Truman Papers, President’s Secretary’s File

President Truman to the President of the Provisional Government of Israel (Weizmann)

personal and confidential

Dear Mr. President: Today—the first anniversary of the Partition Resolution—is a most appropriate time for me to answer your last letter, dated November 5th.

As I read your letter, I was struck by the common experience you and I have recently shared. We had both been abandoned by the so-called realistic experts to our supposedly forlorn lost causes. Yet we both kept pressing for what we were sure was right—and we were both proved to be right. My feeling of elation on the morning of November 3rd must have approximated your own feelings one year ago today, and on May 14th, and on several occasions since then.

However, it does not take long for bitter and resourceful opponents to regroup their forces after they have been shattered. You in Israel have already been confronted with that situation; and I expect to be all too soon. So I understand very well your concern to prevent the undermining of your well-earned victories.

I remember well our conversation about the Negev, to which you referred in your letter. I agree fully with your estimate of the importance of that area to Israel, 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. But there were those who did not take this seriously, regarding it as “just another campaign promise” to be forgotten after the election. I believe they have recently realized their error. 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. I intend to do so.

Since your letter was written, we have announced in the General Assembly our firm intention to oppose any territorial changes in the November 29th Resolution which are not acceptable to the State of Israel. I am confident that the General Assembly will support us in this basic position.

We have already expressed our willingness to help develop the new State through financial and economic measures. As you know, the Export-Import Bank is actively considering a substantial long-term loan to Israel on a project basis. I understand that your Government is now in process of preparing the details of such projects for submission to the Bank. Personally, I would like to go even further, by expanding [Page 1634] such financial and economic assistance on a large scale to the entire Middle East, contingent upon effective mutual cooperation.

Thank you so much for your warm congratulations and good wishes on my re-election. I was pleased to learn that the first Israeli elections have been scheduled for January 25th. That enables us to set a definite target date for extending de jure recognition.

In closing, I want to tell you how happy and impressed I have been at the remarkable progress made by the new State of Israel. What you have received at the hands of the world has been far less than was your due. But you have more than made the most of what you have received, and I admire you for it. I trust that the present uncertainty, with its terribly burdensome consequences, will soon be eliminated. We will do all we can to help by encouraging direct negotiations between the parties looking toward a prompt peace settlement.

Very sincerely yours,

Harry S. Truman