Last updated on: 5/20/2008 2:40:00 PM PST

Should the King-Crane Report Have Been Implemented?

PRO (yes)

Susan Silsby Boyle, PhD, Research Fellow at the Third World Studies Center, in her 2001 book Betrayal of Palestine: The Story of George Antonius, stated:

"Based on popular Arab opinion and respecting President Wilson's principle of self-determination, the King-Crane Report could have formed the basis for just and lasting postwar Arab peace."

2001 - Susan Silsby Boyle, PhD 

Noam Chomsky, PhD, Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote in his 1999 book, Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians:

"The Recommendations [of the King-Crane Report] had no influence on policy and are barely even mentioned in standard histories. Where mentioned, they are generally dismissed. Thus the ESCO Foundation study, while recognizing that the opinions summarized in the Commission report 'undoubtedly reflected the prevalent political attitude in Syria and Palestine,' nevertheless disparages the report on various grounds; crucially, because 'it gave due consideration to only one part of the issue,' namely Arab views, and did not give 'equal consideration to the Jewish problem.' Or to state the facts from a different point of view, the Commission's report gave due consideration only to the views of inhabitants of the land (recall that much of the indigenous Jewish minority was anti-Zionist), without giving equal consideration to the plans of European Zionists."

1999 - Noam Chomsky, PhD 

Harry N. Howard, US Foreign Service Officer, provided the following evaluation in his 1963 analysis, The King-Crane Commission: An American Inquiry in the Middle East:

"It is well to recall that, while the Commissioners rejected the extreme Zionist program, they proposed to maintain the unity of Syria-Palestine, under a British or American mandate, with provision for a limited Jewish National Home. They did not act on the basis of so-called anti-Jewish prejudices. They made their recommendations simply on the basis of the facts as they found them in Palestine at the time, when only about ten per cent of the population appeared to be Jewish. Developments within Palestine since 1919 would seem, in part at least, to justify the recommendations of the Commission, since Palestine became a battleground among the forces of Zionism and Arab nationalism and British imperialism, centering around the control of the Suez Canal and the eastern Mediterranean sea. Zionism, evidently, was not to consider the limited size and poverty of Palestine, and was to flower at the very time that a genuine and vigorous Arab nationalism was coming into bloom."

1963 - Harry N. Howard 

Nejla L. Izzeddin, PhD, Middle East scholar, in her 1953 book titled, The Arab World: Past, Present, and Future, wrote:

"The King-Crane report is a document of unique value and importance. It is the work of men of high moral and intellectual standing who belonged to a nation which had no ambitions and designs upon the land which the report covers. It is objective and well informed. That its recommendations were based on correct knowledge of the situation and were the product of wisdom and insight was borne out by the events that followed when these recommendations were disregarded."

1953 - Nejla L. Izzeddin, PhD 

CON (no)

Elie Kedouri, the late Professor of Political Science, at the London School of Economics, in his 1987 book England and the Middle East: The Destruction of the Ottoman Empire, 1914-1921, wrote:

"The King-Crane Commission manifested itself and went away. The report of the two commissioners was as ill-informed as its influence on policy was negligible. But their inquiry was the occasion of turbulence and unsettlement. It raised false hopes, and gave rise to intrigue and intimidation. It exacerbated political passions and thereby made a peaceful settlement immeasurably more difficult."

1987 - Elie Kedourie 

Robert Silverberg, a renowned writer, described the King-Crane Commission in his 1970 book If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem: American Jews and the State of Israel:

"Early in March, 1919, the peace conference decided to send a commission of inquiry to the Near East to make recommendations on the future of Syria and Palestine. Britain, France, and Italy all found it expedient to beg off, but the United States did not, and the commission ultimately consisted of just two members, both Americans: Henry C. King and Charles R. Crane. They had been carefully chosen by Colonel House and Secretary of State Lansing for their 'impartiality' on the Jewish problem. To Felix Frankfurter this meant they were anti-Zionist.

...Frankfurter's fears were not misplaced. The King-Crane Commission arrived in the Holy Land on June 10, 1919, and within ten days had reported to President Wilson that Moslem and Christian hostility would make establishment of Jewish sovereignty or even large-scale Jewish immigration unfeasible... This appears to be the conclusion that House and Lansing had hoped to obtain when they chose King and Crane."

1970 - Robert Silverberg 

The Esco Foundation For Palestine commissioned a study in 1947 titled "Palestine: A Study of Jewish, Arab, and British Policies, vol. II," which stated:

"The main fault of that part of the King-Crane Report which deals with Palestine does not lie in the procedures of the investigation, but in the whole approach to the problem. It is a 'partial' report in the literal sense that it gave due consideration to only one part of the issue. Since the Commission was acting as an international agency, a truly 'objective' approach would have required seeing the problem of Palestine in its international framework, giving equal consideration to the Jewish problem, together with the needs and views of the native inhabitants. Under the circumstances, it is questionable whether the wishes of the majority of the population could at that time be taken as the sole determining factor. In all of the discussions in Paris, the wishes of the peoples concerned were to be regarded as one factor, but not the only factor. In fact, this was also the view of President Wilson. The Commissioners responsible for the Report seemed to forget that the Allied nations, whom they were supposedly representing, had, after much discussion over a period of years, undertaken a definite commitment with reference to the establishment of the Jewish national home in Palestine which could not, in honor and justice, be evaded."

*The plan itself, however, appears to have been the project of Mr. Crane who was the most forceful member of the Commission. Ronald Storrs remarks (Orientations, p. 417): "Few... will be disposed to doubt that, though the hands that signed their Report were the hands of King-Crane, the voice was the voice of Crane." An indication of his outlook and his general hostility to Jews is given in the diary of Ambassador Dodd, who remarked of him: "Jews are anathema to him and he hopes to see them put in their place. His advice to me was, of course: 'Let Hitler have his way.'" (William E. Dodd, Jr. and Martha Dodd, ed., Ambassador Dodd's Diary, Harcourt, Brace, 1941, p. 11.)

1947 - Esco Foundation for Palestine