Eleanor Roosevelt: Palestine, Israel and Human Rights
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The conventional wisdom about Eleanor Roosevelt (hereafter ER) is that she was a crusading champion of internationally recognized human rights. This view stemmed not only from her position as the first head of the UN Human Rights Commission that drafted the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but also from her more general efforts in behalf of women and others—including African-Americans—marginalized in various societies. This important book by Geraldine Kidd shows that ER had a blind spot when it came to Palestinians in general and Palestinian refugees in particular.
Whether because of her upbringing and early adult experiences, or her friendships, or her lack of deep reflections about the substance of world affairs, she simply did not care about the Palestinian majority in British Palestine, or the Palestinian refugees that resulted from the creation of Israel in 1948. She overcame some early anti-Semitism to become a determined supporter of Zionism. Numerous exchanges with...