I wish to speak now upon a subject that has been of
great interest to me as your President. It is the subject of Israel.
Now, this is a most important subject and must not be resolved as a
matter of politics during a political campaign. I have refused consistently
to play politics with that question. I have refused, first, because
it is my responsibility to see that our policy in Israel fits in with
our foreign policy throughout the world; second, it is my desire to
help build in Palestine a strong, prosperous, free, and independent
democratic state. It must be large enough, free enough, and strong enough
to make its people self-supporting and secure.
As President of the United States, back in 1945, I
was the first to call for the immediate opening of Palestine to immigration
to the extent of at least 100,000 persons. The United States, under
my administration, led the way in November 1947, and was responsible
for the resolution of the United Nations setting up Israel, not only
as a homeland, but as a free and independent political state. The United
States was the first to give full and complete recognition to the new
State of Israel in April 1948, and recognition to its provisional government.
I have never changed my position on Palestine or Israel.
As I have previously announced, I have stood--and still stand-on the
present Democratic platform of 1948. The platform of 1944 had provisions
in it under which I have been trying to act. The platform of 1948 reiterates
those positions and goes a little further--and I am glad it did go a
little further. What we need now is to help the people of Israel--and
they have proved themselves worthy of the best traditions of hardy pioneers.
They have created out of the barren desert a modern and efficient state,
with the highest standards of Western civilization. They have demonstrated
that Israel deserves to take its place in the family of nations.
That is our objective. We shall work toward it, but
we will not work toward it in a partisan and political way. I am confident
that that objective will be reached. I know that no American citizen,
of whatever race or religion, would want us to deal with the question
of Palestine on any other basis than the welfare of all Americans of
every race and faith.