The Christ in Prophecy Journal

The Presidential History of US-Israel Relations (Part 1 of 5)

US-Israel Relations in the End Times

Since the establishment of Israel in May of 1948, which American political party has shown the most favor to the Jewish state? And, spiritually, what difference does it make?

To answer these questions, I produced a 52-minute message entitled “US-Israel Relations in the End Times.” Though this eye-opening sermon is available in its entirety on DVD, I presented an excerpt on our ministry’s television program Christ in Prophecy, duplicated below.

Now let us delve into the various U.S. administrations to discern their views and treatment of the nation of Israel. I think by the end of this series you will be surprised.

The Truman Administration

President Truman

Our relationship with the state of Israel began on the best possible terms in 1948 when Democratic President Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel eleven minutes after David Ben Gurion read the Declaration of Independence. We were the first nation of the world to recognize the existence of Israel.

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Truman had already shown a great heart for the Jewish people. He favored allowing Jewish refugees into the country after World War II, but the Congress balked at his proposal, so he just sat down and issued an executive order called the Truman Directive. He signed it on December 22, 1945. This order opened the door to Jewish immigration into the United States. Twenty-three thousand Jewish refugees came in in the next two years coming from Europe.

Truman continued to press Congress, and in 1948, he finally got legislation that permitted 80,000 Jews to enter our country in 1948 and 1949. Truman’s swift action on May 14, 1948, made the United States the first nation to recognize Israel. Our recognition gave Israel legitimacy in the eyes of the world.

Truman took this action because he was a student of the Bible and he believed the Jewish people had a right to the land. Amazingly, he took this action despite the fact that almost every person in his administration opposed it. In fact, the only person in the Truman Administration who encouraged recognition was the President’s legal counsel. Both James Forrestal, the Secretary of Defense, and George Marshall, the Secretary of State, vehemently opposed recognition of Israel.

The only person in the Truman Administration who encouraged the President was Clark Clifford, who was the President’s personal legal advisor. Most of the people in the administration did not like Clifford. They just considered him to be a political operative. But, he was a person who also believed that the Jews had a right to the land based upon his knowledge of the Bible and based upon his feeling that they were entitled to that land as a result of their suffering in the Holocaust.

I want to insert something here that I just can’t pass up. I’ve done a lot of study of the life of Harry Truman, concluding that most people don’t know much about him. Let me just tell you a little bit about him.

First of all, Truman was a child prodigy. He was reading at the age of three. He had read the entire Bible twice before he entered the first grade. He knew the Jewish history backwards and forwards. It’s amazing how God prepared him.

He ended up in Independence, Missouri. There you can count the Jews on one hand within a hundred miles. And yet, when Truman goes into World War I, who’s his best friend? A Jew from Kansas City. They developed a wonderful friendship with each other. Harry Truman’s best friend for life was Eddie Jacobson, a Jew from Kansas City.

When the men came back from World War I, they went into business together opening a men’s clothing store. Truman continued that friendship throughout his life.

How interesting that when Truman was getting ready to make this decision whether to recognize Israel as a nation or not, everybody in the administration was saying he shouldn’t recognize Israel. Everybody! Their argument was? If you recognize Israel, America will not have access to Arab oil. Sound familiar? Same old argument we’ve heard in the U.S. for the last 70 years.

It got down to the bottom line. On May 13, 1948, the day before Israel was about to declare itself a nation, Secretary of State George Marshall called over and said he wanted to come to the White House to make his final argument against recognizing Israel. The President said okay.

There was nobody on planet earth Truman esteemed more than Secretary of State George Marshall. He said in his memoirs, “I idolized the man.”

George Marshall had been the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff all throughout World War II. President Roosevelt relied on him so much that he would never allow him to enter into the battlefield. Roosevelt ordered Marshall to stay with him in Washington D.C. Marshall would be the strategist, and let Eisenhower fight the battles. For that reason, Truman appointed George Marshall as Secretary of State.

Marshall was a man of immense popularity. He was the one who proposed the Marshall Plan. He advised that America must rebuild Europe, because if we didn’t, the Communist would take all of Europe over.

Marshall had been selected by Time Magazine in 1949 as the Man of the Year. Truman loved this man.

And so, Marshall came to the White House with a large staff of about ten guys that he brought with him. He appointed one of them to speak ordering, “Now, you get up and you give an argument for why we should not recognize Israel as a nation.” This subordinate gets up and for 30 minutes he gives this impassioned argument as to why the U.S. should not recognize Israel.

After Marshall’s team’s plea, President Truman turned to Clark Clifford and requested Clifford to give the counter-argument as to why America should recognize Israel as its own nation. Well, Secretary of State Marshall went bananas! He considered Clark Clifford to just be a political operative. Marshall vehemently said to the President like, “I object to this man speaking! I don’t even know why he should be in this room. Why is he even here?” The President calmly replied, “Because I invited him.” And so, at that point, Clark Clifford got up and presented his arguments. All the while Secretary of State Marshall was sitting there steaming.

When Clifford finished his counter-argument, the Secretary of State stood up, looked hard at the President, and stated in front of the entire room of people, “Mr. President, if you recognize the State of Israel tomorrow, I will vote for your opponent in the November election.” One person in that room reported it was like all the air was suddenly sucked out of the room. Everybody was astonished. They just sat there stunned.

It seemed like an eternity before finally President Truman responded. He simply recommended, “I think we all need to go home and sleep on it.”

Well, the next morning, Secretary of State Marshall called the President. “Mr. President, I’ve slept on it. I’m still opposed, but if you recognize Israel, I will back you publicly.” And so, eleven minutes after Israel’s Declaration of Independence was signed, Truman recognized Israel as its own sovereign nation.

But, that is not the end of the story.

The Bible says God will bless those who bless Israel, and He’ll curse those who curse Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). President Truman was facing the toughest presidential election in U.S. history. When it came to November 1948, the Democratic Party was split three ways. Truman was the nominee for the Democrats. Strom Thurmond had pulled out and formed the Dixiecrat Party, which all the Southern states were supporting. Henry Wallace, the former Vice President, had formed the Progressive Party, which all the Socialists and Communist sympathizers were members.

While the Democrats were split into three different parties, the Republicans had the sophisticated, handsome, erudite governor of New York, Tom Dewey, as their candidate. Truman had no hope whatsoever of beating Dewey. None! Newspapers across the country had already printed their headlines in advance — “Dewey Defeats Truman.” To this day, no political scientist has ever been able to explain how in the world Truman won that election. But, I know how he did it. God blesses those who bless Israel, and He curses those who curse Israel.

Truman referred to his decision about recognizing Israel as quote, “The proudest day of my life.”

The Eisenhower Administration

President Eisenhower

Republican President Dwight Eisenhower always supported Israel in words, but behind the scenes he applied great pressure for Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula after the Suez War in 1956. In fact, Eisenhower became the first president in history to threaten Israel. He told the Israelis that if they did not withdraw from the Suez that he would withhold more than $100 million in U.S. aid. He also supported a UN resolution condemning Israel for not withdrawing.

One other thing Eisenhower did was to continue the arms embargo that had been initiated by Truman. Although Truman recognized Israel, Truman did a very naive thing after he recognized them. He announced that he was going to put an arms embargo on Israel so there would be no conflict in the Middle East. America couldn’t ship arms to Israel. They had to buy them from Czechoslovakia and places like that. President Eisenhower continued the Middle East arms embargo.

In the second segment of our study of how the various U.S. administrations viewed and treated the nation of Israel, we’ll survey the Kennedy through Reagan administrations.

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Dr. David Reagan

Dr. David Reagan is the Founder and Evangelist Emeritus of Lamb & Lion Ministries. He is a life-long Bible student, teacher, and preacher and he led over 45 pilgrimages to Israel. Dr. Reagan was the host of the radio then television program Christ in Prophecy for nearly 40 years.

11 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Didn’t both Harry Truman and Richard Nixon support Israel and her right to exist. I hope President Trump will be as supportive of Israel, and cut off funding to terrorist groups.

  • Mr Truman was my favourite US President by far. A straight talker, a Christian and more besides. David McCullough’s excellent biography is a fine read should you be interested in learning more about this fascinating man.

  • I have a large biography of Truman that is excellent, but don’t recall any mention of his being a prodigy who read the Bible through twice in his extreme youth. Wonderful detail. I think the secular bias of the historian might have intruded on his objectivity a bit there. He stressed also the Masronry of Truman lifelong, and his burial as a Mason in the Mason rites at his library courtyard, but did not show me that Truman was personal in his belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord. His family too, was not shown to be personal believers in Jesus, religious and hard-working people with integrity and grit, but not born-again believers in Jesus. Is that so? Yet for all that, the book was excellent, and I got to see the tremendous struggle Truman encountered when he stood up for Israel as a nation. It was most valiant, and the price was he could have lost his presidency in the coming election. I also enjoyed your article which brought details and items forth that the book I cite did not, such as his immigration policies favoring the Jewish refugees. I understand his embargo was naïve in its justification, putting the finger on Israel as the main focus of possible conflict, rather than the Arab Middle East which is a hotbed of conflict and needs no Israel to be at war continually. Most Americans probably never heard of Clifford and Jacobsen, and how vital they were. Chaim Weizman, the Zionist and future first president of Israel (right?) was also involved in the process of recognition, but in the book I read Truman was turned off by him initially, but Jacobsen was instrumental, going right to Truman, to get Truman to relent from keeping Weizman away from him. I will read the details again when I can, but God was in the details, every one of them, in bringing Truman to the right final decision. Can this event be written tool much about? I doubt it. It was epochal and absolutely necessary for Israel as a new nation. No wonder our nation in turn was blessed by God. God was well pleased! The God of Israel could not help but bless our nation, errant as he knew we would become. Thanks so much for your fine article. As I prepare to go to Israel and look up Tents of Mercy founded by the Shishkoffs, for I will need a home church there in Haifa, I will rely more than ever on your e-documents as the magazine can’t be sent to me, it will cost too much postage. I hope to set up an English Reading Room (with some Bibles too!), free to all, with my books, and your magazines too, in Haifa at my residence. I want to also connect with Holocaust survivors who are shut-ins, lonely, without family. I am 75, able to devote my remaining years to this. In Yeshua, Ronald Ginther

  • Fantastic! I always so look forward to Dr. Reagan’s tv shows and his posts. There are few men telling the truth in these days of apostasy! Keep feeding us truth!
    Hollis Caravetta
    On Fire Ministries

  • I pray every day that President Trump, like Truman will be given a big heart by God in that we will be the greatest supporter of Israel the world has ever seen. I often hearken back in my mind to a scripture in Revelation to where the Apostle John said the Lady Israel will be carried off to a place of safety in the desert on the wings of a great Eagle where she will be nourished for a time, (during the great tribulation period.) As Rabbi Jonathan Cahn once said, and not nearly enough people realize just how critical it is, that we need Israel much more than they need us. And that brought to mind another passage which says, “…if God is for us, who can stand against us?” And as believers, we all know of the promises that God made to Abraham regarding Israel, like King David, as the “apple of His eye!”

  • Okay people lets use the first gift God gave to man after the gift of life which is being made in his image, which is the ability to use logic and reason, which separates us from the animals and allows us to have dominion over them. Gen 1:26 (KJV)

    For God to choose someone because of race or nationality is wrong.
    God chooses those who choose him, hence called the adoption.
    15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15 (KJV)
    9 But now, after that ye have known God, OR RATHER ARE KNOWN OF GOD,…
    Gal 4:9 (KJV)
    28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
    29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Romans 2:28-29 (KJV)
    and the same can be said for the Christian. [For he is not a Christian, which is one outwardly;…]
    15 And ye shall leave your name (i.e. Jew) for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, AND CALL HIS SERVANTS BY ANOTHER NAME: (i.e. Christian) Isaiah 65:15 (KJV)

    Jerusalem is a spiritual city.
    26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. Gal 4:26 (KJV)
    24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: IN ALL PLACES WHERE I RECORD MY NAME I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. Ex 20:24 (KJV)

    God raises a nation to draw his adopted to.
    3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
    4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord. Jer 23:3-4 (KJV).
    43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Matt 21:43 (KJV)
    Exactly the same way he drew his adopted to this nation (U.S.A.) “One nation under God”.
    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
    Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
    But alas the nation always goes the way of the world and becomes a beast. Seven times God has raised a nation of great power, (represented by the sun) Rev 12:1 (KJV), and seven times he has brought it down to the pit (hell), today being the eighth and last time.
    10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
    11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. Rev 17:10-11 (KJV)
    We (U.S.A.) are the ones who brought down fire from heaven in Aug. of 1945 and we are the ones that gave life to the image of the beast in May of 1948.
    13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
    14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
    15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. Rev 13:13-15 (KJV)

    No people the last and “Great Tribulation” is for all on this earth except the elect. The disobedient and unbelieving unto wrath and vengeance and then the second death, and the obedient and believing (the adoption “the lukewarm”) unto chastisement and then ever lasting life.

    • God most certainly calls people based on race and nationality, and does it often throughout the Bible. Why, that the Messiah came as a Jew shows God chooses by race. And, Jerusalem isn’t a mere spiritual city, but one well explained in Ezekiel 40-48 and Revelation 21-22 as having physical dimensions and components.

      • I dont know from where Mr.Michea got his Bible and interpretations but there are many people today who go to great lengths to prove that the nation of Israel is not the true Israel also they take great pains to prove that God has done away with Israel and has chosen Christians ( the church) simply because the actions of the state of Israel does not suit them as they view it from their own comfort zones instead of seeing it in the real perspectives.Just as I will fight for my existence so is Israel. The new name he is talking about is not christian but Hepzibah and Beulah which are mentioned in earlier chapters. Christian is a nick name given by the gentiles of Antioch , before that they were called ” People of THE WAY” So please for Christ’s sake dont replace Israel is Israel and Church is church, when Messiah comes to rule in Jerusalem we will worship together ( Chruch + Israel) so learn to live and adjust with them now when the chance and time are there.
        God Bless you

  • No matter what race you are, God loves you, Do your best to please him in thought, word, and deed. Taste and see that the Lord is good, Psalm 34:8. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23. Genesis 12:3. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on the earth will be blessed through you. We should support Israel because God sent us the Messiah through King David, and the Jewish race. Christians are grafted onto the fig tree with the Jews, we are bound together.


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