1. President Harry Truman with Israeli P.M. David Ben Gurion (right) and Ambassador Abba Eban
President Harry Truman made the United States the first nation to recognize Israel on May 14, 1948.
2. President Dwight Eisenhower with Israeli P.M. David Ben-Gurion
“Our forces saved the remnant of the Jewish people of Europe for a new life and a new hope in the reborn land of Israel. Along with all men of good will, I salute the young state and wish it well,” President Eisenhower said.
3. President John F. Kennedy with Israeli P.M. Golda Meir
President Kennedy said Israel “carries the shield of democracy and honors the sword of freedom.”
4. President Lyndon Johnson with Israeli P.M. Yitzhak Rabin
“[The United States and Israel] share many common objectives … chief of which is the building of a better world in which every nation can develop its resources and develop them in freedom and peace,” President Johnson said.
5. President Richard Nixon with Israeli P.M. Golda Meir
“The Israelis have shown qualities that Americans identify with: guts, patriotism, idealism, a passion for freedom. I have seen it. I know. I believe that,” President Nixon said.
6. President Gerald Ford with Israeli P.M. Yitzhak Rabin
“Our commitment to Israel will meet the test of American stead, fairness, and resolve,” President Ford said.
7. President Jimmy Carter with Israeli P.M. Menachem Begin
“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,” President Carter said.
8. President Ronald Reagan with Israeli P.M. Yitzhak Shamir
“Today, no one questions that Israel is a land of stability and democracy in a region of tyranny and unrest … America has never flinched from its commitment to the State of Israel—a commitment which remains unshakable,” President Reagan said.
9. President George H.W. Bush with Israeli P.M. Yitzhak Rabin
“For more than 40 years, the United States and Israel have enjoyed a friendship built on mutual respect and commitment to democratic principles,” President Bush said.
10. President Bill Clinton with Israeli P.M. Ehud Barak
“Like America, Israel is a strong democracy, a symbol of freedom, and an oasis of liberty, a home to the oppressed and persecuted,” said President Clinton.
11. President George W. Bush with Israeli P.M. Ariel Sharon
In 2004, President Bush stated, “For more than a generation, the United States and Israel have been steadfast allies. Our nations are bound by our shared values and a strong commitment to freedom. These ties that have made us natural allies will never be broken. Israel and the United States share a common history: We are both nations born of struggle and sacrifice. We are both founded by immigrants escaping religious persecution in other lands. Through the labors and strides of generations, we have both built vibrant democracies, founded in the rule of law and market economies. And we are both countries established with certain basic beliefs: that God watches over the affairs of men and values every human life.”
12. President Barack Obama with Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu
“A strong and secure Israel is in the national security interest of the United States not simply because we share strategic interests … America’s commitment to Israel’s security flows from a deeper place — and that’s the values we share,” President Obama said.