When Chaim Weizmann took office as the First President of the new State of Israel, he had many people to thank. First securing a future for Israel on November 29th, 1947 with the Partition of Palestine, Israel then became a recognized state on May 14, 1948.
Prior to serving such an esteemed role in the development of the Jewish State, Weizmann was a spokesman of the Zionist cause in England, where he helped to get the Balfour Declaration passed in November of 1917. This declaration then set the stage for the Mandate over Palestine which was given to England by the League of Nations in 1922.
As a leader of the World Zionist Movement, and then as Israel’s first president, Weizmann worked tirelessly for the Zionist cause.
He met with President Harry Truman in March of 1948, urging the American President to understand how important the establishment of the Jewish State was. This meeting, and his tireless campaigning undoubtedly helped America to vote for the creation of the Jewish State.
Weizmann was elected as the first President of the State of Israel in February of 1949 and was sworn in on February 16th in Jerusalem. Only four days later, on February 20th, he wrote a letter to President Harry Truman’s aid, Clark Clifford. In the letter, which the Shapell Manuscript Foundation is featuring as part of its “Between the Lines” program, he wrote,
“Our mutual friend… has kept me informed of doings in Washington, and especially of your magnificent cooperation in many critical situations. In these days of struggle and readjustment we are desperately in need of understanding friendships, and it is good to know that we have in you a genuine friend of our cause. I assure you, and I wish you would in turn assure your great Chief, that we desire nothing but peace and amity with our neighbours, and that we have no aggressive designs on any of them. We shall always be mindful of the Biblical injunction: “Zion will be rebuilt in Justice”.”
He included a copy of his book, “Trial and Error” with the letter featured with the Shapell Manuscript Foundation and he signed off warmly by saying, “With kindest personal regards and best wishes.”
President Chaim Weizmann understood how pivotal America’s support had been in the establishment of the State, and he took the time on his first official day in office to make his appreciation understood.