There is a song Jews sing every Hanukkah called “Who can retell” whose lyrics also applies to the birth of Israel 70 years ago.
“Who can retell the things that befell us, Who can count them?, In every age, a hero or sage, Came to our aid.” For the birth of modern Israel, the Hero who arose was the American President Harry S Truman.
This past Wednesday evening, April 18th, at sundown, Israel celebrated her 70th anniversary (by the Hebrew calendar) of the modern state of Israel. On that day the world saw a real miracle from God. After a wait of almost 1,900 years, the Jewish people who never totally left the land given to them by the Lord once again had political control of their country. They were once again a nation-state, Israel declared her independence.
The Jewish State’s existence would have been very short-lived were it not for the strong will of President Harry S Truman, who became the first world leader to recognize Israel, and he did so over the objections of his Secretary of State George Marshall, who was much more popular with the American people than President Harry S Truman, who at that point was never elected to the Oval Office, he was the VP who took over when FDR passed away.
The president didn’t make his decision because of politics but like so many of Truman’s policies, he supported Israel because he thought it was the right thing to do. Of course, there were some who attributed Truman’s stance to something else. When Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Isaac Herzog, visited the White House after Israel’s independence declaration, he told Truman, “God put you in your mother’s womb so that you would be the instrument to bring the rebirth of Israel after 2000 years.”
Based on the Democratic Party’s move away from support of the Jewish State over the past decade, it may be reasonable to believe that if Harry Truman tried to overrule the popular Marshall today, the Democratic party of Barack Obama, Keith Ellison, and the Farrakahn supporting Congressional Black Caucus might try to impeach their own president. At the very least they would certainly vehemently object.
The Democrats might even have tried to negate the UN Partition Plan, as most in the State Department recommended to Truman in 1948, but a wishy-washy move like that wasn’t Harry Truman’s style.
“What I am trying to do is make the whole world safe for Jews,” Harry Truman wrote as he agonized over his decision to recognize a Jewish state in Palestine.
Secretary of State George Marshall (Time’s 1947 Man of the Year) was an international hero who was just as opposed to the creation of Israel as Truman who had no voter base, was for it. Clark M. Clifford, Special Counsel to President Truman, remembered the internal Truman administration fight regarding the recognition of the Jewish State, and the final discussion in the Oval Office. The meeting turned out to be an angry battle with Clifford and the President on one side, Marshall and Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett on the other.
The argument used by the state department leaders were similar to the ones Democrats used when Speaker Boehner invited Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress about the Iran deal. Undersecretary of State Lovett first argued Truman was supporting Israel solely for political gain and he warned the President the move would lose more votes than it would gain.
When that didn’t work, Lovett tried another approach –the red scare (because you know all of those Jews are commies)…