Truman Papers, President’s Secretary’s File

The Agent of the Provisional Government of Israel (Epstein) to President Truman 1

My Dear Mr. President: I have the honor to notify you that the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.

With full knowledge of the deep bond of sympathy which has existed and has been strengthened over the past thirty years between the Government of the United States and the Jewish people of Palestine, I have been authorized by the provisional government of the new state to tender this message and to express the hope that your government will recognize and will welcome Israel into the community of nations.2

Very respectfully yours,

Eliahu Epstein
  1. Mr. Epstein sent an identical letter to the Secretary of State on May 14 (867N.01/5–1448).
  2. The undated George M. Elsey notes cited in the editorial note on p. 976 indicate also that on Friday May 14 “C[lark] M C[lifford] spent the afternoon getting arrangements made, including arrangement that Epstein would send in the request to U.S. Gov’t for recognition.” (Elsey Papers)

    For further details on the activities of May 14, see the memorandum of conversations by Under Secretary Lovett, p. 1005.