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FAU LifeLong Learning, Boca Raton
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Presenting programs for LLS
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President Harry Truman's decision to recognize the State of Israel
Robert P. Watson

EVENT DESCRIPTION: President Harry Truman's decision to recognize the new State of Israel on May 14, 1948 followed an epic struggle in Washington, including the most serious disagreement the President ever had with his revered Secretary of State, George C. Marshall. The decision followed what Clark Clifford later called "the most remarkable threat I ever heard anyone make directly to a President" when Marshall told Truman that he would vote against the President if he recognized Israel. This decision followed one in March 1948 when Truman promised Chaim Weizmann, Israeli's future president that he would support a UN partition of Palestine, only to learn that the US Ambassador to the UN had previously voted against partition and for a UN trusteeship. Truman realized that his decisions were opposed by almost the entire foreign policy establishment, yet he chose to proceed at a time when Israel's very survival was at risk. This talk will provide a clear account of a complex chain of events in Palestine, New York and Washington. This lecture will examine the various political intrigues, backroom machinations and entrenched bureaucratic interests, as well as the factors that resulted in Truman's ultimate decisions.

Included, as an added bonus, a portion of this lecture will likely consist of observations, and commentary regarding the current political and cultural landscape in the U.S. and abroad.

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION:  Dr. Robert P. Watson is Professor of American Studies at Lynn University and Senior Fellow at the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship. He has published 36 books and hundreds of articles, chapters, and essays on topics in American politics and history; co-convened a half-dozen national conferences on the presidency; and serves on the boards of several scholarly journals, presidential foundations, and community and professional associations. A frequent media commentator, he has given thousands of media interviews to local, national, and international print, radio, and television outlets, including CNN, BBC, USA Today, and others. He wrote a Sunday column for the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, and is the political analyst for WPTV-5 NBC. He has won several teaching awards including Professor of the Year at FAU and Lynn (twice) and FAU's Faculty Service Award (twice).

SPL3133
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:45 pm
Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member advance registration - $20 per event
$50 for any combination of three events
$100 for any combination of seven events
Door price member/non-member - $25

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