Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Want An Eleanor Roosevelt Letter Defending Israel? Bidding Starts At $22,500.

(JTA) — A 1957 letter written by Eleanor Roosevelt in which the former first lady vigorously defends Israel’s actions during the Suez Crisis is being auctioned off.

Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles will start the bidding on Thursday at $22,500.

The letter, written on her personal “Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt” letterhead, responds directly to criticism of her newspaper column “My Day,” in which she defends Israel’s actions in the 1956 crisis. It is addressed to Tom Dietrich of Brooklyn.

Roosevelt wrote: “If you follow step by step in the UN and understand the difficulties, you will realize that Israel was not an aggressor. The Charter of the UN allows self defense and Israel’s case was purely one of self defense. / I do not agree with you about the establishment of the state of Israel. The Israelis have a right to their land and I think it is nonsense to suppose that they plan to plunge us into a war. They want peace as much, if not more, than other nations. / We lead in the United Nations, so it would not be a case of our falling for any plot.”

The auction catalog calls the two-page letter an “exceptional letter, with rare content by the First Lady showing her commitment and refusal to equivocate on the state of Israel.”

Contact Haley Cohen at [email protected]

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.