'US threatened anti-Semitic incitement in 1948'

According to documents uncovered by historian, Lovett told Zionist leader State Dep't opposed plans to declare Jewish state.

April 27, 2012 03:07
US and Israeli flags

US and Israeli flags 390. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)


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Historian Dr. Rafael Medoff discovered documents showing that the US State Department threatened to incite anti-Semitism in 1948 if the the Zionist leaders proclaimed the State of Israel, a statement released Thursday asserted.

According to the documents,then undersecretary of state Robert Lovett told Zionist official Nahum Goldmann that the Truman administration opposed plans to declare the Jewish state. Lovett reportedly threatened to release a "White Paper" criticizing Zionists, which he said would have "grave repercussions" for Jews as anti-Semitism was mounting.

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Medoff found the documents while researching for his book Herbert Hoover and the Jews: The Origins of the "Jewish Vote" and Bipartisan Support for Israel.

It is "deeply disturbing that the State Department would go to such extremes. Threatening to provoke racial hatred against American citizens should have been beyond the pale," Medoff said.

According to Medoff, Zionist leaders dismissed the threat, partly due to the support they received from leading Republicans, and then US president Harry Truman's concerns that Jewish voters would give them their support if his administration backed the Arabs. 

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