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BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Abstract

When US President Harry S Truman recognized the state of Israel in May 1948, he demonstrated his commitment to a homeland for the Jewish people. The US was the first country to recognize Israel, and in so acting Truman became a modern-day Cyrus, and in fact he compared himself to the biblical Cyrus, who made possible the return of the Jews to Jerusalem as recorded in Ezra 1. This article tells the background of Truman"€™s decision, from his lifelong love for the Bible to the pressures he faced from opponents and his own advisors, who warned that political realities, especially postwar Europe"€™s need for Middle Eastern oil, outweighed the needs of the Jewish people for a homeland. But Truman was resolute in defending the establishment of Israel on religious and humanitarian grounds.

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