Saturday, April 1, 2017

Columbia University's Barnard College Dean Gildersleeve: Supported Palestinian Rights In 20th Century--Part 6

In her 1954 autobiography, Many A Good Crusade: Memoirs of Virginia Crocheron Gildersleeve, the Dean of Barnard College of Columbia University between 1911 and 1947, Virginia Crocheron Gildersleeve, wrote the following: 

"...Not all the Zionists merely denounced me. Many of them sent me interesting material about Palestine and the projects for settlement and development. Some of them chose to call at my office and discussed the great problem with me, and I continued for several years my humble efforts to help get some sort of just and peaceful settlement.

"My most moving experience during these efforts was on a day when I called in New York upon Dr. Judah Magnes, a distinguished and a noble Jew, for many years President of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a much-loved leader in Palestine, and author of a plan whereby he felt confident that Jews, Moslems, and Christians could live together peacefully in the Holy Land. I shall always remember the very touching way in which he spoke of his friends and neighbors in Jerusalem--Jews and Arabs alike--and his confidence that they could live in peace and work together for the welfare of their country. He gave me a copy of a press release he had written, setting forth his views. The American newspaper would not publish it, he told me. This saddened him profoundly--the fact that he was refused a hearing before the American people. His health had been poor for some time and not long after my visit to him, in sorrow and disillusion he died.

"Of the tragic story of death and hatred in the Holy Land and of my small efforts to help mitigate the horrors. I will speak further in a later chapter in which I tell of the years after my retirement from the Deanship of Barnard, when I devoted myself mainly to the Middle East..."

(end of part 6) 

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