867N.00/630a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Jerusalem (Pinkerton)

105. A Jewish Telegraphic Agency report states that, in an address before a Jewish sport organization on April 4th, Ben-Gurion33 advocated the use of “Jewish might” and “physical power” to defend the Jewish position in Palestine. Please seek the views of the High Commissioner and other British officials regarding the significance and effect of Ben-Gurion’s address and endeavor to ascertain whether this address is symptomatic of a developing attitude on the part of the Jewish community which may affect the general situation in Palestine.

In connection with the general situation not only in Palestine but throughout the Near East the Department is concerned over the statement in your despatch no. 672 of March 15th34 that there is among the Arabs in Palestine “a smouldering resentment of the reported American pro-Jewish attitude”. As you know there are American troops stationed in North Africa and in various countries in the Near Eastern area, where vital military supply lines are located. The Axis propaganda machine unceasingly proclaims to the Arab peoples that American policies and attitudes are inimical to their interests in an effort to arouse hostility toward Americans on the part of the populations of North Africa and the Near East as a means of hindering military operations. Developments in the Near East and attitudes of the peoples of that area, therefore, have a vital bearing upon the security of American troops and supply lines. For this reason you should keep the Department currently and fully informed by telegraph of all developments in Palestine affecting or likely to affect this situation.

  1. David Ben-Gurion, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency at Jerusalem. (See also footnote 5, p. 748.)
  2. Not printed.