Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Harry Truman Administration: United States Grants De-Facto Recognition to Israel

(May 14, 1948)

On May 14, 1948, the Jewish People’s Council officially approved a proclamation establishing the independence of the State of Israel. Eleven minutes after Israel’s proclamation of independence, U.S. President Harry Truman signed an executive order granting de-facto recgnition to the Jewish State. Truman's act made the United States the first country in the world to recognize Israel. Less than seven months later, President Truman extended America’s de-jure recognition to Israel.

This press release announcing Truman’s decision is in the papers of President Truman’s press secretary, Charles Ross. Notice it includes handwritten changes in the text and a notation of the time when it was released.

Some critics of Israel have suggested that Truman crossed out the words “Jewish state” because the United States was not recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. In fact, the release was drafted before the founders had decided to call the state Israel. The change simply reflects the news that the name of the state had been chosen.

Below are the draft and final press releases.


* De-facto recognition: Expression of international legitimacy "concerning fact"
   De-jure recognition: Expression of international legitimacy "concerning law"

Source: Truman Archives