US Presidents on Israel

US Presidents on the US-Israel Alliance

    President Truman meeting on May 8, 1951 with Prime Minister David 
    Ben Gurion of Israel and Ambassador Abba Eban. (Photo: Truman Library)​.

    ​Harry S. Truman​

    Truman Speech for the Conference of the National Jewish Welfare Board:

    “I am proud of my part in the creation of this new state. Our Government was 
    the first to recognize the State of Israel.” (Full Speech)

    Statement by President Truman Announcing Recognition of the State of Israel:

    “This government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in 
    Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof.” (Full Statement)

    File:Dwight D. Eisenhower, official photo portrait, May 29, 1959.jpg
    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Radio and Television Address to the American People on the Situation in the Middle East, February 20, 1957

    "The people of Israel, like those of the United States, are imbued with a religious faith and a sense of moral values.​" (Full Address)

    Statement by the President: The Jewish High Holy Days, September 14, 1958

    "The teaching of their ancient belief is filled with truth for the present day. Its profound sense of justice, nation to nation, man to man, is an essential part of every religious and social order. The health of our society depends upon a deep and abiding respect for the basic commandments of the God of Israel.”  (Full Statement)

    JFK Official portrait
    (Photo: John F. Kennedy Library and Museum)

    John F. Kennedy

    Speech by Senator John F. Kennedy, Zionists of America Convention, Statler Hilton Hotel, New York, NY. August, 26, 1960:

    "For Israel was not created in order to disappear - Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom; and no area of the world has ever had an overabundance of democracy and freedom." (Full Speech)​

    Lyndon B. Johnson

    Remarks of Welcome at the White House to Prime Minister Eshkol of Israel, June 1, 1964

    “We share many common objectives, Mr. Prime Minister, chief of which is the building of a better world, a world in which every nation can develop its resources and develop them in freedom and in peace. I am confident this visit will result in increased understanding between us and a strengthening of our already cordial relations. Mr. Prime Minister, it gives me great pleasure to say shalom.” (Full Statement)

    U.S President Richard Nixon, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and U.S Secretary of State, 
    Dr. Henry Kissinger, during a work session at King David Hotel in Jerusalem. 
    Photo: Ya'acov Sa'ar, GPO​.​

    Richard Nixon

    Remarks on Arrival at Tel Aviv, Israel, June 16, 1974

    "We have been through, over these years, some difficult times. During the period that I have served as President of the United States, we have been through some difficult times together, and I can only say that the friendship that we have for this nation, the respect and the admiration we have for the people of this nation, their courage, their tenacity, their firmness in the face of very great odds, is one that makes us proud to stand with Israel, as we have in the past in times of trouble, and now to work with Israel in a better time, a time that we trust will be a time of peace.” (Full Text)

    President Ford and Prime Minister Rabin during Rabin's visit to the White House, September 10, 1974 (Photo: Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum)​

    Gerald R. Ford

    Remarks of Welcome to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel on his visit to the US, September 10, 1974

    “The United States, Mr. Prime Minister, has been proud of its association with the State of Israel. We shall continue to stand with Israel. We are committed to Israel's survival and security.

    The United States for a quarter of a century has had an excellent relationship with the State of Israel. We have cooperated in many, many fields--in your security, in the well-being of the Middle East, and in leading what we all hope is a lasting peace throughout the world.” (Full Statement)

    Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin addresses The Knesset during the visit of US 
    President Carter to Israel. Photo: Ya'acov Sa'ar, GPO​.

    Jimmy Carter

    The President's News Conference May 12, 1977

    “We have a special relationship with Israel. It's absolutely crucial that no one in our country or around the world ever doubt that our number one commitment in the Middle East is to protect the right of Israel to exist, to exist permanently, and to exist in peace. It's a special relationship.” (Full Statement)

    Springfield, Illinois Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session With Members of the State Legislature, May 26, 1978

    “The special relationship between the United States and Israel still stands. Our total commitment to Israel's security and our hope for peace is still preeminent among all the other considerations that our Nation has in the Middle East.” (Full Statement)

    Arrival Ceremony for State Visit of Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel on the south lawn. September/9/1981. Photo: The Reagan Presidential Library​

    Ronald Reagan

    Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony for Prime Minister Menahem Begin of Israel , September, 9 1981

    "I welcome this chance to further strengthen the unbreakable ties between the United States and Israel and to assure you of our commitment to Israel's security and well-being. Israel and America may be thousands of miles apart, but we are philosophical neighbors sharing a strong commitment to democracy and the rule of law. What we hold in common are the bonds of trust and friendship, qualities that in our eyes make Israel a great nation. No people have fought longer, struggled harder, or sacrificed more than yours in order to survive, to grow, and to live in freedom." (Full Statement)​

    Address to the Nation on United States Policy for Peace in the Middle East, September 1, 1982

    “...make no mistake, the United States will oppose any proposal from any party and at any point in the negotiating process that threatens the security of Israel. America's commitment to the security of Israel is ironclad, and, I might add, so is mine.” 

    President Bush and Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir of Israel visit the Smithsonian Air 
    and Space Museum in Washington, DC. April 6, 1989. (Photo: George​ Bush Presidential

    George H. W. Bush

    Remarks at a Dinner Honoring Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir of Israel, April 6, 1989

    "... the friendship, the alliance between the United States and Israel is strong and solid -- built upon a foundation of shared democratic values, of shared history and heritage that sustain the moral life of our two countries. The emotional bond of our peoples goes -- it transcends politics. Our strategic cooperation -- and I renewed today our determination that that go forward -- is a source of mutual security. And the United States' commitment to the security of Israel remains unshakable. We may differ over some policies from time to time, individual policies, but never over this principle." (Full Remarks)​

    U.S President Bill Clinton, and Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, during a meeting 
    at King David hotel. Photo: GPO​

    Bill Clinton

    The President's News Conference With Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel, March 15, 1993

    "Israel's democracy is the bedrock on which our relationship stands. It's a shining example for people around the world who are on the frontline of the struggle for democracy in their own lands. Our relationship is also based on our common interest in a more stable and peaceful Middle East, a Middle East that will finally accord Israel the recognition and acceptance that its people have yearned for so long and have been too long denied, a Middle East that will know greater democracy for all its peoples."

    "I believe strongly in the benefit to American interests from strengthened relationships with Israel. Our talks today have been conducted in that context. We have begun a dialog intended to raise our relationship to a new level of strategic partnership, partners in the pursuit of peace, partners in the pursuit of security." (Full Statement)​

    US President George W. Bush, His wife Laura Bush, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, his wife Aliza Olmert at a reception ceremony, Ben Gurion Airport, Israel.

    George W. Bush

    • From President George Bush's Add​ress to the Knesset, May 15, 2008

      "Sixty years ago in Tel Aviv, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel's independence, founded on the 'natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate.' What followed was more than the establishment of a new country. It was the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David -- a homeland for the chosen people Eretz Yisrael.

      Eleven minutes later, on the orders of President Harry Truman, the United States was proud to be the first nation to recognize Israel's independence. And on this landmark anniversary, America is proud to be Israel's closest ally and best friend in the world.

      The alliance between our governments is unbreakable, yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty. It is grounded in the shared spirit of our people, the bonds of the Book, the ties of the soul. When William Bradford stepped off the Mayflower in 1620, he quoted the words of Jeremiah: "Come let us declare in Zion the word of God." The founders of my country saw a new promised land and bestowed upon their towns names like Bethlehem and New Canaan. And in time, many Americans became passionate advocates for a Jewish state." (Full speech)​

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama at the White House.
      Photo: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO

      Barack Obama

      Remarks by the President on the Middle East and North Africa, May 19, 2011

      "As for Israel, our friendship is rooted deeply in a shared history and shared values.  Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. And we will stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums." (Full Statement)​

      President's Speech at the 20122 AIPAC Policy Conference, May 22, 2011

      "America’s commitment to Israel’s security flows from a deeper place -- and that’s the values we share.  As two people who struggled to win our freedom against overwhelming odds, we understand that preserving the security for which our forefathers -- and foremothers -- fought must be the work of every generation.  As two vibrant democracies, we recognize that the liberties and freedoms we cherish must be constantly nurtured.  And as the nation that recognized the State of Israel moments after its independence, we have a profound commitment to its survival as a strong, secure homeland for the Jewish people." (Full Speech)