In November 1947 the U.N., due in large part to the influence of the United States, voted to partition Palestine into two states, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs.
Jewish political leaders in both the U.S. and Israel became aware that the U.S. was considering reversing that decision due to the violence in January and February of 1948. They tried reaching President Truman but he wouldn’t take their calls. In fact, on March 19 the U.S. announced a reversal and they supported having the U.N. govern the area. There would be no Jewish state.
Finally Eddie Jacobsen, Truman’s former business partner, was able to arrange a meeting with Chaim Weizmann, who influenced Truman to support the Jewish state. Would there be a Jewish state if Truman didn’t have a Jewish business partner?
This fact shows the importance of the support of the U.S. and the need for access to those people in government who make decisions.
NORPAC has developed tremendous relationships to help promote the special U.S./Israel
relationship. In the last pre-COVID mission over 1,000 people made the trip to Washington to meet with members of Congress. Members of Congress took notice of the importance these people placed on this issue.
This year only 500 are planning to attend. Perhaps we have become complacent. Israel is strong and the U.S. support will always be there. There is a marked absence of young voices in those 500. Perhaps we have so many priorities that require our attention and we just don’t have the time or bandwidth to sacrifice the day and make the trip. Perhaps we just don’t see it as an important or necessary investment of time or energy. I must admit, in years past as I sat in a congressman’s office with five or six other people, I wondered if it would matter if I wasn’t there. Would one fewer person matter? Well I guess this year 500 people asked themselves that question and decided they weren’t needed.
We all have priorities. We all have personal decisions to make. However, we must understand that just as Congress takes notice when 1,000 people visit, they also take notice when that number drops to 500. As highlighted by Truman’s reversal on March 19, 1948, politicians can change their minds. They also have priorities.David Siegel