Before the Zionist movement assumed concrete form, among the first to express approval of the return of the Jews to Palestine was John Adams, the second President of the United States (1797-1801) who wrote to Major Mordecai Manuel Noah,[i] the first American Zionist, as follows:
"I really wish the Jews again in Judea, an independent nation; as I believe, the most enlightened men of it have participated in the amelioration of the philosophy of the ages; once restored to an independent government, and no longer persecuted, they would soon wear a way some of the asperities and peculiarities of their character. I wish your nation may be admitted to all the privileges of citizens in every part of the world. This country (America) has done much; I wish it may do more and annul every narrow idea in religion, government, and commerce." (1819).
President Woodrow Wilson (the twenty-eighth President, 1913-1921) was the first American president to support modern Zionism and Britain's efforts for the creation of a National Home for the Jewish people in Palestine (the text of the Balfour Declaration had been submitted to President Wilson and had been approved by him before its publication).
President Wilson expressed his deep belief in the eventuality of the creation of a Jewish State:
"I welcome an opportunity to express the satisfaction I have felt in the progress of the Zionist movement in the United States, and in the allied countries, since the declaration of Mr. Balfour" (August 31, 1918).
"I am persuaded that the Allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our own government and people, are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundation of a Jewish Commonwealth." (March 3, 1919).
President Warren G. Harding (the twenty-ninth President, 1921-1923)expressed support for a Jewish home in Palestine:
"It is impossible for one who has studied at all the service of the Hebrew people to avoid the faith that they will one day be restored to their historic national home and there enter on a new and yet greater phase of their contribution to the advance of humanity." (June 1, 1921).
"I am very glad to express my approval and hearty sympathy for the effort of the Palestine Foundation fund in behalf of the restoration of Palestine as a homeland for the Jewish people. I have always viewed with an interest, witch I think is quite as much practical as sentimental, the proposal for the rehabilitation of Palestine and the restoration of a real Jewish nationality, and I hope the efforts now being carried on in this and other countries in this behalf may meet the fullest measure of success." (May 11, 1922).
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine - anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea:
"Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected." [italics in the original]
President Warren G. Harding signed the Lodge-Fish joint resolution of approval to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine (September 21, 1922). Writing to the Zionist Organization of America Harding stated:
"A long-time interest, both sentimental and practical, in the Zionist movement causes me to wish that I might meet the members of the organization and express the esteem which I feel in behalf of the great movement." (June 25, 1922).
President Herbert Hoover (the thirty-first President, 1929-1933) stated:
"On the occasion of your celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which received the unanimous approval of both Houses of Congress by the adoption of the Lodge-Fish Resolution in 1922, I wish to express the hope that the ideal of the establishment of the National Jewish Home in Palestine, as embodied in that Declaration, will continue to prosper for the good of all the people inhabiting the Holy Land." (October 29, 1932).
A Convention between the United States and Great Britain:
The U.S. (Not a member of the League of Nations) Government maintained that her participation in WWI and her contribution to the defeat of Germany and the defeat of her Allies, entitled the United States to be consulted as to the terms of the "Mandate for Palestine." [ii]
The outcome of this request was a Convention [Treaty] between the United States of America and Great Britain with respect to the rights of the two governments and their nationals in Palestine. The Convention which contains the entire text of the "Mandate for Palestine" including the preamble - "word for word" [iii]was concluded and signed by their respective plenipotentiaries in London on December 3, 1924; Ratification advised by the Senate, February 20, 1925; Ratified by President Calvin Coolidge, March 2, 1925; Ratified by Great Britain, March 18, 1925; Ratifications exchanged at London, December 3, 1925; Proclaimed, December 5, 1925.
The United States of America upon ratifying the said Convention formally recognized the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.
[i]: Noah (1785-1851), a former army major, playwright, New York City politician and newspaper editor, persuaded a wealthy benefactor to purchase a large portion of Grand Island as a temporary homeland for the Jews.
[ii]: See "Mandate for Palestine" at: www.mythsandfacts.com (English and Hebrew versions).
[iii]: See Proclamation (Library of Congress). The Convention l includes the entire "Mandate for Palestine" text.