On midnight, May 14, 1948, the state of Israel came into being and was immediately recognized by the United States and the Soviet Union.
A homeland for the thousands of Jews who were persecuted and displaced during World War II, Israel was attacked the next day by the Transjordanian Army, the Arab Legion, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Against all odds, Israel survived.
The armistice between Israel and her enemies was negotiated by Ralph Bunche, the first African-American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1947, Bunche set up a meeting between two members of UNSCOP and Menachem Begin, the leader of the Irgun Jewish underground.
As he was leaving Begin’s hideout, Ralph Bunche told the future Israeli Prime Minister: “I can understand you. I am also a member of a persecuted minority.”
Richard Crossman of Britain asked Bunche if his exposure to the Jews had made him anti-Semitic “yet.” Ralph Bunche answered: “That would be impossible. … I know the flavor of racial prejudice and racial persecution. A wise Negro can never be an anti-Semite.”
President Harry S. Truman sent a telegram to the president of Israel, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Provisional Council of State, Tel Aviv, Oct. 2, 1948: “On this your first New Year’s Eve as President of the Provisional Council of the State of Israel I send you warm personal greetings and congratulations. May the New Year bring peace to Israel and to its citizens the opportunity to dedicate themselves in tranquility to furthering the prosperity of their country.”
On Nov. 29, 1948, President Harry S. Truman wrote to Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel: “I want to tell you how happy and impressed I have been at the remarkable progress made by the new State of Israel.”
Truman added: “I remember well our conversations about the Negeb … and I deplore any attempt to take it away from Israel. I had thought that my position would have been clear to all the world, particularly in the light of the specific wording of the Democratic Party platform.”
The 1948 Democrat Party platform stated: “President Truman, by granting immediate recognition to Israel, led the world in extending friendship and welcome to a people who have long sought and justly deserve freedom and independence. We pledge full recognition to the State of Israel. We affirm our pride that the United States under the leadership of President Truman played a leading role in the adoption of the resolution of November 29, 1947, by the United Nations General Assembly for the creation of a Jewish State.
“We approve the claims of the State of Israel to the boundaries set forth in the United Nations resolution of November 29th and consider that modifications thereof should be made only if fully acceptable to the State of Israel. We look forward to the admission of the State of Israel to the United Nations and its full participation in the international community of nations. We pledge appropriate aid to the State of Israel in developing its economy and resources. We favor the revision of the arms embargo to accord to the State of Israel the right of self-defense.”
President Harry S. Truman continued his letter to Israel’s President Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Nov. 29, 1948: “I have interpreted my re-election as a mandate from the American people to carry out the Democratic platform – including, of course, the plank on Israel.”
Democrat President John F. Kennedy remarked opening the Ouachita National Forest Road at Big Cedar, Oklahoma, Oct. 29, 1961: “We take our lesson … from the Bible and the story of Nehemiah, which tells us that when the children of Israel returned from captivity they determined to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, in spite of the threats of the enemy.
The wall was built and the peace was preserved. But it was written, ‘Of them that built on the wall … with one of his hands he did the work, and with the other he held the sword.'”
Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson stated in 1968: “America and Israel have a common love of human freedom and a democratic way of life. … Through the centuries, through dispersion and through very grievous trials, your forefathers clung to their Jewish identity and their ties with the land of Israel. The prophet Isaiah foretold, ‘And He shall set up an ensign for the nations and He shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from all the four corners of the earth.’ … History knows no more moving example of persistence against the cruelest odds.”
In regards to Israel, former Democrat President Jimmy Carter stated in his book, “Keeping the Faith – Memoirs of a President” (published 1982, p. 274): “The Judeo-Christian ethic and study of the Bible were bonds between Jews and Christians which had always been part of my life. I also believed very deeply that the Jews who had survived the Holocaust deserved their own nation, and that they had a right to live in peace among their neighbors. I considered this homeland for the Jews to be compatible with the teachings of the Bible, hence ordained by God. These moral and religious beliefs made my commitment to the security of Israel unshakable.”
On March 23, 1982, to the National Conference of Christians and Jews, New York, President Ronald Reagan stated: “A strong, credible America is also an indispensable incentive for a peaceful resolution of differences between Israel and her neighbors. America has never flinched from its commitment to the State of Israel – a commitment which remains unshakable.”
On Dec. 10, 2001, President George Bush remarked at the White House lighting of the menorah: “And as God promised Abraham, the people of Israel still live. … America and Israel have been through much together. … We’re reminded of the ancient story of Israel’s courage and of the power of faith to make the darkness bright. We can see the heroic spirit of the Maccabees lives on in Israel today.”
On April 3, 2002, House majority whip Tom DeLay mentioned Israel in an address at Westminster College: “No one can ignore the horrible aggression in the Middle East. … The State of Israel has been targeted by groups committed to her complete elimination. And on the basis of our shared principles and democratic values, America has an undeniable obligation to stand squarely with our democratic ally against those attempting to end the State of Israel. … The State of Israel has fought five major wars to defend its right to exist since 1948. …”
Congressman Tom DeLay continued: “Israel and America are kindred nations. The founders of both countries were profoundly influenced by faith. Both countries drafted governments that practice religious tolerance. … Both countries are filled with immigrants summoned by dreams. For people fleeing the storms of persecution, both countries have been safe harbors. …”
Congressman Tom DeLay concluded: “No one should expect the people of Israel to negotiate with groups pursuing the fundamental goal of destroying them. … America has a clear duty to stand beside a democratic ally that is besieged by terrorists. … The terrorists attempting to destroy the State of Israel should know that America will never allow that to happen.”
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