Tananbaum, Duane, Drawn to public service

(New York, NY :  Columbia University Libraries,  c2009.)



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which he now feared would be under attack, and "to continue my service to
the community."^'*

Lehman was not a Zionist; he did not support the creation of ajewish
state in Palestine, but he always believed that Palestine should be available as
a refuge for Jews who needed it. In his view. Great Britain had broken both
its promise in the Balfour Declaration to establish in Palestine "a national
home for the Jewish people" and its obligation under the League of Nations
mandate when it had imposed severe limitations on Jewish immigration into
Palestine on the eve of World War 11. After the war, when it was learned
that the Nazis had killed 6 million Jews, and when the United States and
other nations refused to admit substantial numbers of refugees, Lehman
reluctantly concluded that the partition of Palestine into separate Jewish and
Arab states was the only way to ensure a safe haven for Jews. Lehman con¬
ferred with President Truman in early May 1948, hand-delivering a memo¬
randum which the Jewish Agency feared had been buried by the State
Department, and urging the President to recognize the state of Israel that
was about to be proclaimed- A few days later, Lehman heartily congratu¬
lated Truman when he recognized the new Jewish nation. ^'

When Senator Robert Wagner retired because of ill health in 1949,
Herbert Lehman was interested in running for the one year remaining in
Wagner's term. But even though he was about to resume his political career,
Lehman did not hesitate to support Eleanor Roosevelt when Francis
Cardinal Spellman, the head of the Catholic archdiocese of New York,
charged that Mrs. Roosevelt was "anti-Catholic" because of her opposition
to federal aid to parochial schools. Despite the risk of alienating Catholic
voters, Lehman immediately rushed to her defense, releasing a statement
emphasizing his shock at the Cardinal's attack on Mrs. Roosevelt and his
belief that "Americans are entitled freely to express their views on public
questions without being vilified or accused of religious bias." Lehman

'"Lehman tojune
Bingham, November 9,
1946, Lehman Papers,
Special File, Jonathan
and June Bingham.

^^ "Zionists Get Text of
Britain's Pledge," New
York Times, November
14, 1917, p. 3.

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