President Truman’s Decision to Recognize Israel

Israel at 60. The charge that domestic politics determined US policy on Palestine angered President Truman for the rest of his life. In fact, the President’s policy rested on the realities of the situation in the region, on America’s moral, ethical, and humanitarian values, on the costs and risks inherent in any other course, and on America’s national interests. Israel was going to come into existence whether or not Washington recognized it. But without American support from the very beginning, Israel’s survival would have been at even greater risk. Truman’s decision, although opposed by almost the entire foreign policy establishment, was the right one – and despite complicated consequences that continue to this day, it is a decision all Americans should recognize and admire.

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