Term of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of History

Committee Chair

William Allison

Committee Member 1

Ahmet Akturk

Committee Member 2

Mao Lin


This thesis examines the United States’ relationship with Israel and the wider Middle East between the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. The United States’ relationship with Israel has reverberated across the Middle East and studying its impact is critical for understanding past and present issues in the region. It begins with an examination of the factors that impelled President Truman to act against the advice of his Department of State and recognize Israel only minutes after it declared statehood in May 1948; arguing that, above all else, domestic political considerations lay at the heart of his decision. It then assesses the impact of this decision on the Eisenhower administration’s efforts to develop a coherent Cold War foreign policy in the region. Here, it charts the evolution of a policy constructed around the belief that the United States’ relationship with Israel risked driving the resource rich Arab states into the arms of the Soviet Union. This concern grew from perception to reality between 1953 and 1956, resulting in a significant expenditure of diplomatic energy and foreign aid to combat perceived Soviet advances in the Middle East. In the end, it posits that President Truman’s decision to recognize Israel ran counter to the United States’ Cold War objectives, thereby indicating a conflict of interests in U.S. foreign policy.

Research Data and Supplementary Material