by Rabbi Shraga Simmons, August 1 2021

“More than any other ‘first friendship,’ a remarkable example of influence is Eddie Jacobson in 1948 marching into the Oval Office unannounced and essentially convincing Harry Truman to recognize the new State of Israel. [Gary Ginsberg’s] First Friends details the mind-boggling intersection of events spanning decades, pressing them both to rise to the moment.” The friendship and mutual respect between Jacobson and Truman had survived 45 years, but in 1948, Truman was being hammered by multiple voices, including of course the US State Department, pressuring him not to recognize the new state of Israel, some arguing theology, some fearing the Arabs would punish the USA by reducing its supply of oil. Jacobson was able to convince Truman to give Chaim Weizmann a hearing, and ultimately, Truman recognized Israel when it became a state.

AUTHOR: Rabbi Shraga Simmons is the co-founder of, and co-author of “48 Ways to Wisdom” (ArtScroll). He is Founder and Director of’s advanced learning site. He is co-founder of, and author of “David & Goliath”, an account of anti-Israel media bias. He holds a degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. He lives with his wife and children in the Modi’in region of Israel.

This article was published August 1, 2021 by the Aish organization and is archived at

It is archived at Think-Israel at