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Document showing America’s official recognition of Israel in May 1948 up for sale

The document, valued at $300,000, is the only known signed copy of the final recognition of the Jewish state to exist.

The exhibition copy of America's recognition of the Jewish state, 1948. Source: Screenshot via the Raab Collection.
The exhibition copy of America's recognition of the Jewish state, 1948. Source: Screenshot via the Raab Collection.

The original exhibition copy of the United States’ recognition of Israel in 1948, signed by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, is up for sale for the first time.

The document, valued at $300,000, is the only known signed copy of the final recognition of the Jewish state to exist.

The Raab Collection, the nation’s leading dealer in important historical documents, announced on Tuesday that it has acquired the historical artifact ahead of Israel’s Independence Day in May.

Previously, the document was exhibited by the American and Israeli governments.

It reads: “This government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the provision government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.”

“This document speaks to the power of the Jewish hope of a homeland and its realization after World War II,” said Raab Collection president Nathan Raab. “It was signed by Truman for the New York World’s Fair and since then has been used by both the American and Israeli governments as the symbol of the great recognition of Israel by the United States.”

On May 14, 1948, the provisional government of Israel declared a new State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state after 2,000 years of exile and three years after the end of the Holocaust, with neighboring countries responding by declaring a war that they ended up losing.

Within hours of the Israeli declaration, Truman drafted, then revised and issued a press release recognizing the provisional Jewish government as de facto authority of the Jewish state, as the United States  became the first country to recognize it.

This was an unsigned press release; no signed copy was produced at that time. A signed copy of an early draft of that release is at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Missouri.

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