On this day, May 14, 1948, the United States became the first country to recognize the State of Israel.
At midnight, the Provisional Government of Israel declared the establishment of the State of Israel. At 6:11 pm that same day, President Truman released a statement recognizing the new state and the provisional Jewish government as its de facto authority.
The following day, after issuing a response statement, armies from nearby Arab states invaded Israel, beginning the first Arab-Israeli war.
Photo: Dr. Chaim Weizmann, President of Israel, presents a Torah, or Holy Scroll, to President Truman during a visit to the White House. Donor: Rabbi Phillip S. Bernstein. May 25, 1948.
New Dimensions of a Relationship
President and Mrs. Ford welcomed President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Mrs. Sadat to the White House on October 27, 1975. On that day President Sadat became the first Egyptian head of state to make an official visit the United States.
The leaders had met for the first time in June 1975 for talks in Salzburg, Austria, where they established “a warm personal friendship,” as President Ford said in remarks at the arrival. He also praised President Sadat’s leadership in the Middle East:
The United States Government respects your farsighted statesmanship and wisdom, and your unswerving dedication to the well being of the Egyptian people and to all of the Arab people. You, Mr. President, have helped to bring about historic new developments in the Middle East. It is our fervent hope that these developments will lead to a durable peace for all peoples of that region.
In his responding remarks President Sadat recognized America’s contributions to peace in his region, noting that “Great events have taken place in our area since our meeting and, thanks to you and to the people of the United States that are behind you and seeking peace, based on justice.”
The Persian Gulf Crisis
On August 1-2, 1990, eighty thousand Iraqi troops and tanks crossed the border into Kuwait, triggering events that would lead to the Persian Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm.
Photo: President Bush participates in a full National Security Council meeting regarding Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Also present are William Webster, Robert Kimmitt, Secretary Cheney, Richard Darman, Governor Sununu, Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, Secretary Brady, Vice President Quayle, General Colin Powell and Secretary James Watkins, 8/2/90.
The Camp David Accords
Thirty-four years ago in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, three world leaders came together seeking a way out of the years unrest in the Middle East.
At the invitation of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt came to the secluded presidential retreat, Camp David. Each leader took enormous risks to be there.
On September 17, 1978 the Camp David Accords were signed and the groundwork laid out for the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty. Read more
Photo: Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter and Menahem Begin at the Camp David Accords Signing Ceremony. East Room, White House. 9/17/1978.
from the Carter Library
Middle East Peace Agreement Ceremony
Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat together - the historic handshake between the Israeli Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) took place after the signing of the Middle East Peace Agreement on September 13, 1993. The ceremony was held on the South Lawn of the White House.
-From the Clinton Library
Recognition of Israel
At midnight on May 14, 1948, the Provisional Government of Israel proclaimed the new State of Israel.
On that same date, the United States recognized the provisional Jewish government as de facto authority of the new Jewish state. Read more
Here is President Harry S. Truman’s draft for the recognition of Israel. 4/14/48
Treaty of Peace Between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Israel
On March 26, 1979, on the North Grounds of the White House, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin joined hands after the signing of the “Treaty of Peace Between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Israel.”
This is among the most requested photographs in the holdings of the Carter Library.
More- The Camp David Accords