ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN DELANO°
- evian conference ) to bring order into the chaos caused by Nazi policy and worldwide immigration restrictions, but he accepted British requests not to discuss Palestine as a haven there or later at the bermuda conference of 1943. During World War II Roosevelt, as the ally of Great Britain which administered Palestine, would not act against British policy there, thus possibly also alienating Arab leaders, on whose neutrality the Allies counted. He unsuccessfully attempted to promote some settlement of the Palestine question favorable to Jews and acceptable to Arab leaders, principally King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia. Later he assured the Arabs that they would be consulted before any decision on Palestine was reached. The President also issued various pro-Zionist statements to American Jews, particularly before the 1944 elections. Roosevelt's response to the Holocaust was similarly cautious, and he used the State Department as a foil against agitation directed toward himself on this subject. In January 1944, after Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. presented conclusive evidence that the State Department was sabotaging rescue efforts, he established the War Refugee Board with special powers to quicken rescue work. However, it came on the scene too late to save the major part of European Jewry. (Henry L. Feingold) His wife was ANNA ELEANOR (1884–1962), U.S. diplomat, humanitarian, and author. She became active in the Democratic Party in the 1920s and remained politically active until her death. A prominent international figure, Mrs. Roosevelt served as U.S. representative to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952 and as a delegate in 1961. In 1946 she was elected chairman of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, serving until 1953. She defended minority groups against discrimination and received numerous awards for her humanitarianism. An outspoken advocate of a Jewish state in Palestine, she opposed the U.S. embargo of arms shipped to Israel during the 1948 War of Independence and urged the U.S. to support Israel during the 1956 Sinai campaign with defensive arms and diplomatically. Mrs. Roosevelt was a patron of youth aliyah . In her India and the Awakening East (1954), she recorded her visit to the Middle East, during which she was impressed with the Israel spirit of dedication and purpose. (Edward L. Greenstein) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: W.E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal 1932–1940 (1963); L. Fuchs, Political Behavior of American Jews (1956); S. Halperin, Political World of American Zionism (1961); idem and I. Oder, in: Review of Politics, 24 (1962), 320–41; A. Morse, While Six Million Died (1968); J.M. Bloom, Roosevelt and Morgenthau (1970); H.L. Feingold, The Politics of Rescue (1970). ANNA ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: New York Times (Nov. 8, 1962), 35ff.; A. Steinberg, Mrs. R.: The Life of Eleanor Roosevelt (1958).
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.
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