, whether in its minimalist form as a state for Jews who wanted to live there or, in its more radical version, as the culmination of a complete "ingathering of the exiles" and liquidation of the Diaspora, was anathema. Many in AJC were conditioned by the theology of Classical Reform Judaism to deny a national or ethnic dimension to Judaism and to define their religion solely in terms of universalistic monotheism and prophetic ethics. On practical grounds they feared that Jewish nationalism threatened the status of Jews all over the world since anti-Semites would be able to argue that the Jews' allegiance was to a Jewish state, not to their countries of residence. Furthermore, Zionism, like socialism and anarchism, was an ideology commonly associated with the eastern European Jewish immigrants, and it reflected their dangerous radicalism. The Committee's antipathy toward political Zionism became increasingly associated with the organization's elitist identity. After World War I American Zionists and others among the eastern European community criticized AJC for being a self-appointed aristocracy. With the announced aim of bringing democracy to Jewish life, they initiated a movement for an elected "Congress" that would represent the rank and file of American Jews. AJC fought hard against the imposition of such a "democracy" that, it feared, would recklessly endanger American Jewry by foisting Zionism on it.

Despite the Committee's non-Zionism, its sympathy for Jewish settlement in Palestine, as expressed in its approval for the Balfour Declaration, provided a basis for cooperation with the Zionist movement on practical projects for building up the economy of Jewish Palestine. Thus in 1929, on the initiative of its president, Louis Marshall, the AJC agreed to join with the Zionists in a reconstituted Jewish Agency for Palestine; Zionists and non-Zionists would have equal representation (3). Thirteen years later, under the emergency situation created by World War II, the AJC leadership went even further, working out an agreement with the Zionists to back the creation of an "autonomous Jewish commonwealth" in Palestine if the Zionists, in turn, would drop their previous insistence on nurturing Jewish nationalism in the Diaspora. But anti-Zionist elements within the Committee scuttled this proposal.

More than anything else it was the Committee's resignation from the American 3. Tom Segev, the Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust (New York, 1993) Jewish Conference in 1943 that branded it for years thereafter -- in some circles, even today--as inimical to Zionism. The Conference, an ad hoc body organized to coordinate postwar planning, endorsed the Zionist demand for a Jewish state in Palestine. In doing so it reflected the emerging consensus of American Jews, who, shocked by the horrors of the Holocaust which were just beginning to come to their attention, had determined that a sovereign Jewish state was needed to provide a haven for the survivors and some assurance that there was one spot on the globe--their own country--where Jews would not have to confront anti-Semitism.

However the American Jewish Committee, insisting that a Jewish state was no panacea, and determined once again to combat the notion that majorities could impose decisions in American Jewish life, walked out of the Conference. Not only did this decision evoke denunciations from other sectors of the community, it also precipitated the resignation of the Committee's remaining Zionists, some 10 percent of its membership (). The AJC adjusted with the times. Motivated primarily by the plight of homeless Holocaust survivors after the war, the AJC gradually moved from a position of advocating the admission of Jewish refugees into Palestine to support for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, especially once it saw the inevitability of American endorsement of the plan. But this about-face led to a new series of defections from the organization as die-hard anti-Zionists in the Committee joined the American Council for Judaism (ACJ), founded In 1942 on the proposition that Judaism and Jewish nationalism were incompatible.(4) 4. Thomas A. Kolsky, Jews against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, 194.2-194 8 (Philadelphia, 1990). Federal Republic of Germany, largely conducted by AJC President Jacob Blaustein,

With the establishment of the State of Israel, AJC fully accepted the new reality and mobilized diplomatic and economic backing for the fledgling nation. AJC influence with administration officials was instrumental in securing U.S. government loans and grants- in -aid for Israel which, by 1963, totaled some $879 million. Negotiations with the secured for Israel about $773 million in reparations. Also, AJC contacts with the State Department and with foreign diplomats ensured that Iran and Iraq allowed Jews to leave for Israel. Blaustein, no longer AJC president and acting in a private capacity, played a role in the U.S. decision to begin supplying arms to Israel during the Kennedy administration.(5) Israel publicly acknowledged AJC help. Abba eban, who developed close relations with AJC during his years as Israel's ambassador to the UN, told the Committee: "No one will ever forget how you stood in vigilant brotherhood at the cradle of our emergent statehood; and how you helped lay the foundations of our international status and of our crucial friendship with the Government and people of the American Republic."(5)

Nevertheless practical support did not imply acceptance of Zionist ideology. Both to underline its consistent insistence that American Jews' sole political allegiance was to the U.S. and to refute American Council for Judaism charges that the AJC had capitulated to Jewish nationalism, Committee leaders--most vocally Jacob Blaustein-insisted that Israel explicitly renounce any claim to speak on behalf of anyone other than its own citizens. The result was the Blaustein-Ben-Gurion Agreement of 1950. Reaffirmed several times in subsequent years, this statement deflected the charge of dual loyalty by 5. Harman Interview, 19-20, Jacob Blaustein Collection, AJC Oral History Library (OHL), New York Public Library. 6. Proceedings of the Fifty-Second Annual Meeting of the American Jewish Committee, 84. declaring, in the name of the AJC and the Israeli prime minister, that American Jews "owe no political allegiance to Israel." After many twists and turns, and largely under the pressure of events, the AJC had made its peace with the existence of a Jewish state but not with its Zionist ideological underpinning.

In the two decades after its founding Israel was of minimal interest to the AJC. For one thing the organization tended to focus on domestic issues. As one long-time staff member, hired in 1966, recalled, "it was very much of a civil rights agency" when he came on board. There was even talk of removing "Jewish" from the organization's name and calling it the Institute for Human Relations.(7) On the assumption that Jewish rights were safest when the rights of all were protected, AJC after World War II broadened its interests from fighting anti-Semitism to promoting interreligious and interethnic understanding and supporting equal rights for blacks. On the assumption that "science" might offer a cure for bigotry, the Committee funded scholarly analyses of the psychodynamics of prejudice. In the international arena the AJC was prominently identified with the cause of human rights. It also used its influence to aid Jewish communities threatened by anti-Semitism--primarily in Latin America and the Middle east--and, regarding what went on behind the Iron Curtain, where direct intervention was not possible, the Committee published pathbreaking research that exposed communist anti-Semitism. In the early 1960s the AJC gave high priority to securing a favorable statement on Catholic- Jewish relations from the Second Vatican Council. And around the same time signs of an erosion of Jewishness among younger Jews led some in AJC to 7. Eugene DuBow Interview, 1/38, 42-3, AJC OHL express interest in studying the dynamics of Jewish identity and possibly developing forms of Jewish expression that might appeal to an American-born generation that had no memory of immigrant life or personal contact with anti-Semitism. In the constellation of major American Jewish organizations, AJC was distinguished for its scholarly tone, its programmatic moderation, and the priority it gave to the successful integration of Jews into the American mainstream.

There was almost no AJC interest in Israel. AJC annual meetings before 1967 occasionally discussed Israel -related issues-- the Arab economic boycott, worrisome arms sales to Arab states, and, of course, the Suez War of 1956--but these matters were clearly tangential to the interests of most members. AJC annual reports usually included the Middle east way down on a list of "Overseas Concerns." The annual addresses of executive vice president John Slawson and of AJC presidents rarely discussed Israel in any substantive way. The priorities of the agency were expressed accurately in a memo from the AJC program director. Rejecting a piece on Israel for the front page of the September 1966 AJC Newsletter, he explained: "I'm not clear as to what qualifies it as a lead article after a summer of Argentina, race riots, burgeoning consciousness of Jewish identity, a Congress in session, and a growing rightwing extremism."(8)

Only a small group of top AJC leaders drew closer to Israel during these years. These were the officers and board members who went on AJC missions to the Jewish state beginning in 1949. The official reports of these missions, concerned primarily with policy issues, convey little of the emotional impact Israel had on the visitors. An Israeli 8. Nathan Perlmutter to George Salomon, September 8, 1966, AJC Archives, JSX/66/ Israel. who witnessed the arrival of the first AJC group recalled, "they were so excited, these anti-Zionists." Irving Engel, chairman of the AJC executive committee from 1949 to 1954 and president from 1954 to 1959, described all of the missions as "thrilling."(8)

But the effects of the visits to Israel were purely personal and did not trickle down to the rest of the organization. Significantly, chapter leaders were not included on these missions till 1965. The meager interest in Israel at AJC's national headquarters was even weaker at the grassroots level. One of the founders of the Dallas chapter later remembered that the members "had a nothing feeling" about Israel. "Nobody knew much, nobody was interested," recalled the professional who ran AJC's Westchester chapter at the time: I remember once, I think it must have been in the winter of '66-'67, one of the meetings that I arranged for AJC. It was a Sunday night Westchester chapter meeting. Got the assistant consul general of the Israeli Consulate to come to give a speech. I mean we had no turnout. Nobody cared. Such apathy toward Israel in Westchester, a suburb of New York City and surely one of the most jadishly sophisticated and internationally oriented AJC chapters, spoke volumes about the situation in other communities. AJC actions in the wake of Israel's Sinai campaign of 1956, though apparent exceptions to the overall pattern of distancing from Israel actually fit right in. As defenders of the Jewish state, AJC leaders intervened energetically in the highest circles of the American government to minimize the diplomatic damage to Israel from its invasion of Egypt. But, as historian Naomi Cohen notes, AJC's involvement was not 8. Nathan Perlmutter to George Salomon, September 8, 1966, AJC Archives, JSX/66/ Israel based on any strategic vision of Israel's role in the Middle east or even on any legitimate security concerns of the Jewish state. Rather, AJC was motivated by embarrassment at Israel's surprise move and the "grave public relations issue" it created. Thus "the Committee worked to convince Israel to renounce any expansionist aims, and, at the same time, to prevent the United Nations, prompted by American initiative, from imposing sanctions upon Israel." Confirmation for the AJC view that the reckless Israelis had gotten themselves into hot water and needed the AJC to save them came from UN Ambassador Abba ebon: saying that he had been given no advance warning that his nation was about to invade, ebon came to the AJC and requested help in dealing with the American administration.(9) It was natural for AJC to see itself as the level-headed patron and Israel as the headstrong dependent, a relationship that uncannily mirrored that between AJC and the newly arrived Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe decades earlier.

Indeed, even after 1956 there persisted in the minds of many veteran AJCers remnants of pre-1948 uneasiness about a state claiming to be the Jewish national home. Such feelings sometimes came to the surface. Jacob Blaustein, the AJC president who negotiated the agreement with David Ben-Gurion that denied any Israeli claim to the political allegiance of American Jews, was ever on the alert for Israeli "violations" of the accord, such as calls for American Jews to immigrate to Israel, Israeli attempts to speak in the name of Diaspora communities, or statements implying that American Zionists were more representative of American Jewry than non-Zionists. even positive AJC statements about Israel sometimes sent a mixed message. Speaking at the 1958 annual 9. Cohen, Not Free to Desist, 323-4; Irving M. Engel Interview, 2/16, AJC OH. meeting, President Irving Engel stated that "Israel was the world's answer to the Romanov czars and their pogroms, to Adolf Hitler and his Auschwitz" but went on to complain that Israel did not separate church and state, subordinated its Arab population, and discriminated against non-Jews through the Law of Return. At the next annual meeting, with Israel's UN Ambassador Abba ebon sitting on the dais, Engel called Israel "a merciful haven for the many Jews who need or wish to go there. But one word of caution: we do not see exodus to Israel as the answer for those Jews--and they constitute a majority--who are seeking equality and a secure future elsewhere."(9) When Israeli agents kidnapped Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960 and Israel prepared to put him on trial, AJC leaders sought privately to convince Prime Minister Ben-Gurion to allow a trial by an international tribunal, both to head off potential anti-Semitic charges that Jews believe in "eye-for-an-eye" justice and to emphasize to all the world that Israel had no mandate to speak for world Jewry. Only when it became evident that Ben-Gurion would not budge did the AJC publicly defend the trial in Israel on the ground that "if Eichmann were not tried in Israel, he probably would not be tried at all."(9)

Ambivalence about the Jewish state was understandable. AJC leaders who grew up in the early part of the century could hardly be expected to shed their conceptions of American Jewish identity or their notions of what constituted a proper pluralistic democracy just because the State of Israel had become a fait accomplish. These men had struggled to make it in a prewar American society rife with anti-Semitism, and they had succeeded without renouncing their Jewishness. Accepting the historical necessity, and Cohen, Not Free to Desist, 323-4; Irving M. Engel Interview, 2/16, AJC OH. Therefore the legitimacy, of a Jewish state, they could not affirm that such a state, thousands of miles away and one which, unlike the U.S., gave preferential status to one religion-ethnic group, had any Jewish implications for them.

Two AJC presidents--Irving Engel (born 1891, AJC president 1954-9) and Morris Abram (born 1918, AJC president 1964-8)--have recounted the great difficulty they had in adjusting to a postwar world with a sovereign Jewish nation in the Middle East. Both were successful lawyers who grew up in the South, where Jewish identity was universally understood in religious terms and "Jewish nationalism" was an oxymoron. By his own account, Irving Engel before 1948 "was opposed to the creation of a new state for the Jews," a feeling reinforced by World War II, which convinced him "that nationalism, whatever purpose it had served in previous history, had become a scourge to humanity; and I just assumed that after the world saw what destruction and suffering had been caused by nationalism during the Hitler period, there would be a lessening of nationalism after the war." Only when he saw that nationalism was still "rampant all over the world" even after Hitler's defeat did Engel "become convinced, as the other leaders of the American Jewish Committee did . . . that there was no reason why the Jews should be denied nationalism when all other people had it, and that there should be some place on this earth where a Jew in distress could come without having to get permission from somebody else."(10) A Jewish state, then, was justified for lack of any alternative.

Morris Abram was a prominent advocate of racial Justice, and his ascension to the AJC presidency in 1964 reaffirmed the organization's liberal political stance. Abram recalled growing up in Georgia: "I was very anti-Zionist, God, I was anti-Zionist." He 10. Irving M. Engel Interview, 3/3-4, AJC OHL. & American Jewish Year Book, 1955, 631.considered Zionists "nuts who were going to interfere with this sweet and easy flow of amity between Jewish Americans and other Americans by creating a state which was bound to create dual loyalties and which was bound to create all kinds of questions in the minds of people who otherwise were very sensible and had agreed to a peaceful coexistence with Jews in this country." Abram remembered "making many, many anti-Zionist speeches; you couldn't tell the difference between me and the leading members of the American Council for Judaism in those days." Only when Abram learned firsthand about the Holocaust while serving on the prosecution team at the Nuremberg Trials did he recognize the need for a Jewish state. And even in 1963, when he joined AJC, Abram could not bring himself to use the term "Jewish people," referring to himself as "a Jew and an American-period."(10) Events would soon lead him to alter that self-definition.

For all of AJC's lack of interest in, and lingering ambivalence toward Israel, it had to face the reality that its orientation to the Jewish state would help determine the agency's success or failure as a force on the American Jewish scene. In January 1954 President Engel described the Committee as situated at the center between "ideological extremists--some Zionist leaders at one end, and some Council for Judaism members at the other."(10) But choices had to be made. On the one hand, the Council, which had not gone out of business with the establishment of the State of Israel, kept up a withering attack on the AJC for abandoning anti-nationalist principles in 1948 and sought to recruit members from the AJC's traditional base of support--wealthy and highly Americanized Reform Jews. On the other hand, any AJC attempt to soften its elite image and broaden 10. Irving M. Engel Interview, 3/3-4, AJC OHL. & American Jewish Year Book, 1955, 631.its base--that is, to make AJC more of a mainstream Jewish organization--required a more positive approach toward Zionism and Israel to counterbalance the memory of pre-1948 AJC policies.

Though drastically weakened by the success of Zionism in establishing a Jewish state, the American Council for Judaism--led till 1955 by former AJC executive committee member Lessing Rosenwald--repeatedly criticized AJC for ideological inconsistency. If the Committee still opposed Jewish nationalism, as it claimed, why did it use its influence in high places to support a Middle eastern nation that not only called itself a "Jewish State" but flagrantly discriminated against non-Jews? The ACJ pounced on every example of Israeli backsliding from Ben-Gurion's 1950 agreement with Blaustein to urge the AJC to repudiate Israel. And in the hope that the AJC might return to its pristine opposition to Zionism, the Council periodically sent out feelers about the possibility of an organizational merger.

Distancing itself from the American Council for Judaism, then, was only one part of a broad AJC strategy in the early 1960s to reposition the organization closer to the American Jewish mainstream by placing greater emphasis on Israel. Several positive steps were taken. In 1961 John Slawson handpicked Theodore Tannenwald to chair the organization's Israel Committee precisely because, unlike the great majority of veteran AJC activists, Tannenwald "had very close relations with several of the top Israeli officials" as a result of his service in the State Department during World War 11. Tannenwald was aware that Slawson's purpose in reaching out to him was "to lose the anti-Zionist hue that the Committee had." At the same time the Committee hired George Gruen, a recent Columbia University Ph.D., as the first staff person in AJC history assigned specifically to Middle Eastern affairs. That Gruen was a traditionally observant Jew also signaled a broadening of AJC's vision of the Jewish community. The most significant initiative in revising AJC's image was the establishment in November 1961 of an Israel office in Tel Aviv, a decision that grew out of AJC's leadership missions to Israel. Since such an office was a radical departure for the AJC, which had been so indifferent to Zionism for so long, it was originally financed off budget on an experimental basis. In 1965 the Board of Governors voted to include the office in the regular budget; as one board member explained, this was vital "in terms of AJC's image in certain segments of American Jewry who still think of us as anti-Zionist, or, at best, neutral with respect to the future of Israel."(11) But in the history of organizations, even significant shifts can carry over old assumptions. In setting up the Israel office, AJC remained bound to its traditional discomfort with Zionism and its paternalism toward Israelis: The AJC-IsraeI link was explained as an opportunity to teach the Jewish state how to run a civilized democracy.

Announcing the plan to open the office, Alan Stroock, chairman of the Israel Committee in 1960, noted that some Israeli actions embarrassed the AJC and that the elimination of "anti-democratic practices and attitudes" in Israel would make it easier for the AJC "to invoke principles of human rights and practices in our country and abroad." Specifically, the projected AJC office would preach separation of church and state, rights for the Arab minority, and the inadmissibility of Israel speaking for Jews outside its borders. There was not the slightest suggestion that the State of Israel had anything to teach American Jewry, let alone the American Jewish Committee. Establishing the office (10.) 10. Irving M. Engel Interview, 3/3-4, AJC OHL. American Jewish Year Book, 1955, Israel was not a "changed" policy for AJC but an "expanded program." The insistence that AJC had not shifted course on Zionism, as well as the self-congratulatory Americanism and condescension toward Israel evident in the process of setting up an office there, reflected common AJC attitudes.

In 1964 AJC produced a 70-page pamphlet on the same theme, In Vigilant Brotherhood: The American Jewish Committee's Relationship to Palestine and Israel. In some detail this publication reiterated the Committee's support for Israel, its friendliness for, though separation from, Zionism, its insistence on the legitimacy of the American Jewish community, and its concern about aspects of Israeli life that it considered less than fully democratic. The title "In Vigilant Brotherhood" was taken from the glowing description of the AJC's relationship with Israel enunciated by Abba ebon at the 1959 annual meeting, and a larger quotation from the ebon speech was printed on the inside front cover. It will prove helpful to you in clarifying to others the role of the American Jewish Committee in the development of the Jewish community in Palestine and the creation of the independent State of Israel. As you well know, these are subjects about which some unfortunate popular misconceptions still exist.(11) In was in 1896 when Theodore Herzl published a book titled The Jewish State, which analyzed the causes of anti-Semitism and proposed its cure-the formation of a Jewish State. He proposed it to be a state where Jews from all over the world could unite if persecuted elsewhere. Now Israel is the place that Herzl hoped it could be. Yes, it is still plagued by its Arab neighbors, and has had wars, but like always Israel prevails as they hope it will in the next millennium and beyond. Over four thousand years ago God (11.) Morris B. Abram to Members of the Board of Delegates, September I, 1964, AJC Archives, JSX 64/Israel/"In Vigilant Brotherhood." promised a man who had a vision that his descendants would have a land of their own
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