The President said: It was one of the proudest moments
of my life at 6:12 P.M.; Friday, May 14, when I announced the recognition
of the new State of Israel by the Government of the United States.
This he wrote a few days ago, in a public message to the Zionist Convention
If President Truman feels that way, he can treat himself
to an even greater moment if he will declare, before the sun goes down
today, that should the war in Palestine be resumed on Friday he will lift
the embargo on arms for the State of Israel. Recognition of Israel is
a pious declaration, the value of which depends upon whether or not the
President takes the next step: Will he lift the blockade clamped down
by the United States on the country invaded by Arab aggressor nations,
or will he not?
The British, who keep vast stores of ammunition in the Middle
East, have already announced that if fighting in Palestine is resumed
they will go on supplying the Arab countries with arms of all descriptions.
This, with the American embargo, and British money subsidies of Arab military
establishments means simply that the aggressors are furnished arms on
free delivery, while the defenders are denied arms even for cash. If this
is the policy the President of the United States is inclined to follow,
then he will lay himself open to the question whether he has acted in
good faith in recognizing Israel.
* * *
He will not be able to avoid the conclusion by all fellow
Americans either that his acts are not sincerely motivated or that his
power in office is restricted by his own subordinates in the Administration
and that he is a weak-willed individual.
In order that his fellow Americans should not be faced with
such a choice, the President should issue a declaration lifting the embargo
on arms to the State of Israel. Such a declaration will have the immediate
effect of deflating Arab arrogance.
The Arab states are arrogant and uncompromising because
they believeand are supported in their belief by members of the
Washington Administrationthat the embargo will not be lifted and
that their status as offenders against peace will not be pressed before
the Security Council. Thus they enjoy a situation in which America supports
Great Britain financially and materially and the British divert this help
to the Arabs. Sanctions are actually imposed, but on the wrong party.
* * *
If the President really desires to help Israel, and yet
allow his subordinates to thwart his will, he cannot escape the accusation
that he is weak. This a President cannot afford to be. President Truman
blasts Congress for acting on a number of occasions as it should not,
but he has no power over the Republican Congress. On the other hand, he
has presumptively full power over his Administration.
Tris Coffin has written in this paper from Washington that
President Truman works like a beaver to straighten out the
Palestinian problem and to defend the new-born State of Israel. Were you,
the reader, the President of the United States for one single day, you
could probably solve this problem that so wears down Mr. Truman. You would
probably write a short note to your Secretary of State giving him a list
of the names of a few gentlemen in his department who should be dismissed.
You would also ask him to lunch that same noon, after that little task
was done. You would not work like a beaver.
* * *
When Joe Louis prepared himself to defend his heavyweight
crown the other night, he was careful to be in such shape that he did
not weigh a pound too much or too little. He would not go into a fight
with a stone tied to his neck. But this is what President Truman is doing.
The millstones around his neck are certain gentlemen in the State and
Defense Depts. They may even want President Truman to fail. Their interests
are associated with oil and with Wall St. It is no secret that traditionally
Wall Street is conservatively Republican. Israel is only a part of the
international problem that has become so vital under Truman. Involved
also is the principle of the defense of justice; the authority and very
existence of the United Nations; and the foreign policy of the United
States, whether it is to be determined by and for the people of America
or by and for the oil concerns and all their beneficiaries.