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The Arab Position On Palestine

(November 24, 1948)
By Kermit Roosevelt

This was a lecture given by  Kermit Roosevelt to the National War College in Washington, D.C. near the end of the 1948 War. The grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, he served as the first head of the CIA department responsible for covert action in the Middle East. At the time of this talk he was the secretary of the Committee for Peace and Justice in the Holy Land and a fervent critic of Israel and the Zionists. In 1951, Roosevelt – together with two dozen pro-Arab American educators, theologians and writers – founded an anti-Zionist group called American Friends of the Middle East (AFME) to educate “policymakers, journalists and others as to the Middle Eastern ‘reality’ – which coincided with their political biases.” This was one of the early manifestations of the “Arab lobby.”

In this lecture, and his response to questions, he lays out the Arab case for sovereignty in Palestine and argues the press has not accurately portrayed the conflict, showing bias toward Israel, and that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.

Source: Asaf Romirowsky, “The Early CIA and Its Anti-Zionist Maneuvering,” Jerusalem Post, (February 12, 2015).