The Birth of Israel: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of Statehood in 1948

Lynn University

Robert Watson is an award-winning author, professor, historian, and analyst for numerous media outlets. He has published over forty books on history and politics, five works of fiction, and hundreds of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and reference essays. He also serves as the series editor for the scholarly book anthology on the American presidency published by the State University of New York and as the editor of The American Presidents and American First Ladies. He serves as Distinguished Professor of American History, Avron Fogelman Eminent Research Professor, and Director of Project Civitas at Lynn University and as Senior Fellow at the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship.



The long-awaited moment arrived in 1948. Yet, there was considerable opposition to statehood abroad and the new fledgling state would need not only political credibility around the world, but support from the US, international trading partners, investment, a military, and more. This talk, based on extensive interviews with former aides to Truman and archival research, explores the important and productive relationship between Harry Truman and leaders such as Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Abba Eban, and David Ben-Gurion, with emphasis given to both the political and diplomatic deal-making that occurred behind the scenes and the moral courage demonstrated during that critical decision.



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marianne bernsen

Israeli history

Background info was sketchy and thin- why not just concerntrate on
what the lecturer had done his research in- and share in MORE detail the struggles of Truman, his supporters and his detractors.
That should be the MAIN focus- so much of Trumans Israeli history is NOT well know- and the people behind a lot of these
pro Israel decisions are also not well known- so tell us more about them.
this was a disappointing lecture.

4 months ago
Sam Klepper

Great insights, knowledgeable speaker

Fascinating stories and background about the key people and circumstances leading to the creation of the state of Israel. The professor is conversational and anecdote-oriented making him very approachable. In many ways this becomes a story of Harry Truman and his motivation for leading this effort. Learned a ton. Well done!

3 months ago
Terry Segal

I am a recovering Boston lawyer who is a huge Truman fan. I have read all the books about Truman and his recognition of Israel. Last week I visited the Truman library.
Professor Watson’s talk was excellent. He is extremely knowledgeable, and presented the material in a very understandable fashion.
Based on my own research, the only place where I differ with him is when he said eventually Marshall supported Truman’s decision. My research said Marshall told an associate he had two choices: resign or as a good soldier follow the orders of the commander and chief.
There was also a political component to Truman’s decision. In one book he is quoted as saying,” How many Arabs vote in the US.?
I joined One day, because I wanted to hear Professor Watson’s talk. It was well worth the price of membership. Terry Philip Segal, [email protected]

2 months ago
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