One of Harry Truman’s most treasured possessions was a small Torah given to him by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president. The gift was given in appreciation of a singular act of courage in a postwar world filled with deprivation and starvation in Europe, and an economic boom in America. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees lived in the same camps constructed to efficiently kill and dispose of them.
At the stroke of midnight, May 14, 1948, the British mandate over Palestine ended, and they struck the Union Jack for the last time in Jerusalem. The blue and white Star of David flew for the first time over the Jewish state: Israel was established. Truman released a simple statement.
This Government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof.
The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.
Signed: Harry Truman
An open secret: there’s already a two-state solution, and the Arabs rejected it
This event culminated several years of lobbying by Jewish groups, the report of the Ango-American Committee of Enquiry into the Palestine situation, and Secretary of State George C. Marshall’s vocal opposition to recognizing a Jewish state. It’s impossible to say what was the one deciding factor in Truman’s mind, but it’s helpful to realize that his closest friend and business partner, Edward Jacobson, was a Jewish man who understood the importance of the decision.
It’s also helpful to know that Truman was a rather pious Christian man who believed in the promises of the Gospel, the Jewish roots of Christianity, and God’s promises that “all Israel will be saved.” It’s unlikely that Truman, were he alive today, would be part of the “boycott, divestment, sanctions”—BDS—movement toward Israel, even given 67 years of violence.
Why did Truman have to unilaterally, against the strong opposition of his own State Department and U.N. delegation, proclaim the de facto recognition of Israel? Because all other solutions had been exhausted. The U.N. partition plan (Resolution 181(II)). The Jewish Agency, which functioned as the immigration arm of the Mandate, supported Partition, as did the Jewish public, with some notable exceptions.
Every single Arab leader, and the Arab League as a group, opposed Partition. They refused to accept a two-state solution. They refused to recognize any Jewish state or Jewish political presence in Palestine. Their position as to the European Jewish refugees was that other countries should deal with them—other than the United States, which had severely limited Jewish immigration, there really was nowhere for the refugees to go, at least nowhere they’d be welcome or left alive.
At least the Arabs are consistent. They still reject a two-state solution, unless it’s lip service and in support of their real goals: destruction of Israel.
Barack Obama wants to be Harry Truman to the Palestinians
Fast forward 67 years. Barack Hussein Obama was raised in Muslim countries, grew up in a non-Christian environment, outside mainstream America, and his closest associates are Marxist revolutionaries or Black Liberation Theology proponents.
He sees the Palestine situation from a completely different lens than did Harry Truman. Regardless of American immigration policy in 1947, Obama likely believes that the Jews should not have been allowed to settle in Palestine, and that America should not have unilaterally recognized the State of Israel.
Obama wants to even the score, and become Harry Truman to the Palestinians. There is no other explanation for his public behavior of the last several months. For over 67 years, the Arab League has rejected any two-state solution, or even the existence of Israel. And now, instead of focusing on that long history of antagonism, Obama would rather focus on one pre-election remark by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
Our president would rather focus on negotiations with Iran, which are so spurious that even France believes that the U.S. is being too soft on Tehran. The Obama administration has resorted to public humiliation for Netanyahu, delaying any congratulations for days, while quickly tweeting condolences for Iran’s President Rouhani’s loss of his mother.
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 20, 2015
Obama used his “congratulatory” call with Netanyahu to offer criticism and rebuke.
The President reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing commitment to a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine. On Iran, the President reiterated that the United States is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
The Obama administration’s press machine has spun up it’s rhetoric against Netanyahu, citing his resistance to a two-state solution, despite Netanyahu’s clarification of his remarks—he opposes negotiating a two-state solution with the current “unity” government in Palestine, which includes Hamas—a group dedicated to Israel’s destruction. That’s not good enough, according to the administration. Yet, no Israeli government, whether led by Netanyahu’s Likud or Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union party, would negotiate with Hamas. It’s not an option in Israel.
When the perennial U.N. resolution creating a Palestinian State, with or without the agreement of Israel, with borders imposed upon Israel by the “international community”, comes up before the Security Council, we should expect Obama to step out of the way, and not use America’s veto power. In fact, the US may vote in favor of the resolution.
At that point, President Obama can boldly step up and issue his own statement recognizing the government of Palestine, which, this time, Israel will reject as illegitimate.
Of course, as it did in 1948, this will mean war. After the Star of David was raised above Jerusalem, five Arab armies attacked the fledgling IDF. After two bloody years of war, Israel won, establishing its borders. Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s, Israel fought continually to maintain its border security. In 1967, Israel staged a preemptive attack against Egypt, Jordan and Syria, in advance of impending war, and in 1973, Egypt and Syria successfully launched a surprise attack against Israel, nearly crushing her.
Now, with Egypt preoccupied in its “Arab spring” and Syria in a civil war, Israel’s primary enemies are Hizbollah, an arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Hamas, and Fatah/Muslim Brotherhood. Two of these will be “peace partners” in any Palestinian state, and the third is being coddled by Obama while it develops nuclear weapons.
When President Truman recognized Israel, he didn’t offer military assistance (although millions of dollars of WWII surplus were illegally funneled to Israel by American Jewish benefactors). He merely stood up to the world and pledged the moral support of the world’s only superpower, an act which was immediately followed by the Soviet Union’s recognition of Israel, cementing its international standing.
President Obama stands poised to revert history 67 years, by removing the moral support of America’s only true friend and democratic ally in the Middle East. When he betrays Israel, not only will he have no regrets, he will also stand tall believing he is a hero.
The sad truth is that Barack Obama is no Harry Truman, and those who have misplaced their trust in Obama will reap only sorrow.