The Egyptian Legation to the Department of State 37


The Egyptian Government had the honor of submitting two Aide-Mémoires to the Government of the United States, the first dated January 21, 1943, and the other March 23rd, 1943, on the question of Palestine and its immigration.38 In them it enunciated its point of view as regards this problem, which in turn happens to coincide fully with the views of all the other Arab peoples of the Middle East.

As a result of this démarche on the part of Egypt, she was accorded some satisfaction by the assurances given by the American Government [Page 572] to the Egyptian Minister at Washington in March 1943, when it was stated to him “that the Question of Palestine in general will not be considered and threshed out without the consent of all the parties interested in it.”39

But it appears that a new current of opinion is in course of taking shape in certain Congressional circles of the United States, with the final aim of declaring null and void the White Paper which, while never earning the full approval of the people of Palestine, none the less handled the matter in a way which did not bear down too heavily upon them.

Another movement also seems to be unfurling in America, which, while inciting the passions of the Jews in Palestine, at the same time tends to frustrate the Palestinians in their national sovereignty, and aspirations towards political independence; and this has been doubly intensified by the bombastic utterances and writings of certain Congressmen, whose language was aggressive, intolerant and unfair towards the Arabs; and it is feared that the demand for the abolition of the White Paper will hardly meet any opposition in Congress.

The Zionist problem which has already caused no little amount of trouble and bloodshed, tends by a recrudescence of this fresh fiery attitude, and the encouragement given it, to revive even greater troubles and difficulties, and create conflict not only amongst the Palestinian people themselves, but also amongst the Arab nations who are, at this moment, striving to combine and form a united front.

It is useful to recall, in this connection, that the question of persecuted Jews and that of the Zionist problem are not one and the same thing. While the Arab people, in common with the rest of the world, bitterly condemn the barbarous treatment to which the Jews have been subjected, nevertheless they feel that such oppression should not, under any circumstances, serve as a reason for persecuting, in turn, the people of Palestine, made up of Moslems, Christians and Jews, thus subjecting them to the tender mercies of the Zionists! For neither Palestine, nor the neighbouring Arab people, will accept such a situation with equanimity.

The Egyptian Government, which has never ceased to try to conciliate the various elements, and to bring them nearer towards a common understanding along lines acceptable to all, views with no little apprehension and concern the movement which appears to be gaining force now towards converting Palestine into a Jewish homeland.

It is well to recall that the Arabs never failed to give proof of their amity and friendship towards the United Nations; in fact they have given of their best loyally and unstintedly, spurred on by the idea of [Page 573] creating a system of universal democracy and political justice. And to this political justice the Arabs have as much a claim as other peoples. They have also found in the Atlantic Charter as much satisfaction for the present, as hope for the future. Firmly united, they find in the aggression on one of them aggression on all; and will thus not tolerate politicians and Zionists denying Palestinians the benefits of the Atlantic Charter.

The Egyptian Government would, therefore, like to emphasise once more the danger and gravity of the declarations of the Zionist leaders, who make no secret of their intention to transform Palestine into a purely Jewish State.

Their concealed activities, which find a ready response in America, has had a deplorable effect on both Arab and Moslem public opinion the world over; for this unfortunate propaganda, unhappily, tends to give the Arabs and the Mohammedans the impression that America is supporting the Jews at the expense of the Arabs.

The Egyptian Government, therefore, firmly believes that official and responsible circles in America cannot afford to overlook such a state of affairs, already most irritating in itself as it has proved. For Egypt and the other Arab Peoples are firmly resolved to develop even still further the friendly ties already binding them with the United States and hope nothing can impair them.

Egypt, thus, finds it incumbent upon herself once again to recall the gravity and import of the declarations made by responsible personages, whether in the form of public utterances, or solemn pledges, in favour of the Zionists. The Egyptian Government, accordingly, trusts that the American Government will give the present Aide-Mémoire its fullest consideration and study.

Hence the spirit of the Atlantic Charter, as well as the rising tide of American interests in the Middle East, both call for a reconsideration of the Palestinian Question. In any event no settlement can be arrived at without the concurrence and approval of the party most directly interested of all, namely, the People of Palestine.

  1. Forwarded under cover of a note of February 24 from the Egyptian Minister to the Acting Secretary of State.
  2. The Egyptian Minister’s notes were dated February 2 and March 29, 1943; for texts, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iv, pp. 751 and 766, respectively.
  3. See memorandum by the Under Secretary of State, March 30, 1943, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iv, p. 767.