“What really distinguished Truman from Cyrus, however, is that he was not an absolute monarch but a democratic politician; and A Safe Haven offers an expert case study of just how complicated, and unedifying, policy-making in a democracy can be.”
This is an astounding statement because Evangelical Zionists are trying to turn our Democracy into their church – with the backing of Jewish Zionists! Both Zionists want to see the boundaries of Israel restored to the glory of King David’s Kingdom. They want Israel to BE A KINGDOM! The evangelical cosmology calls for this – and the rebuilding of the Temple so Jesus will return and destroy most of the SECULAR WORLD! The Zionist’s group are rewriting world history before our eyes – with Newt Gingrich’s help. I saw this coming twenty four years ago and knew ALL THE DEMOCRACIES OF THE WORLD needed a differing opinion – if it only come from one mans! For this reason I will never be a “Parasite” as some have claimed!
It is clear Truman understood his actions were prophetic. Did he know he would be stepping on the Zionist’s toes? Surely his actions in 1946 have thrown a monkey wrench in the false prophecies of the evangelicals who follow John Darby, a nut who invented a new relgion in 1840.
We must keep both Zionist’s group out of Democratic Government!
Jon the Nazarite Judge
The Truman No-Show
A new book assesses the president’s role in the creation of Israel.
Adam Kirschview bioBrushes with Jewishness The Self-Made Man “Can You Learn Anything From a Void?” September 14, 2009 | 12:00 am
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Brushes with Jewishness
The Self-Made Man
“Can You Learn Anything From a Void?”
Courtesy of tabletmag.com
In 1949, a year after the state of Israel was created, its Chief Rabbi visited President Harry Truman in Washington. Isaac Halevi Herzog told Truman that his role in helping the Jewish state achieve its independence was not just a matter of politics and diplomacy; it was a divine mission. “When the President was still in his mother’s womb,” Herzog said, “the Lord had bestowed upon him the mission of helping his Chosen People at a time of despair and aiding in the fulfillment of His promise of Return to the Holy Land.” Truman was a 20th-century version of King Cyrus of Persia, who had permitted the Israelites to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem in the 6th century B.C.E.: “he had been given the task once fulfilled by the mighty king of Persia, and that he too, like Cyrus, would occupy a place of honor in the annals of the Jewish people.”
To Truman–a former haberdasher turned machine politician, and an accidental president who came to office in the giant shadow of Franklin Roosevelt–this kind of praise was more than welcome. As a believing Baptist, who had read the Bible “at least a dozen times” by the age of fifteen, he appreciated how momentous a role he had played in the history of the Jewish people. Yet as Allis and Ronald Radosh make clear in their highly detailed and illuminating new history, A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel, the comparison with Cyrus–while an adept piece of flattery–doesn’t really hold up.
For one thing, unlike the Persian emperor, Truman did not have Palestine to give. Between 1918, when the British took the province from the Ottoman Empire, and 1948, when they precipitously abandoned it, Palestine was a British colony. Originally, with the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the British promised to create a “national home for the Jewish people” in the ancient Jewish land. But it soon became clear that the British Empire, which ruled hundreds of millions of Muslims in the Middle East and India, would not defy the wishes of Arab leaders, who were totally opposed to any Jewish presence. With the White Paper of 1939, the British effectively closed Palestine to Jewish immigration just at the moment when the need for a refuge from Hitler was greatest. By the time the Second World War ended, the Jewish population of the Yishuv was deeply resentful of Britain, and an extreme faction–the Irgun and the Stern Gang–had turned to vicious acts of terrorism against the occupiers.
What really distinguished Truman from Cyrus, however, is that he was not an absolute monarch but a democratic politician; and A Safe Haven offers an expert case study of just how complicated, and unedifying, policy-making in a democracy can be. The Truman White House is the focus of the Radoshes’ history, but they make clear that Truman was by no means master in that house. From 1945 to 1948, the president was the target of a non-stop barrage of advice, demands, reports, committees, and bare-knuckle political threats, all seeking to influence his policy on Palestine.
Moderate American Zionists like Stephen Wise, who hoped to use quiet influence with the President, fought with more aggressive ones like Abba Hillel Silver, who publicly criticized Truman’s heel-dragging. Pro-Zionist White House aides, such as Clark Clifford and FDR’s old confidant Samuel Rosenman, fought with the State Department’s Near East experts, such as Loy Henderson, who feared the consequences of antagonizing the Arab world. Lurking in the background, as always, were the cold calculations of electoral politics. Truman was a weak Democratic incumbent, and his challenger in 1948 was the Republican governor of New York, Thomas Dewey. Without the support of New York’s Jewish voters, there was no way Truman could carry that important state.
Truman’s own feelings towards the Zionist cause were basically positive. As a Senator, he had been a member of the American Palestine Committee, a Christian Zionist group, and even lent his name to the Committee for a Jewish Army, a Revisionist-inspired movement that called for arming the world’s Jews against Hitler. The revelation of the Nazi concentration camps, and the plight of the Jewish survivors languishing in Displaced Persons camps, further fueled his commitment.
Nor, the Radoshes make clear, should the influence of his close friendship with Eddie Jacobson–his old army buddy and business partner in Kansas City–be discounted. Jacobson, who had free access to the White House, helped lobby Truman for the Zionist cause, even arranging a crucial meeting with Chaim Weizmann. Truman’s affection for Jacobson is moving: “Eddie was one of those men that you read about in the Torah,” Truman said after his friend’s death. “If you read the articles in Genesis concerning two just men [Enoch and Noah] you’ll find those descriptions will fit Eddie Jacobson to the dot.” Yet there is something archaic, and discomfiting, about the way Truman let his view of the Jews be influenced by his opinion of this one Jew. The days when the Jews had to use court figures to intervene with powerful rulers are, one would hope, behind us.
Truman’s pro-Zionist outlook, however, did not amount to a firm commitment; at best, it helped to drive the halting evolution of America’s Palestine policy. In the summer of 1945, Truman commissioned the Harrison Report on the condition of Jewish refugees in Europe. It painted a dire picture, and urged that Britain immediately permit 100,000 Jews to immigrate to Palestine. Ernest Bevin, the British Foreign Secretary, refused to throw open the doors, suggesting instead that a joint Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry look into the Palestine problem.
This committee, contrary to expectations, endorsed the figure of 100,000 new immigrants, placing the British government in an unpleasant spot. Bevin did not win any friends among American Jews with a speech in which he suggested that the Americans supported sending Jews to Palestine because “they did not want too many Jews in New York.” This was, of course, true–at no time during the whole debate did Truman suggest opening America’s borders to the Jewish refugees–but it was one of the truths it is impolite to speak aloud.
As Jewish terrorism in Palestine provoked a British crackdown, and Jewish-Arab tensions increased, the British punted the question over to the newly established United Nations, still meeting in temporary quarters on Long Island. Now a third commission took over–UNSCOP, the UN Special Commission on Palestine, which made its own investigation. As the Radoshes show, the Jews of Palestine worked hard to sway the committee, while the Arabs refused on principle to cooperate with it—one of many examples, down to the present day, of the folly of Arab rejectionism. The Jewish cause was helped by the notorious Exodus affair, when the British used violence to intercept a ship carrying Jewish refugees to Haifa. It so happened that the chairman of UNSCOP was in Haifa at the time, and was looking on as the desperate refugees were arrested. According to Aubrey (later Abba) Eban, the British Zionist, “I had a feeling that the British Mandate died that day.”
The UNSCOP report endorsed the partition of Palestine into two states, Jewish and Arab. The debate over partition went down to the wire, with well-funded Arab groups fighting against it, and Zionist activists—including The Nation magazine and its editor, Freda Kirchwey—lobbying hard for it. Oddly, though Truman had endorsed partition, in a message cleverly timed for Yom Kippur 1946, the U.S. government was lackadaisical about lining up allies for the actual vote. Even when partition was accepted, in November 1947, the State Department worked hard to overturn it. On March 19, 1948, less than two months before the British Mandate was to expire, the American Ambassador to the U.N. delivered a speech proposing that partition be put off indefinitely, and Palestine returned to a trusteeship. The Radoshes show that Truman was blindsided by this speech, which he believed was a State Department attempt to torpedo his policy. The whole episode is a surprising lesson in the sharp limits to even a President’s actual power.
Truman got his own back, however, on May 14, 1948. At 6 o’clock in the evening, Washington time, David Ben-Gurion declared the State of Israel in Tel Aviv; 11 minutes later, President Truman officially recognized the new state, giving an immeasurable boost to its confidence and international standing. Truman took this step against the vocal opposition of his powerful Secretary of State, General George Marshall, and it was his single greatest contribution to the birth of Israel.
But it was, significantly, a response to a fait accompli. America did not create the Jewish state, or defend it in the war of independence that immediately followed its creation. At most, the Radoshes demonstrate, Truman’s sympathy was a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for the creation of Israel. As Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader who became Israel’s first president, said after the Balfour Declaration: “Even if all the governments of the world gave us a country it would be a gift of words, but if the Jewish people will go and build Palestine, the Jewish state will become a reality and a fact.”
During the first years of World War II, the British put out the white paper of 1939. After leading a procession through the streets of Jerusalem, with an unusually united Jewish following from all sects, on the steps of the Hurva Synagogue he turned and said: We can not agree to the white book. Just as the prophets did before me, I hereby rip it in two. About 50 year’s later, in the 1980’s president Herzog repeated his father’s gesture with the UN resolution that Zionism is equal to racism.
During the second world war, he traveled with great risk to US, and back, not before he was able to secure a meeting with Roosevelt. Roosevelt smiled and did not reply to the Rabbi’s pleadings for a promise to help the Jews of Europe. His biographer records that several people noticed that his hair turned white when he left the meeting, which he perceived as a failure. Following this, he immediately returned home, missing the ride on a ship that was sunk by a U-boat, and taking what was said to be the last civilian ship to cross the Atlantic during the war.
After the war, Rabbi Herzog dedicated himself to saving Jewish children especially babies and bringing them back from their places hiding throughout all of Europe, to their families or to Jewish orphanages. Many of these were hidden in Christian monasteries or by Christian families, and refused to return them. In his biography, he tells of the difficulties he had of meeting the Pope who avoided him, but did receive in the end assistance from the Vatican. In later years it was found that Pope John Paul was the contact who helped the rabbi out. However, defenders of Pope Pius XII have asserted that Herzog had maintained friendly relations with the pontiff during and after the WW2. In 1945, he stated: “The people of Israel will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of Divine Providence in this world.” 
Rabbi Herzog’s descendants have continued to be active in Israel’s political life. Chaim Herzog, the rabbi’s son, was a general in the Israel Defense Forces and later became president of Israel. His son Yaacov Herzog was an influential figure in Israeli politics between 1948 and his untimely death in 1972. During that period he served as Israel’s ambassador to Canada and later as Director General of the office of Prime Minister. He also accepted an offer to become Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth but due to ill health never took up that role. Currently, his grandson Isaac Herzog is a member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament and the country’s minister of welfare. He has previously served as housing and tourism minister.
“Conclusion: The Verdict of History”
Polowetzky, Michael, Jerusalem recovered : Victorian intellectuals and the birth of Modern Zionism, Westport (Conn.): Praeger, 1995, Moshe Davis has left us record of a visit which Harry Truman made a few months after the end of his Presidency to the Jewish Theological Seminary, together with Truman’s friend, Eddie Jacobson. Jacobson introduced Harry Truman to the professors: ‘This is the man who helped create the State of Israel’, but Truman corrected him: ‘What do you mean “helped to create”? I am Cyrus. I am Cyrus.’ It seems that the analogy to Cyrus had already been suggested to President Truman by the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Isaac Halevi Herzog, on the occasion of a visit to him in the White House early in 1949. The rabbi went on to assert: ‘God put you in your mother’s womb so you would be the instrument to bring about Israel’s rebirth after two thousand years.’ We are told by a witness that, ‘On hearing these words, Truman rose from his chair and, with great emotion, tears glistening in his eyes, he turned to the Chief Rabbi and asked him if his actions for the sake of the Jewish people were indeed to be interpreted thus and the hand of the Almighty was in the matter’.
These words of Truman’s – ‘I am Cyrus’ – were uttered neither casually nor ironically. We must take them with the fullest seriousness, and when we do, we will have the key to understanding Truman’s constant pro-Zionism.