The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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PARIS, Tuesday —I have been getting a number of cables from the United States suggesting disapproval of Secretary of State George C. Marshall's acceptance of the report submitted by Count Folke Bernadotte, just prior to his assassination, as a basis for negotiation in Palestine.

It seems to me that this report should be accepted. As I understand it, Count Bernadotte, United Nations mediator, only made the suggestions embodied in his report in the hope that they would serve as a basis for negotiation, and while these negotiations were going on he hoped that a truce would be possible which would stop bloodshed and bring about a more peaceful atmosphere in which people might begin to solve together some of their daily difficulties.

It has always been my position that there would be economic unity in the whole area and I have thought from the beginning that the Holy City of Jerusalem should be internationalized.

I can see many things in the proposals made by Count Bernadotte that might easily be objectionable to both the Jews and the Arabs. But those are things that they must negotiate on. The situation of Arab refugees, Count Bernadotte suggested long ago, must be ameliorated because he could not see how a truce could exist with such large numbers of people without food or shelter or clothing with winter coming on. The only foreseeable future one could see was death for a great number of these unfortunates.

There is probably in the Arab areas today a good deal of suffering among the Jews also. And there are probably concentration camps, for instance, which undoubtedly must form part of any negotiation even on the question of relief in both areas.

The fact that Great Britain accepted Count Bernadotte's report with such alacrity may have prejudiced certain groups in the United States that have a feeling that Great Britain is not exactly unbiased and disinterested where these negotiations are concerned. It might have been better if she had not acted quite so quickly and if we ourselves had not succumbed to the great desire to find some kind of solution that would bring us greater peace and stability in the Near Eastern situation.

Both the Republican and Democratic platforms have taken a stand on this issue, so I do not suppose that this being an election year will complicate matters in the United States as much as it might otherwise have done. I am concerned only that the final solution to this question should be based on justice and the best future interest of all concerned.

I do not think inflammatory articles, such as have been sent to me from New York newspapers, will help to find a sane and balanced solution. They show signs of being more emotional than practical, and this is essentially a question that requires hard, practical common sense as well as vision and ideals.

I cannot help believing that those who planned and carried out Count Bernadotte's assassination might easily have had some outside encouragement and hope that they could seize the government of Israel. That now seems a danger that is completely passed, but nevertheless everyone in that area will watch the people who belong to the Stern group with a certain degree of suspicion.

* * *

Sunday was a most beautiful day here, and I spent most of the morning getting information on certain questions that may be before us in Committee Three before long.

We had hoped to have John Foster Dulles with us, but I read in the newspaper that sometime during the day he had started for the United States to meet with Gov. Thomas E. Dewey. I was quite sure that though some of us felt we would profit by his knowledge, he probably felt it was not as yet the proper time for him to make any decisions or to share them with others.

* * *

Late Sunday afternoon we drove to Versailles. We arrived too late to see the play of waters in the first fountains but we did see a most beautiful display in the other gardens. The fountain at the very foot of the terraces spouted high in the air the others throwing white sprays up around it. It was a lovely sight, the day was so beautiful, and with the children playing games and running all about and with the gardens flaunting their brilliant scarlet and purple and white flowers, it was easy to forget the cares of the world momentarily.

We drove as far as the Trianon and then back to Paris, where I attended a tea given under the auspices of the Conseil Internationale des Femmes. Here I saw Mrs. Edgerton Parsons and a number of other women from the United States. It was a day filled with activity and I enjoyed it, even though I probably should have set this one day in the week aside for rest.

E. R.


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 6, 1948

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.