Friday 10 March 2023

The USSR was the first country to recognise the State of Israel, but the US acknowledged the Jewish government de facto three days earlier


It looks like the Arabs may be about to mutiny in the West Bank again.

American Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is making an unannounced visit to Tel Aviv. He was reported on the news this morning, boasting that the USA was the first country to recognise Israel. 

This startled me. I always understood that the Soviet Union was. 

Googling, I find I was right but that it was a damn close run thing, as Wellington said of the Battle of Waterloo. 

Israel's representative at the UN at the time said, "There was something almost messianic in this convergence of American and Soviet ideas".

On 14th May minutes after it declared independence, President Truman, recognised the provisional Jewish government as the de facto authority of the Jewish state (de jure recognition came on January 31, 1949)

Iran was the next country to do so. Great Britain, which had just resigned her mandate over Palestine, did not do so. 

On May 17, 1948, three days later, the Soviet Union was the first country to recognise the State of Israel. 

Why? According to the book to which I linked it was because Stalin was making trouble. Another explanation is that he assumed the Jewish State would be Communist.

1 comment:

  1. The first major American body to recognise Israel was the Republican Party at the 1944 National Convention (yes years before formal independence). Governor Tom Dewey of New York (the once famous anti Mafia campaigner) was the main force behind this - and his assistant became the first General in the Israeli army (ironically he was killed by an Israeli sentry - because he was challenged at night in Hebrew, a language the American could not speak).