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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Palestine,   pp. 881-922 PDF (15.0 MB)

Page 885

  Mr. Rendel replied that the above rdsume accurately described the
situation except that the report would probably not be in final form
before June 20th. Furthermore, he considered it altogether prob-
able that, for obvious reasons, the Government would be likely to
announce its policy at the same time the report was published rather
than to wait until some later date.
  I said that as he knew we had a large and influential Jewish popu-
lation which was greatly interested, financially and sentimentally,
in the Palestine problem and that, as he could surmise, this popula-
tion was taking a particular interest in the present situation. Mr.
Rendel stated that he was naturally aware of this interest, that the
Jewish population in the United Kingdom was similarly interested.
He hoped that the State Department likewise appreciated the posi-
tion of the British Government which had to consider not only the
interests of the Jews but likewise those of the Arabs. Unfortunately
Palestine was not an empty country to which unlimited numbers of
Jews could be admitted; it was already populated with a consider-
able number of Arabs who had lived in Palestine for some thirteen
hundred years. To turn the country entirely over to the Jews would
be much like asking the present inhabitants of Long Island to with-
draw from their homes in order that another population might move
in. The Arabs were not, as some people appeared to believe, a savage
race like the plains Indians of North America; they were a people
with a certain culture and civilization who could not be treated as
  I said that I was sure that the State Department was fully alive
to this aspect of the situation.
  Mr. Rendel continued that unfortunately previous British Govern-
ments had made promises to the Jews and promises to the Arabs. It
was quite apparent that these promises, which were conflicting, could
not be carried out with respect to both peoples. It was therefore the
logical thing and the fair thing to attempt to find a reasonable com-
promise and a fair compromise between these conflicting promises
and once this settlement had been arrived at to carry it through with-
out fear or favor. He realized that any such solution would raise
cries of protest from both Arabs and Jews but that only by such a
radical solution could the problem be finally settled.
  I said that of course the State Department wished to make it per-
fectly clear that it was not endeavoring in any way even to attempt
to interfere in the administration of Palestine since that was entirely
a British problem. All that the State Department wished to do was
informally to advise the Foreign Office of the interest of a large group
in America in the Palestine problem. I said that I assumed that the
Foreign Office would wish to be informed of that interest and that
it would presumably be taken into consideration at the same time

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