It Was 63 Years Ago


It was 63 years ago on Friday May 14, 1948 that President Harry Truman recognized a new government and country, Israel. Jeff Dunetz wrote earlier this week a column, When Our President Had A Moral Compass Truman Recognizing Israel In May 1948. I encourage you to read it in its entirety. There is a segment where he writes about Truman’s Special Counsel, Clark Clifford recollections of this historic moment. For me this was like being a fly on the wall of the Oval Office listening to the conversation between President Harry Truman, Secretary of State George Marshall, and Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett.

Secretary of State George Marshall:

Mr. President, I thought this meeting was called to consider an important and complicated problem in foreign policy. I don’t even know why Clark Clifford is here. He is a domestic adviser, and this is a foreign policy matter.

President Truman:

Well, General, he’s here because I asked him to be here.

Secretary of State George Marshall:

These considerations have nothing to do with the issue. I fear that the only reason Clifford is here is that he is pressing a political consideration with regard to this issue. I don’t think politics should play any part in this.

Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett:

It would be highly injurious to the United Nations to announce the recognition of the Jewish state even before it had come into existence and while the General Assembly is still considering the question. Furthermore, such a move would be injurious to the prestige of the President. It is obviously designed to win the Jewish vote, but in my opinion, it would lose more votes than it would gain. Mr. President, to recognize the Jewish state prematurely would be buying a pig in a poke. How do we know what kind of Jewish state will be set up? We have many reports from British and American intelligence agents that Soviets are sending Jews and communist agents into Palestine from the Black Sea area.

Secretary of State George Marshall:

If you follow Clifford’s advice and if I were to vote in the election, I would vote against you.

Around 4 p.m., Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett telephoned call Clark Clifford:

Clark, I think we have something we can work with. I have talked to the General. He cannot support the President’s position, but he has agreed that he will not oppose it.

Just after 6 p.m Charlie Ross, the President’s press secretary gathers the White House press. Ross read aloud to them:

Statement by the President. This government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine….The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.

President Harry S Truman:

What I am trying to do is make the whole world safe for Jews.

The Chief Rabbi of Israel later told Truman:

God put you in your mother’s womb, so you would be the instrument to bring the rebirth of Israel.

It might seem a little strange for a conservative website like ours to have a dispatch to honor a Democrat elected President. I believe President Truman should be honored and remembered favorably for recognizing the new State of Israel. If you read Jeff’s column you will note what a stark contrast there exists between President Truman and the current occupant of the White House. To be fair there are also those like James Baker, Pat Buchanan, and Ron Paul who are as strenuously opposed to Israel as George Marshall and Robert Lovett. I suggest that the better moral position is that of Harry Truman instead of those other guys.

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I am retired after 36 years of being a state of Indiana employee. I enjoy writing and reading conservative blogs.
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I am retired after 36 years of being a state of Indiana employee. I enjoy writing and reading conservative blogs.

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Mike gamecock DeVine
May 13, 2011 2:29 pm

Truman was great, as was JFK. FDR did great things. Grover Cleveland was cool. Jefferson, Jackson…

Mike gamecock DeVine
May 13, 2011 2:45 pm

Let’s go a bit deeper into why it was so then, and is now, such a moral imperative to be very clearly and strongly supportive of Israel, and when I say supportive, I mean essentially ready and willing to defend an attack on them as if it were Manhattan; as well as how this issue relates to party politics then and now. 1) Given the history of the persecution of the Jews since Joseph was sold into slavery thru today, coupled with their shining cities of liberty and how they fought for their borders; they deserve our support and the… Read more »

Mike gamecock DeVine
May 13, 2011 4:21 pm

Truman combined courage with Judeo-Christian values. One of the main reasons for the stark and essentially un-reconcilable political divide between Dems and Repubs since JFK was killed is that the Left has increasingly dominated the leadership of the Dem Party and the Left is essentially anathema to Judeo-Christian values. more later

May 13, 2011 4:46 pm

But who was The Man in the room? A retired Army General, George C Marshall. If contributions to World War II are distilled down to their individual components he did more than any other American to win it. And never sold out his principles, unlike some other Generals, Colin, I’m looking at you. Racist dirtbag.

May 14, 2011 8:05 pm

’48 was also the year of the Berlin airlift. We were also rebuilding Europe with the Marshall Plan, rebuilding our own economy,on the verge of repulsing the communist hordes from South Korea, just generally very busy…..and very good.

May 14, 2011 10:20 pm

And now there’s this:
We rant and rave about our government and academia and Hollywood and the media, but how low have we sunk when our mainline Protestant churches have been co-opted by the left-wing, anarchist, amoral, anti-American agendaites?