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Clark CliffordThe Wise Man of Washington$
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John Acacia

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125510

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125510.001.0001

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The Recognition of Israel

The Recognition of Israel

Chapter:
(p.89) 4 The Recognition of Israel
Source:
Clark Clifford
Author(s):

John Acacia

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813125510.003.0005

Clark Clifford's memoirs begin with his May 1948 showdown with George Marshall over the question of whether Harry S. Truman should grant recognition to the soon-to-be-declared State of Israel. Clifford tells the story with dramatic flair, almost in David and Goliath terms, pointing out that Truman regarded Marshall as “the greatest living American.” The implication is that Clifford's stature paled in comparison to Marshall's. While it is true that Marshall was a war hero revered by Truman, and indeed the nation, Clifford's influence with Truman was at least equal to, if not greater than, Marshall's. According to Clifford's account, Truman and Marshall were on a “collision course over Mideast policy,” which threatened the viability of the administration, not to mention Truman's reelection bid. The Jewish vote was not numerically significant—Jews made up only four percent of the electorate—but it was concentrated in a few key states, particularly New York.

Keywords:   Clark Clifford, George Marshall, Harry S. Truman, Israel, Mideast policy, reelection, Jewish vote, New York

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