867N.01/2217: Telegram

The Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Beirut (Wadsworth) to the Secretary of State

43. See my 36, February 18, 4 p.m. Foreign Minister49 has handed me note dated February 26 expressing attitude of Lebanese Government toward pro-Zionist resolutions currently before American Congress. Its principal points are:

Palestine is an Arab country whose fate vitally concerns Lebanon; adoption of proposed measures would have serious consequences, including racial repercussions throughout Arab world; such measures would be directly opposed to democratic ideals because disinheriting a whole people and reducing it to state of servitude; and measures would too be opposed to principles of justice and would undermine Atlantic Charter.

Minister handed me also copy of telegram to be sent to Congress by officers of Lebanese Parliament, stressing first and last of above arguments and urging withholding approval of resolutions before American public opinion is apprised of rights of Arabs.

Minister then elaborated on his note substantially as follows:

We Lebanese too have interest in common Holy Land and are not fanatical. Our Jews are well treated and contented non-Zionists. Our Christians, looking to Atlantic Charter, do not fear domination of Moslem Arabs.

However, we all fear Zionism as a problem of colonization because of its supporters’ money, organization, influence and numbers. To us it is matter of self-defense. We beg America, while aiding persecuted Jews, to refrain from support of political Zionism.

Finally, in course of informal discussion during which I quoted substance of Department’s 318 February 16, 9 p.m. to Cairo,50 Minister voiced strictly personal view that political settlement of Palestine problem could be based on following elements of solution:

Promise of half our declaration has been fulfilled, a full-fledged Jewish National Home having been established in Palestine; all reasonable future development of that home can be assured by delimitation on [sic] under great powers’ guarantee of Jewish canton or cantons on coastal plain and inland from Haifa where cultural Zionism rooted in Jewish institutions and fostered by Jewish administration could flourish; and spiritual interests of Christians and Moslems, as well as of Jews, would be effectively served by establishment of “a [Page 579] small zone of the holy places centered on Jerusalem” under international administration.

Repeated to Baghdad, Jerusalem, Jidda and Cairo.

  1. Selim Tacla.
  2. See footnote 21, p. 566.