FDR, the Saudis, and the Jews

(Jerusalem Post) Rafael Medoff - On February 14, 1945, on the deck of the USS Quincy in Egypt, President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia. U.S. ambassador to Riyadh William Eddy wrote down the two leaders' remarks in a "Memorandum of Conversation," which both leaders signed. Ibn Saud said he opposed "continued Jewish immigration and the purchase of land [in Palestine] by the Jews." The king insisted that "the Arabs and the Jews could never cooperate, neither in Palestine, nor in any other country." Roosevelt "replied that he wished to assure his majesty that he would do nothing to assist the Jews against the Arabs and would make no move hostile to the Arab people." Roosevelt asked Ibn Saud for his view of "the problem of Jewish refugees driven from their homes in Europe." The king asserted that the Jews should be "given living space in the Axis countries which oppressed them." In response, "The president remarked that Poland might be considered a case in point. The Germans appear to have killed three million Polish Jews, by which count there should be space in Poland for the resettlement of many homeless Jews." The writer is director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies in Washington.

2020-04-10 00:00:00

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