When Israel declared itself a country, against every bit of political advice, Harry Truman told America 11 minutes after that declaration that America supported that State of Israel. Against all advice and rampant anti semitism in America. United States recognition of Israel Why did the United States immediately recognize the State of Israel? Click For Enlargement US State Department Telegram, May 14, 1948 Margaret Truman said it was the most difficult decision Harry Truman ever faced as president. Should he support the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, or shouldn't he? Presidential advisers and the government were split. Clark Clifford, Truman's legal counsel, strongly favored recognition. The Jews deserved a sanctuary after the horror of the Holocaust, Clifford argued. Besides, the new state would likely come to pass whether Truman urged it or not. But the Department of State, including the highly respected Secretary of State, George Marshall, advised against it, as did much of his cabinet. Truman greatly admired Marshall and had said, "there wasn't a decoration big enough" to honor Marshall's leadership during World War II. At a White House meeting on May 12, 1948, Marshall objected to quick US recognition of a Jewish homeland. It would look as if Truman was angling for Jewish votes, he said, and might endanger access to Arab oil. He went so far as to say that if Truman went ahead and recognized the new state, then Marshall would vote against him in the coming election. Truman made his own decision. Two days later, May 14, 1948 Israel was born at the stroke of midnight, Jerusalem time. The United States announced its recognition of the new nation only 11 minutes later. Danial Pipes, in reviewing Michael T. Benson's book Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel makes these observations about Truman's decision: Everyone knows that Harry Truman provided help to the Zionists because he could count votes, and there were few Arab votes in 1948. That, anyway, is the thesis developed by John Snetsinger in 1974 and since repeated ad nauseum. Well, it turns out not to be true. In a masterful and exciting presentation, Benson proves that Truman's policies resulted not from nose-counting but from deeply-held beliefs. His pro-Israel outlook "was based primarily on humanitarian, moral, and sentimental grounds, many of which were an outgrowth of the president's religious upbringing and his familiarity with the Bible." Extensive research into Truman's biography and earlier career shows his impressive consistency. Benson, of the University of Utah, establishes Truman as a studious child and deeply religious young man who, when he unexpectedly found himself in the Oval Office, lived faithfully by his precepts. In the case at hand, he expressed sympathy for Zionism as early as 1939 and reiterated his views many times subsequently. Truman's determination had great importance; of the many momentous issues in his presidency, he personally involved himself most directly with what he called the "puzzle of Palestine." In Benson's words, these personal interventions against the entirety of the American foreign policy establishment "constantly rescued" the Jews from defeat. The author concludes that the standard account of Truman risking U.S. security interests for cheap political advantage is deeply unfair to this most moral and honorable of American presidents.