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Israeli Ambassador Honors Truman for His Legacy of Leadership | May 11, 2023

Pictured above, left to right: Clifton Truman Daniel, Ambassador Michael Herzog, Truman Library Institute Chairman Pat Ottensmeyer (Photo: Mark McDonald)

Ambassador Michael Herzog Pays Tribute to Harry Truman for Recognizing Israel’s Independence 75 Years Ago

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (May 11, 2023) – Ambassador Michael Herzog today paid tribute to the 33rd President of the U.S. for his decision 75 years ago to recognize the fledgling State of Israel, just 11 minutes after it had declared its independence.

Ambassador Herzog toured the Truman Presidential Library & Museum in Independence, MO as part of the Truman Library Institute’s celebration of Truman and the birth of Israel. He toured the recently transformed museum exhibition on Truman’s life, lingering in the gallery on the recognition of Israel. Herzog saw how and why President Truman decisively affirmed the question of a Jewish homeland 75 years ago during growing Cold War tensions, a tough reelection challenge, and fierce opposition from his advisers.

On behalf of the Israeli people, the Ambassador placed a wreath at President Truman’s grave in the courtyard of the Truman Library.

“We are commemorating here today the initial spark of what has become seventy-five years of a deep, unique bond between our countries,” Ambassador Herzog said during his visit. “This is a bond anchored in shared values and interests as well as a special affinity between our peoples. I feel honored to have been invited to speak and reflect on these seventy-five years of friendship.”

Clifton Truman Daniel, eldest grandson of President Truman, participated in the ceremonies. “My grandfather considered his decision to recognize Israel a mere 11 minutes after David Ben-Gurion’s declaration of independence one of the proudest of his life,” he said.

Alex Burden, Executive Director of the Truman Library Institute, acknowledged that the 75th anniversary of President Truman’s recognition of Israel is occurring amid rising antisemitism in the U.S.

“This is a moment to explore the complex global challenges President Truman faced,” Burden said, “as well as the lessons that can be gleaned from his principled leadership, his unwavering commitment to democratic ideals, and his world-defining decisions.”

“History is constituted by certain defining moments,” Ambassador Herzog said. “President Truman created several such moments, and we are proud to be included in them. It is no exaggeration to say that his decision to recognize Israel was a critical point in the history of the Jewish people. People perhaps do not realize how easily it all could have gone the other way. Yet in that decisive moment, he courageously signaled to the world that the United States was committed to the idea of Jewish statehood. I would like to believe that seventy-five years after President Truman took the valiant step to recognize the State of Israel, he would also agree that what our country has accomplished is nothing short of a miracle.”

The Harry S. Truman Library & Museum is one of 15 presidential libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. Established in 1957, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum preserves and provides access to President Truman’s historical materials. Through engaging exhibits and programs, the Library aspires to reach a broad and diverse audience in a continuous effort to keep President Truman’s life and legacy alive, emphasizing his ideals of citizenship, learning, and service. Learn more at

The Truman Library Institute is the member-supported, nonprofit partner of the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum. The Truman Library Institute draws on President Truman’s legacy to enrich public understanding of history, the presidency, and America’s unique form of government. This mission is achieved through the development and funding of world-class museum exhibits, a robust international research grant program, public forums, and nationally acclaimed education programs serving more than 50,000 students and teachers each year.

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