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Truman Advised Not to Endorse Partition

(September 12, 1946)

A year before UNSCOP would recommend the partition of Palestine, Zionists such as Rabbi Stephen Wise were lobbying the U.S. government to issue a statement of support for the creation of a Jewish state. Acting Secretary of State William Clayton advises President Truman to make clear the U.S. government “must determine when it is in the interests of the United States to make statements with regard to Palestine” and that now is the time to remain silent. He adds that supporting partition would be contrary to the recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee and Morrison-Grady plan. Clayton says the Arab world is becoming more hostile and references warnings from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He says the Arabs will be especially angry if they learn the U.S. took a position in response to “certain Zionist leaders.” Truman responds that he hopes “it will not be necessary for me to say anything.”