If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem: American Jews and the State of Israel

By Robert Silverberg | Go to book overview

NINE
Medinat Yisrael

PRESIDENT TRUMAN had had advance word of what the Zionists were going to do, but only by a matter of a few hours. On the morning of May 14, Chaim Weizmann's secretary appeared at the White House bearing a letter to the President from Weizmann. It thanked Truman for his "very great contributions . . . toward a definitive and just settlement of the long and troublesome Palestine situation," declaring that "the leadership which the American Government took under your inspiration made possible the establishment of a Jewish State." That state, said Weizmann, was due to begin its existence immediately upon termination of the mandate, and the Zionist leader expressed the hope "that the United States . . . will promptly recognize the Provisional Government of the New Jewish State. The world, I think, will regard it as especially appropriate that the greatest living democracy should be the first to welcome the newest into the family of nations."

In the early afternoon, Truman summoned Secretary of State Marshall, Undersecretary Lovett, and two members of the White House staff, Clark Clifford and David Niles, to discuss an appropriate response. Tel Aviv lies seven time zones east of Washington. Ben-Gurion had already read his proclamation, and the mandate's last night had begun. The President said that he intended to recognize the Jewish nation. Marshall thought it would be inadvisable to do so. Clifford pointed out that Truman was already on record in favor of an independent Jewish state, and that it would be unrealistic to withhold recognition now. Marshall took this to mean that Clifford, the politically sophisticated presidential ad

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If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem: American Jews and the State of Israel
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Maps vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Six Days in June 1
  • One - The Dream of Herzl 11
  • Two - Zion in the New World 42
  • Three - Toward the Balfour Declaration 69
  • Four - A Troubled Mandate 100
  • Five - Toward the White Paper 133
  • Six - Zionism at War 175
  • Seven - Agitation and Agony 253
  • Eight - The Making of a State 337
  • Nine - Medinat Yisrael 406
  • Ten - The Unending War 497
  • List of Jewish Organizations in the United States 593
  • Acknowledgments 597
  • Bibliography 599
  • Index 605
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