Through the indignation that has arisen around the American refusal to support the Palestine partition that question persists. Why, after 30 years of investigations, which have all reported substantially the same thing, does the United States call for more investigations? Why, after she had been the prime mover in the request for partition, does the United States in a little more than five months completely reverse her position?
Why must the displaced European Jews be forced to remain on the continent that has served as their slaughter-house, continually threatened by latent anti-Semtism? Why, after they have built a comparatively modern nation out of a wasteland in one of the outstanding social experiments of our times, must the Palestinian Jews be thwarted, not by their own inadequacies, not by the forces of nature, but by the duplicity of friends?
Americans, hopeful of finding some shred of sense in their Government's action, offer oil as a reason. But although Arab oilmen may make threatening gestures at first, in the long run Arab shrewdness will prevail. They realize that America alone has the price for their oil and they are hungry enough for dollars to sell the precious liquid to the United States. Oil alone is not the answer.
Warren Austin stood in the Security Council and offered peace as the reason. Immediately after his statement the Jews threatened to form a Hebrew State. The Arabs reiterated their determination to destroy it. It is evident that the only way that peace can be maintained in the Holy Land is through the agency of a U.N. force. Without this force warfare is inevitable; with it, partition will be as tranquil as trusteeship or any other proposal. Peace is not the answer.
Strategy in the chess game of power politics has been offered as a reason. But if the move was designed to keep the Russians out of the Middle East it was poorly conceived.
Arab chieftains have a vested interest in an economy which would be likely to prevent any overtures to Russia. On the other hand, however, abandonment by the United States might drive the Jews to seek friendship elsewhere. If strategy is the answer, it is a poor strategy and doomed to failure.
With none of its rationalizations acceptable the action appears all the more senseless in the light of its implications in the larger picture of the total American foreign policy. Palestine held out the chance for the birth of a United Nations police force with Big Five unity attending as midwife. An American move killed that chance. Palestine held out the chance for the United States to back the "third force"--the Democratic-Socialist elements in the Jewish community--and as elsewhere the United States failed that force. Ineptitude, operating within the frame of a bankrupt policy added chaos to the Middle East and once again thwarted any conclusive solution in Palestine.