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ZIONISM - Some additional notes  

Eddie Jacobson

Eddie Jacobson was Harry Truman's old friend and business partner. Together they had owned a men's furnishings store in Kansas City that had failed in the depression. Eddie was said to have made a tearful appeal that would cause his Truman to change his mind on recognizing the State of Israel. The story of the coins is wonderful - but it is just that - a story. Harry Truman based his decision on solid political considerations.

Pounding Truman's desk

The story is told - most recently by writer Michael Beschloss, of Abba Hillel Silver pounding his fist in anger on Harry Truman's desk and Truman telling his staff that Silver was not to be allowed in his office again.

Rafael Medoff Ph.D., historian and Director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, recently asked me if I had heard of this tale. I noted this page. Medoff, a respected scholar, has been searching for corroboration and has been unable to confirm that this desk-pounding incident occurred. At his request I carefully read Abba Hillel Silver's unpublished autobiography, at the WRHS and found no mention of the event, and conveyed that to Medoff.

It is always hard to put an unfounded story to rest, but in December 2011 we received further refutation in an email from former Clevelander, writer Benjamin Silverman, who has been intensely studying Silver's life. He wrote:

"The story reported on your Zionism page dates the story of Abba Hillel Silver pounding on Harry Truman's desk to January 1948. However Rabbi Marc Lee Raphael's biography of Silver, on page 168, says that Silver was visiting Palestine from December 30, 1947 until February 1948. If that's true, Silver could not have been in Washington in January, pounding on Truman's desk."

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