On May 14, 1948, U.S. President Harry Truman recognized the newly-declared State of Israel — over the vehement objections of the State Department, which was partial to the Arab states and lacked confidence that the Jewish state could defend itself.
"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."
Truman’s brief telegram was an act of immense political courage.
For months, his leading foreign policy advisers, including Secretary of State George C. Marshall, had been urging him not to recognize Israel, but rather to consider a prolonged “trusteeship” of Palestine after the British Mandate had expired.
In brazen tactics reminiscent of the “deep state” methods being used by the federal bureaucracy against President Donald Trump today, the State Department even tried to tie Truman’s hands.
As one of his advisers, Clark Clifford, later recalled: