By Kathleen Christison
For an total view of precisely what occurred, learn a superb first-hand account of a average Palestinian.
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Extra resources for Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy
S. politicians who paid lip service to Zionism is strikingly re- 03-C0422 10/9/01 48 / 1:52 PM Page 48 Franklin Roosevelt vealed by this fact. Anti-Semitism was still alive and healthy throughout the United States even late in the war. But political support for Zionism is the point here. The political mind-set that assumed Palestine to be a Jewish place and ignored Arab rights and the Arab presence there did not require an absence of ethnic prejudice against Jews and, whatever the degree of antiSemitism abroad in the country, Roosevelt’s political support for the Zionist enterprise in Palestine throughout his administration provided vital sustenance to the project and helped hasten the political demise of the Arabs of Palestine.
No Arab bloc of voters inﬂuenced American politicians, no newspapers or books or travelers to Palestine juxtaposed favorable images of Palestine’s Arabs with the increasingly common images of pioneering Zionists in Palestine, and no one ever thought it necessary to take the Palestinian Arabs seriously. 03-C0422 10/9/01 3 1:52 PM Page 45 Franklin Roosevelt Locked In Franklin Roosevelt made no major policy decisions with regard to Palestine, but because he perpetuated what had already become a ﬁrmly set frame of reference at a critical time in the history of Palestine, his tenure was pivotal.
Articles on Palestine in the New York Times averaged just under one a week throughout much of the decade, and, in periods of crisis, coverage was much heavier. In 1922, for instance—a year that saw Britain’s submission to the League of Nations of a draft Mandate for Palestine and, later in the year, Arab strikes and demonstrations in Palestine protesting the Mandate—the Times averaged an article almost every other day. 42 Throughout the decade, the coverage continued to be, as it had been in the early postwar years, favorable to the Zionist program, supportive of British control over Palestine, and either highly disdainful of Arabs and Arab capabilities or prone to ignore them altogether.