PALESTINE MISSION: A Personal Record by Richard Crossman


Email this review


A companion piece -- the other side of the picture- for Bartley Crum's BEHIND THE SILKEN CURTAIN (Simon & Schuster- see P. 84). Crossman was the one member of the British contingent in the Anglo-American Joint Committee of Inquiry of whom Crum speaks most often. Crossman here tells his own personal story of how circumstances, what he saw and felt, molded and changed his opinion, which, at the start, were almost wholly pro-Arab. He presents some interesting arguments showing how the history and the temperament of the two peoples- English and American- made differences of opinion inevitable. He criticizes the Americans almost as severely as Crum criticized the English- calling them one sided and self righteous (and not without supporting evidence). His analysis of many contradictions in Zionism, the elements that lead to anti-Semitism, are provocative and somewhat disturbing. Again and again, his experiences parallel closely those described by Crum, and he and his fellow members were reluctantly won over to agreement endorsing immediate entry for the 100,000 D.P.'s with partition as a long range plan. He speaks openly of the perils of the transition years, and sees the Arab position much more clearly than does Crum. But somehow, his book lacks the fire of conviction; one feels the somewhat coldly analytical detachment that robs his words of the fighting spirit which is so characteristic of the other book.

Pub Date: April 9th, 1947
Publisher: Harper