APRIL 9, 1959
LONDON—On Easter Sunday morning Nina and I were called for at our hotel in Jerusalem by Albert B. Franklin, our consul general in Jerusalem. Mr. Franklin is consul general on both sides of the border and has a consulate in Israel and another in Jordan.
He has learned Hebrew and lives on the Israeli side, though he crosses every day to Jordan. His assistant lives in Jordan and speaks Arabic fluently. They make a perfect combination. Both of them enter into the lives of the people on both sides of the Mandelbaum Gate, but they are careful to make no judgments and so a position that might be very difficult has been successfully maintained and they make friends for the United States on both sides.
We crossed the Mandelbaum Gate rather early because a small group of journalists had objected to my being received in Jordan. The governor was anxious not to refuse to receive an American and took what precautions he could to prevent any unpleasantness. I think his feeling was that at the time when King Hussein was in the U.S. it would be unfortunate to have anything unpleasant occur. I would not have been surprised if he had decided that I had better not come to the services, but I was very glad that his decision was to allow me to go.
It is a most impressive service in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and at the end of it everyone is given candles. Holding them, we followed the procession three times around the sepulchre, finally going into a small chapel where the Patriarch received each one of us.
After that we had to thread our way through the crowds and walked rapidly through the streets to our car. Mr. Franklin was pleased to hear the word "welcome" repeatedly as we walked through the streets.
Nina went sightseeing with Mr. Franklin's son and an excellent Arab guide immediately after the services. I stayed at the consulate and saw the governor and mayor, who came to visit me. They could not have been more charming, and the governor brought me a beautifully bound Bible in a lovely olive-wood box. This I shall treasure and shall try to place in safekeeping so that others can enjoy it also.
We talked a little about the problems of Jordan, and particularly of the refugees. This question must be becoming constantly more acute, though I understand the refugees are now being allowed to do some work. Nevertheless, resettlement and some kind of reparations paid are the only real solutions, and the problem should be faced and settled through the United Nations as soon as possible.
(Copyright, 1959, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced
- Franklin, Albert B. [ index ]
- Gibson, Nina Roosevelt, 1942- [ index ]
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- Hussein, King of Jordan, 1935-1999 [ index ]
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- [ index ] London (England, United Kingdom)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 9, 1959
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
- Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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