Let us continue on with my first message in the Holy Land, which was presented on a visit to Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. I was explaining in the first part how God was preparing President Harry Truman for the role of America supporting Israel becoming a nation.
General George C. Marshall Objects
So, God puts Truman in as Vice President when the subject of Israel’s nationhood arose, but Truman and Clifford were the only two pro-Israel in his administration. Everybody else in the US Government was not only opposed, they were overwhelmingly opposed, to the establishment of the State of Israel.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff had a special meeting, and afterwards they came to the President and said, “Mr. President, we voted unanimously — no Jewish State.” You know what their argument was? It was the same argument you hear today — “If you recognize a Jewish State, it will cut off our access to Arab oil. The most important thing in the Middle East is access to Arab oil. We must have access, so we must placate the Arabs. Don’t worry about the Jews. The Arabs will destroy them overnight anyway.”
Truman wouldn’t make any commitment yet. He just listened to the Joint Chiefs.
More important than the Joint Chiefs of Staff were two other people. One was the Secretary of Defense, who was a very renowned man and was totally opposed to Israel becoming a nation. He said to the President, “Do not recognize Israel.”
The other, and the most important person in this discussion, was General George C. Marshall. Truman worshiped at his feet. He idolized the man. General Marshall was the leader of the United States Forces in World War II. Most people think it was Eisenhower who was in charge, but no, he was only Field Commander. The person who was in charge of all US Military Forces and all US strategy in World War II was General George C. Marshall. He was so valuable to FDR that FDR would never allow him to go into the battle for fear he might be killed.
General Marshall later become Secretary of State. He gave a famous speech at Harvard University where he said to the effect, “We must rebuild Europe for it’s lying it ruins. The Communists and all other kinds of radical groups will take over unless we go in and rebuild. We’ve got to provide them aid to rebuild.”The Marshall Plan was born. That plan rebuilt Europe, and as a result of that plan, Marshall was given the Nobel Peace Prize and he was given the Man of the Year award in 1947 right on the front of Time magazine. This was the man whom Harry Truman idolized.
General Marshall, who was Secretary of State at the time, came to Truman and said, “Under no condition are you to recognize Israel.” Now Truman hated the State Department. If you’ve ever read any of his writings, he always referred to them as “the guys in fancy stripped pants.” He said of them, “They’re a bunch of intellectuals who don’t have any common sense.” However, he did idolize General Marshall, and General Marshall told Truman, “You will not recognize the State of Israel.”
So here’s this tremendous debate going on, but all the while God was preparing Harry Truman’s heart for this moment. Not only had God put Truman in this great position of power, and not only had he given him this ability to read and know the Scriptures, but something else happened which is truly amazing, and you can see God’s hand in this.
When Harry Truman became a solider in World War I and went to Europe, guess who became his very best bosom buddy? It was a guy by the name of Eddie Jacobs who was a Jewish man from Independence, Missouri. This was a time when Jews were spit upon and hated in the United States just like blacks were. And yet, Eddie Jacobs became Harry Truman’s best friend. They were best friends for the rest of their lives. In fact, when World War I was over, they came back and the two of them started a haberdashery shop and sold men’s clothing. So, we see God orchestrating Eddie Jacobs and Harry Truman becoming friends.
Truman also chose Clark Clifford as his right-hand council. They were all men who believed in the Jewish destiny. God was surrounding Truman with all these people, like a hedge of protection, while the rest of the US Government was saying, “No Jewish State.”
Eddie Jacobson Pleas
On May 12, 1948, there was a very significant meeting at the White House. General Marshall called the president and said to the effect, “I want to bring my staff and we want to meet with you, Mr. President. We’re going to tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t recognize the State of Israel.” And, Marshall came with a large staff, and one of them was appointed to present the argument to the President. This fellow got up and presented a long argument to the President about all the reasons why the President should not recognize the State of Israel.
After the General’s man had finished speaking, the President asked, “Okay, Mr. Clifford, would you speak?” Clark Clifford got up and started speaking, but almost immediately General Marshall stood up and said, “Why is this political hack speaking at this meeting?” He considered Clark Clifford to be nothing more than a political hack. General Marshall said, “This is the State Department, and I want to ask you, Mr. President, why is this man even at this meeting?” President Truman simply responded, “Because I invited him.” So, Marshall sat back down and Clark Clifford continued giving his entire speech on why he thought the State of Israel should be recognized. All the while George Marshall was sitting there just steaming.
When Clark Clifford had finished his speech, General Marshall said something that absolutely astounded everyone in the room. It’s hard to even believe that he said this, but he said, “Mr. President, I won’t argue about this anymore. I have only one thing to say.” Now keep in mind he said this in front of a lot of witnesses, “If you recognize the State of Israel, I will vote for your opponent on Election Day.” Everyone in the room was so astounded they just sat in absolute silence. Nobody could believe that Marshall spoke to the President that way. You see, the election was coming up soon in November of 1948, so you can see why that was a very threatening statement. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, President Truman replied, “You know, I think the best thing for all of us to do is to go home and get a good night’s rest and think about this.” So, they all left for the night.
The next morning, May 13, the Secretary of State called the President and he said, “Mr. President, I thought about it. Here’s where I am. I’m still totally opposed to it, but if you recognize the State of Israel, I will not speak one contrary word. I will be silent and I will not speak out against your decision. The decision is yours.” Still, nobody knew for sure what the President’s decision would be.
While all that was going on, Eddie Jacobson called the President and he said, “Mr. President, you’ve been in office since 1945 and not once have I asked anything of you. But, I want to come to Washington, D.C. and meet with you personally.” So, Eddie Jacobson came to Washington, D.C. and met with the President. He said, “Mr. President, I believe that when you were in your father’s loins that God anointed you to recognize the State of Israel. I’ve never asked anything of you before, but I want to ask you to recognize the State of Israel. I think this is of God.” Then he left. So, there was Truman, in the midst of all this controversy, with a huge decision to make.
Truman made his decision, and on May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion stood up in Independence Hall in Tel Aviv where I’m standing now and read the Declaration of Independence. Just 11 minutes later, Harry Truman signed a short document stating that he recognized the State of Israel. Right away armaments began to flow into Israel. That’s the reason why Harry Truman is considered such a great man in the State of Israel. They have statues of him all over the place, because he was considered the savior of Israel on that day.
It wasn’t but the next morning after Israel declared its nationhood that Israel was attacked by five Arab nations.
The Declaration of Independence of Israel
Let’s pause for a moment. I want to ask Gary Fisher of Lion of Judah Ministries to read from the Declaration of Independence of Israel.
In the land of Israel the Jewish people came into being. In this land would shape their spiritual, religious, and national character. Here they lived in sovereign independence. Here they created a culture of national and universal import, and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books. Exiled by force, still the Jewish people kept faith with their land, in all the countries of their dispersion, steadfast in their prayer and hope to return and here revive their political freedom.
Fired by this attachment of history and tradition, the Jews in every generation strove to renew their roots in the ancient Homeland, and in recent generations they came home in their multitudes. Veteran pioneers and defenders, and new-comers braving blockade, they made the wilderness bloom, revived their Hebrew tongue, and built villages and towns. They founded a thriving society of its own economy and culture, pursuing peace, but able to defend itself, bringing the blessing of progress to all the inhabitants of the land, dedicated to the attainment of sovereign independence.
In 1897, the first Zionist Congress met the call of Theodore Herzl, seer of the vision of the Jewish State, gave public voice to the right of the Jewish people to national restoration of their land. The right was acknowledge in the Balfour Declaration on 2nd of November 1917, and confirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations, which accorded international validity to the historical connection between the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, and to their right to re-establish their national home.
The holocaust that in time destroyed millions of Jews in Europe again proved beyond doubt the compelling need to solve the problem of Jewish homelessness and dependence by the renewal of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel, which would open wide the gates of the homeland to every Jew and endow the Jewish people with the status of a nation with the equality of rights within the family of nations. It is the natural right of the Jewish people, like any other people, to control their own destiny in their sovereign state.
Accordingly, we, the members of the National Council, representing the Jewish people in the land of Israel and the Zionist Movement, have assembled in the day of the termination of the British mandate for Palestine and, by virtue of our natural and historic right, and the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, do hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish State in the land of Israel — the State of Israel.
An Unprecedented Election
So, the State of Israel was established. Harry Truman recognized it. Arms began to flow. Then, five Arab nations attacked, and yet the Israelis have been able to survive to this day.
But, the story doesn’t end here.
Following all that was the national election for the presidency which was coming up in November of 1948. Harry Truman had no chance of being re-elected. The Democrat Party had split three ways. Harry Truman received the nomination of the Democrats. Strom Thurmond pulled out of the party and formed what was called the Dixiecrat Party, which composed all the southern states. It was a party that was in favor of State’s Rights and Segregation. And, Henry Wallace the Socialist formed the Progressive Party. All of the Socialist Democrats and Liberal Democrats pulled out and they supported him.
The Republicans united under the very handsome and charismatic Governor of New York, Tom Dewey. Truman had so little chance of being re-elected that many newspapers printed the headline in advance, “Dewey Defeats Truman.” You’ve probably seen the famous picture of Truman holding up one of those papers.
At the astonishment of everyone, including Harry Truman, he was re-elected. It was the greatest upset in the history of American politics. There was no presidential election like it in history. How he won nobody knows. God says in His word, “To those who bless Israel I will bless them, and to those who curse Israel I will curse them.” God greatly blessed Harry Truman for the decision he made to support Israel being its own nation.
Why should this be of any significance to us? Simply, because God fulfilled a promise that He made thousands of years ago. God has made a lot of promises to His Church, a lot of promises. Every time I see Him fulfilling a promise to the Jewish people such as: their regathering from the four corners of the earth, the re-establishment of their state, the revival of their language, and the re-occupation of the city of Jerusalem. When I see all these things happening, I know God is going to be faithful to fulfill every promise He has made to you and me and we can praise Him for that.
Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near!