867N.01/2–145: Telegram

The Minister in Saudi Arabia (Eddy) to the Secretary of State 23

45. King Abdul Aziz made following startling statement yesterday during audience given to officers of American Legation, obviously announcing a policy of aggressive leadership in Arab affairs and contradicting British report of his reluctance to raise Palestine issue quoted in Department’s circular telegram January 29, midnight.24

“Two threats to Arab community exist: French oppression of Syria25 and Jewish oppression of Palestine. We count on the Allies to make good their recognition of Syrian independence and to accord Syria the Justice and freedom for which you fight the war. Unless the Allies restrain France, trouble will follow and the Arabs will be obliged to protect Syria themselves.

As to Palestine, America and Britain have a free choice between an Arab land of peace and quiet or a Jewish land drenched in blood. We do not ask for the removal of Jews; those who are there may stay, but there must be no more. We ask no special consideration, only that America settle this Palestinian problem in her native tradition of justice, which Americans insist upon for themselves and their neighbors. If America should choose in favor of the Jews, who are accursed in the Koran as enemies of the Muslims until the end of the world, will indicate to us that America has repudiated her friendship with us and this we should regret. The choice, however, is for America. We have spoken, and it is my wish that these words be reported in full to your Government.”

Details by airgram.26

Repeated to Cairo as No. 22, Jerusalem, Beirut, Baghdad and Caserta. Beirut please repeat to Damascus.

  1. Text transmitted in unnumbered telegram of February 3, 1945, to the Secretary of State, at this time en route to the tripartite conference at Yalta.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For documentation regarding the interest of the United States in the treaty problem which was at this time disturbing relations between France and Syria, see pp. 1034 ff.
  4. Not printed.