President Truman and Israeli Independence (1945-48)

Figure 1.--.

The United States played little role in the conflict as long as the British were in Palestine. President Roosevelt had met with King Saud on the way back from Yalta (March 1945). He died a month later bringing Vice President Harry Truman to the presidency (April 1945). Truman was favorably oriented toward the Jews. The Sate Deopartment was, however, opposed to policies that might alienate the Arabs. This create tensions in American policy. The United States basically backed the British, the World War II ally. Zionist fund raising in the United States provided some private donations. There was, however, no American Government military of financial assistance to either side. Palestine was an issue that President Truman followed closely. And it was the President that ordered the American vote for partition in the General Assembly (November 1947). The President apparently did not think the Jews could suceeed surrounded as they were by much larger and established Arab states with actual well equiped armies. The Jewish victories in confrontations with Arab irregulars within Palestine apparently gave him the idea that the Jews might be able to atually hold on to their U.N. partition area. Up until this point, President Truman had been advocating a U.N. trusteeship proposal which the State Department was promoting. President Truman when he met with Chaim Weizmann, however, privately promised that he would support the implementation of the U.N. Partition Plan (March). This represented a major divergence from what the State Department was promoting. The followig day, the U.N. Ambassador to the United States voted for a U.N. trusteeship. The President was furious. He wrote on his calendar, "The State Dept. pulled the rug from under me today. The first I know about it is what I read in the newspaper! Isn't that hell? I'm now in the position of a liar and double-crosser. I never felt so low in my life ...." President Trump's problem with the Deep State is not a bew phenomenon. Truman's support was critical. So was the timing. An election was scheduled in November which all political pundits were convinced that Truman would lose. The United States would be the first country to recognize Isrel and only hours after the Israelis declared independenc.


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Created: 10:47 PM 4/7/2013
Last updated: 8:01 PM 11/4/2017