The Attempted Assassination of President Truman
The year is 1947, the place the White House. But before we visit that venerable edifice we need some background about the British Empire. At this time numbered among Britain’s possessions is an area in the Middle East called Palestine, about the size of New Jersey. The British have ruled Palestine since the breakup of the Ottoman Empire following World War I.
The British still administer Palestine pursuant to a “declaration” in a letter dated November 2, 1917 from James Balfour of the British Foreign Office to, in effect, the British Zionist Federation. Nominally the letter was addressed to Walter Rothschild, the liaison between the Foreign Office and the Zionist Federation. At the time – during World War I – Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire which was on the Axis side in the war. The letter gave Rothschild a “declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations” that had been approved by the Cabinet:
Balfour concluded the letter by asking Rothchild to bring this declaration to the attention of the Zionist Federation.
His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
We won’t address why the British did this,  suffice it to say that they kept the declaration’s promise to the Zionists. The Balfour Declaration, as it came to be known, was later incorporated into the Allies’ peace treaty with Turkey (head of the soon to be defunct Ottoman empire) and into the League of Nations’ “Mandate for Palestine” which placed Palestine under British rule in 1923.
It wasn’t long before the Zionists, led mostly by Jews from Eastern Europe, began to chaff under the British protectorate. What irked them most was “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine ... .” The Zionists’ goal was total control of Palestine, massive Jewish immigration beyond what the British had already allowed and the expulsion of all existing non-Jews. By the 1930s the Zionists, crying “Independence!”, were trying to drive the British out of Palestine to accomplish this.
Though the Zionists engaged in open battles against British troops their principle method of operation was terrorism, first in Palestine, later to include England and, as we shall see, elsewhere. The militant group Irgun Zva’i Le’ummi began operations in 1931. An even more violent offshoot, Lehi (Lohamei Herut Yisrael), better known as the Stern Gang after its founder Avraham Stern, split from the Irgun in 1940. Avraham Stern declared that his group’s goal was to establish a Jewish state based on “nationalist and totalitarian principles ... .”  After Stern’s death in 1942 the group was commanded jointly by three men, and by 1943 Yitzhak Shamir was one of them. In 1944 Menachem Begin assumed leadership of the Irgun. Under cover of World War II and its aftermath the attacks by the Irgun and Stern Gang increased in frequency and violence.
Some planned attacks were never carried out, for example sending agents to London to assassinate Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin. Some attacks didn’t come off, for example on April 15, 1947 a Stern Gang agent planted a twenty-four stick bomb at the Colonial Office of Whitehall, the seat of British government, which failed to explode because of a faulty timer. Some attacks were thwarted, for example when the Stern Gang mailed booby-trapped letters – letter bombs, designed to maim and kill – eventually totaling 21 in number, to various officials in England, including (in 1947) Ernest Bevin and his predecessor Anthony Eden. All but one, which injured two employees at a London post office, were intercepted in time. Other terrorist attacks succeeded only too well. The Stern Gang murdered Walter Guinness (Lord Moyne), the British Minister in State for the Middle East, in Cairo on November 6, 1944 (they also killed his driver, Arthur Fuller). The Irgun planted a huge seven piece time bomb in the King David Hotel, in Palestine, on July 22, 1946 killing 91 people and injuring 46, most of whom were not British officials.  On October 31, 1946 the Irgun bombed the British Embassy in Rome, injuring three people. By 1947 the British are ready to give up on Palestine. 
Which brings us to President Harry Truman. By 1947 his ambivalent, at times even hostile, attitude toward the promoters of a “Jewish state” has become well known. A few quotes, three taken from an article by David Martin, will give some indication of that attitude.  The first is from a letter Truman wrote to Edward Pauley dated October 22, 1946.  Speaking of the situation in Palestine:
That situation is insoluble in my opinion. I have spent a year and a month trying to get some concrete action on it. Not only are the British highly successful in muddling the situation as completely as it could possibly be muddled, but the Jews themselves are making it almost impossible to do anything for them. They seem to have the same attitude toward the “underdog” when they are on top as they have been treated as “underdogs” themselves.
From Truman’s Memoirs: 
My efforts to persuade the British to relax immigration restrictions in Palestine might have fallen on more receptive ears if it had not been for the increasing acts of terrorism that were being committed in Palestine. There were armed groups of extremists who were guilty of numerous outrages. On June 16 eight bridges were blown up near the Trans-Jordan border, and two other explosions were set off in Haifa. The following day there was a pitched battle between Jews and British troops in Haifa, after explosions had started a fire and caused great damage in the rail yards there. British officers were kidnapped. Others were shot at from passing automobiles. Explosions took place in ever-increasing numbers, and the British uncovered a plot by one extremist group to kidnap the British commander in chief in Palestine.
The Zionist faction in the U.S., though not numerous, is vocal and persistent, and pressures Truman to help their cause of increased Jewish immigration to Palestine. Though Truman is on their side he becomes annoyed with their methods. A Truman biographer describes  “the irritation with which he reacted to excessive Jewish lobbying”:
In June of 1946 he at first refused to see a delegation of all the New York Congressmen, and finally received them only with obvious impatience. He was no better when the two Senators from the state ... brought a former member of the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry (into Palestine) to see him. “I am not a New Yorker,” Truman is alleged to have told them. “All these people are pleading for a special interest. I am an American.”
Another Truman biographer,  referring to Abba Hillel Silver of Cleveland, co-chairman of the American Zionist Emergency Council:
Truman despised Rabbi Silver. [In 1947] he was to write to [his aide David] Niles: “... Terror and Silver are the contributing causes of some
, if not all, of our troubles.” ...
At a cabinet meeting July 30, 1946, [Commerce Secretary Henry] Wallace warned Truman that the Morrison-Grady Plan was “loaded with political dynamite.” Feeling harassed, Truman was angry at the Jews—“put out” with them, as Wallace recalled his words. According to Wallace, Truman snapped, “Jesus Christ couldn’t please them when he was on earth, so how could anyone expect that I would have any luck?”
By 1947 Truman’s bad attitude has likely come to the attention of the worst of the Zionists. Seen from a Zionist fanatic’s eyes there is good reason to punish him, as much reason as there had been to punish Ernest Bevin and Anthony Eden in England.
What happens next is told by Ira Smith, a White House staff mail reader under nine successive presidents, in his autobiographical book Dear Mr. President: The Story of Fifty Years in the White House Mail Room, p. 229:
... in the summer of 1947 I was summoned back to Washington from my vacation because controversy over important issues, including the Palestine question, had greatly increased the volume of mail to the President. I was rather surprised that the volume should be more than could be handled routinely by the office but when I got back I found that not all the difficulty was due to volume. Some of the letters received had obviously been intended to kill.
There had been a flurry in England in June of that summer because eight or more government officials and political personages had received terrorist letters in which explosives were cleverly concealed. Among those who got such letters were Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones, President of the Board of Trade Sir Stafford Cripps, and former Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. Cripps’s secretary noticed that the letter he received was hot (police said later it was apparently about ready to explode) and he stuck it in water. Eden carried his letter unopened in his briefcase for twenty-four hours before a secretary, tipped off by police, found it. There were two envelopes, the outer one about eight by six inches and cream-colored. The inner envelope was marked “Private and Confidential,” presumably in an effort to see that it was opened by the man to whom it was addressed. Inside the second envelope was powdered gelignite, a pencil battery, and a detonator arranged to explode when the envelope was opened. Police exploded one experimentally and said that it was powerful enough to kill a man. The so-called Stern gang of Palestine terrorists later claimed responsibility for having sent the letters from its “branch in Europe.” The letters were postmarked from Italy.
The same kind of terrorist letters had been found in the White House mail, and as a result the staff had been handling all letters with great care, thus slowing up the routine. So far as I know none of those received in this country resulted in an explosion, which may have been due to the excellent system introduced for handling the White House mail during the war.
This craven act of terror against Truman and his staff is confirmed by his daughter, Margaret, in her biography Harry S. Truman. The following starts on page 489 (Avon Books hardback edition). Note that by “Palestine terrorists” she means Jewish terrorists in Palestine. 
In the summer of 1947, the so-called Stern gang of Palestine terrorists tried to assassinate Dad by mail. A number of cream-colored envelopes about eight by six inches, arrived in the White House, addressed to the President and various members of the staff. Inside them was a smaller envelope marked “Private and Confidential.” Inside that second envelope was powdered gelignite, a pencil battery and a detonator rigged to explode the gelignite when the envelope was opened. Fortunately, the White House mail room was alert to the possibility that such letters might arrive. The previous June at least eight were sent to British government officials, including Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and former Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. The British police exploded one of these experimentally and said it could kill, or at the very least maim, anyone unlucky enough to open it. The mail room turned the letters over to the Secret Service and they were defused by their bomb experts.
For whatever reason, on May 14, 1948 President Truman, representing the U.S., recognizes the state of Israel.
The Israelis honor the terrorists as heroes, eventually making them leaders of their country. They elect some of them to the Knesset, Israel’s Congress, in the first year. In 1977 they elect the Irgun’s former leader, Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel. When he retires in 1983 one of the Stern Gang’s former leaders, Yitzhak Shamir, takes over for the remainder of his term. The Israelis elect him Prime Minister again in 1986.
The Ayn Rand Institute says: “Israel is our ally in the Middle East.”
This is our ally?
1 The Balfour Declaration was Britain’s promise to pay back the Zionists for their help in having gotten America into the Great War.
Britain wanted the U.S. to enter the war in order to defeat Germany unconditionally. However President Woodrow Wilson had won reelection on the slogan “He kept us out of war.” The Zionists would try to get the U.S. into the war in return for the British giving them Palestine afterwards – which the British had as much right to do as give Mexico to China, but that was the bargain. The British were lobbied by Chaim Weizman on behalf of the Zionist Federation. Wilson was influenced through his advisors Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter, who were ardent Zionists. Using the sinking of the RMS Lusitania as a pretext, in April 1917 Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany to, in his words, “make the world safe for democracy.” It was a complete disaster for freedom. See the Links page on this website under “World War I.”
In addition there was Russia, which had abandoned the war after the October Revolution. The British may have thought that the Bolshevik leaders, being almost all Jewish, would be sympathetic to Zionism and resume fighting with the Allies if the Allies supported the Zionists. However, Russia remained out of the war.
For what England did to itself during World War I see John A. Hobson’s satire 1920: Dips into the Near Future.
2 Avraham Stern and other Lehi / Stern Gang members at first praised Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, as related in Zionism and the Foundations of Israeli Diplomacy, by Sasson Sofer p. 254 (for his references see footnote 14 on p. 426). Sofer is a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I am using the English translation of his book, originally in Hebrew, published by Cambridge University Press.
Our quote of Stern in the main text, from late 1940, is incomplete. When he said that his group’s goal was to establish a Jewish state based on “nationalist and totalitarian principles” he went on to say: “and linked to the German Reich by an alliance ... .” Another Stern Gang leader, Israel Eldad, had written in the spring of 1940:
It’s not too consistent but the general idea of this and other Zionist statements was that the Nazis were driving Jews to Israel and that was comparatively good, while Britain was limiting Jewish immigration to Israel (after the Jewish population had gone from 65,000 in 1917 to 384,000 in 1936) and that was bad.
From a purely Zionist point of view, a pure and consistent point of view, it is not Hitler who is the enemy of the Jews and the Return to Zion, it is not Hitler who condemns us to fall into his hands time and again, but only Britain.
In 1943 the alliance the Stern Gang desired switched from Germany and Italy to Soviet Russia, from the Third Reich to the Third International. Because Witold Hulanicki, the former Polish consul-general for Palestine, opposed an alliance with the Soviets, in February 1948 he was abducted and shot by the Stern Gang. A similar end for the same reason came to Stefan Arnold, a Polish journalist in Palestine.
Years later when Uri Avnery asked Shamir which historical personality he admired most, he immediately answered: Lenin. Avnery “understood that he admired him because Lenin ruthlessly followed the maxim ‘the end justifies the means’.”
See footnote 2 of Ayn Rand on Israel on this website, about Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, and his admiration of the Communists.
3 54 of the 91 killed were not British officials. The King David Hotel, in Jerusalem, housed – besides the headquarters of the British – the staff and clientele of a regular hotel.
The public reaction of the elderly Chaim Weisman (formerly of the British Zionist Federation, see footnote 1) was anger, for he had ostensibly been opposed to violent resistance. But he showed his true feelings during a visit by Richard Crossman, member of the British Parliament and of the Anglo-American Commission, and a lifelong supporter of the Zionist movement. When Crossman mentioned the King David bombing, Weisman replied, “I can’t help feeling proud of our boys.” Then Weisman said something the logic of which takes a little thought to understand: “If only it had been a German headquarters, they would have gotten the Victoria Cross.” The Victoria Cross is a British medal of honor. If there is any logic to his reply (WW II in Europe had ended over two years before) he meant that “our boys” deserve a corresponding Zionist medal of honor.
The attack on the King David Hotel was not the first of the Irgun’s bombings. On July 6, 1938 agents threw a grenade from an automobile into a busy Haifa Arab market. Seconds later a milk churn packed with explosives the Irgun had planted there earlier detonated. 23 Arab men, women and children were killed in the explosion.
Sixty years after the King David massacre almost to the day, on July 19 and 20, 2006, a group of Israelis, including Benjamin Netanyahu, met at the restored hotel to commemorate the Irgun bombing of it. Irgun “veterans” and the Menachem Begin Heritage Center sponsored the event.
The Israelis unveiled a commemorative plaque they had attached to the gates of the hotel, held speeches, a two day seminar, and one of the former Jewish “resistance fighters” who had helped deliver the bomb gave a tour of the hotel basement.
The text on the plaque is a lie. It claims the British brought the deaths upon themselves because the Irgun had phoned them in advance warning of the impending explosion. People were killed, it says, only because the British ignored their warning. This is absurd, a case of blaming the victim. (1) The British had no choice but to routinely ignore unverified phone calls because to act on them would give any random person enormous disruptive power. Hoax warnings were common, and the Irgun surely knew this. (2) No one in authority received such a phone call unless they were among those killed in the massacre. (3) The Irgun says the alleged phone calls were made a few minutes before the detonation, not enough time for information to percolate through the chain of command and be evaluated.
The Irgun had killed other Westerners in previous terrorist attacks, the only difference was that this one killed more at one time. The plaque expressed the Irgun’s “regret” over the casualties. What fools they think people are. They got what they wanted, and obviously that was all that mattered to them.
Netanyahu celebrated the bombing in a speech on the first day of the two day event. He said the Irgun was governed by morality, unlike some other groups:
Some difference, to be sarcastic. Like a shyster lawyer he makes a big thing out of an inconsequentiality.
It’s very important to make the distinction between terror groups and freedom fighters, and between terror action and legitimate military action. ... Imagine that Hamas or Hezbollah would call the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and say, “We have placed a bomb and we are asking you to evacuate the area.” They don’t do that. That is the difference.
Two days after the massacre in 1946 the Irgun broadcast the following on its radio station “Voice of Fighting Zion”:
Etc. Zionist wack jobbery.
The British Department of Information published the content of our announcement of July 23rd and said that the Irgun Zvai Leumi had announced that it “mourned the high number of victims,” etc.
This is a distortion. We wrote that “we mourn for Jewish victims” and we meant—as always—what we said. It is true that the objective of our attack was in this case not any person but the destruction of the objective itself, and all the victims who fell, fell because of the guilty negligence of the British. However, the British did not mourn at all for the six million Jews who lost their lives, because of them, during the war; ...
During the festivities in 2006 The Times interviewed Sarah Agassi, an aged former member of the Irgun, in the lobby of the King David. Her rôle in the bombing 60 years before had been to help with the planning. She and an accomplice visited the hotel posing as a couple, then as they “danced tangos and waltzes, sipped whisky and wine” as guests – they cased the premises.
On the day for the bombing Irgun agents gained entry by posing as Arabs delivering milk. Holding some British guards at gunpoint, they brought in seven milk churns each containing 50 kg of explosives (360 kg total of gelignite and TNT) and piled them together in the basement of the south wing. Agassi says she waited across the street and claims she made a warning phone call to the British command in the hotel. In fact, someone phoned the hotel switchboard, not the British command, which per above ignored the call.
In the interview Agassi expressed her pride in the bombing and its effect: “If I had to fight for Israel, I swear even now I would do anything.” See “British anger at terror celebration” The Sunday Times July 20, 2006.
The King David Hotel terrorist attack was the first of its kind. It succeeded only because the British vastly underestimated the savagery of their opponent.
For more on the bombing see the BBC documentary
The Age of Terror: In the Name of Liberation
and the exhaustive book
By Blood and Fire
by Thurston Clarke. (Some of the facts and quotes used in the above are on pages 76, 247, 249.)
4 By April 1936 the Arabs, realizing the British are facilitating, even if not enough for the Zionists, an ultimate Zionist conquest of Palestine by immigration, themselves had begun to revolt against the British. In April 1947 at the United Nations, successor to the League of Nations, Britain announced its desire to terminate the Mandate for Palestine and it ended in May 1948.
The Irgun and Stern Gang collaborated in the Deir Yassin village attack on April 9, 1948 in which they killed over a hundred residents.
It has become common to say that Israel represents civilization in the Middle East, but there had been a civilization there, primitive and growing, before the Zionist invasion. After it, all in all the day the British left Palestine was the day civilization left Palestine.
After the British were gone the Israeli terror didn’t let up, as the treatment afforded Folke Bernadotte attests. Count Bernadotte had been a Swedish diplomat and head of the Swedish Red Cross during World War II. He negotiated with Heinrich Himmler, head of the German Gestapo, to release thousands of prisoners from German concentration camps which he then transported in a fleet of buses, himself one of the drivers, to Swedish hospitals in the Spring and Summer of 1945.
(After the Battle of Stalingrad Germany had effectively lost the war. Himmler’s motive in releasing the prisoners was ultimately to negotiate a peace treaty with the Allies, except for Soviet Russia which Germany would continue to fight. To digress into this fascinating bit of history, when in April 1945 Himmler offered his plan to Britain and the U.S. they flatly rejected it, insisting that Soviet Russia be included in the peace. The Normandy Invasion in June allowed the Soviets to eventually overrun Eastern Europe.)
The UN created Israel in 1948 by partitioning Palestine, and made Count Bernadotte mediator between the Arabs and Israelis. The Stern Gang’s three leaders, Yitzhak Shamir still among them, decided they must deal with Bernadotte. In Jerusalem on September 17, 1948 four Irgun “freedom fighters” ambushed Bernadotte’s car and broke open the door. Using a machine gun they shot and killed Bernadotte. Mistaking the man sitting next to him, a French officer, for Bernadotte’s American deputy Dr. Ralph Bunche, they shot and killed him too.
The Stern Gang at first denying any part in the killing, later boasted of it. Israel arrested many of the group’s members, released most of them without charge, and convicted and immediately pardoned the rest. The assassination’s aftermath permanently ended the Stern Gang, though none of its three leaders were arrested. The Israelis elected one of those leaders to the Knesset during the trials. As noted in our main text the Israelis eventually elected one of the others Prime Minister.
The Israeli government used the affair to reach an agreement with the Irgun, a different group from the Stern Gang, that its members would disband and join the ranks of the IDF.
One more word about the letter bombs to Britain: they continued right up until the UN established Israel. On September 3, 1947 one addressed to the British War Office exploded in the post office sorting room in London, injuring two people. On May 3, 1948 a book bomb addressed to a British Army officer, who had been stationed in Palestine, exploded killing his brother. On May 11, 1948 a letter bomb addressed to Sir Evelyn Barker, former Commanding Officer in Palestine, was detected by his wife and later disarmed.
Israel granted general amnesty to all Stern Gang members in 1949. In 1980 Israel created a special ribbon – a multi-colored military decoration – for former Stern Gang members to wear, called the LEHI ribbon. The year before, Israel had created a special ribbon for former Irgun members, called the ETZEL ribbon.
More on the Bernadotte killing can be found in the book by Kati Marton, A Death in Jerusalem: The Assassination by Jewish Extremists of the First Arab/Israeli Peacemaker. The “extremist” in the title is a mistake though, they were typical.
5 The article is “ ‘Jews’ Tried to Kill Truman in 1947” by David Martin. We quote a bit more from what is our third reference, and what is our fourth reference replaces his quote from David McCullough’s biography, which is unreliable. I have verified, and in some cases corrected, his quotes using the original sources. For a link to David Martin’s articles see the Links page on this website.
A few words about Truman’s career are in order. Franklin Roosevelt chose Truman as his running mate for the 1944 election and when FDR died less than three months into his fifth term Truman succeeded him as president. Truman, just as much a socialist, continued FDR’s “New Deal” under the rubric “Fair Deal.” In 1945 he refused Japan’s offer of surrender and dropped two atom bombs on the country instead. By creating the National Security Council and, using the OSS as basis, the Central Intelligence Agency he vastly increased executive power and corruption. By working to establish NATO he helped make foreign intervention permanent. One of the worst presidents in U.S. history.
6 Robert Ferrell, Harry S. Truman, A Life, p. 307.
7 Memoirs of Harry S. Truman, Vol. 2, p. 150.
8 Roy Jenkins, Truman, p. 117. Truman may be making himself look better than he was, but the point remains that he was a reluctant supporter of Zionism. Edwin M. Wright, a State Department official in the 1940s, described the first meeting referred to in the quote, or one like it, many years later during an interview for the Truman Library. He stated (starting on transcript page 36, his bracketed insertions silently removed):
Wright’s paraphrase doubtless refers to the following, from volume two of Truman’s Memoirs, p. 225:
... when the election was coming up in 1946 in New York [when the governor, Thomas Dewey, was up for reelection – A.W.], the group of New York Jews called upon Mr. Truman. Emmanuel Cellar was the head of this committee. Rabbi Steven Wise and several others were in it. They called upon Mr. Truman and said, “We have just been talking with Mr. Thomas Dewey. He is willing to come out and declare for a Jewish state, and we are going to turn our money and urge the Jews to vote for him [apparently referring to the next presidential election, in 1948 – A.W.] unless you beat him to it.” Then Emmanuel Cellar pounded upon Mr. Truman’s desk and said, “And if you don’t come out for a Jewish state we’ll run you out of town.”
This, I’m sure, is the threat that Mr. Truman refers to in his book, saying [paraphrasing – A.W.], “The extreme Zionists threatened me.” They were Emmanuel Cellar, Rabbi Steven Wise, etc. These are not the extreme Zionists, these are just the run of the mill Zionists. What Mr. Truman did was to cave in to these threats that they would support Mr. Dewey.
Truman does not admit that the pressure affected his decision to support Israel.
The facts were that not only were there pressure movements around the United Nations unlike anything that had been seen there before, but that the White house, too, was subjected to a constant barrage. I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance. The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist leaders – actuated by political motives and engaging in political threats – disturbed and annoyed me.
Regarding the propaganda, according to Wright in his essay “The Great Zionist Cover-Up,” about this time the Zionists coined the slogan “What is good for Israel is good for the U.S.A.”
9 Robert Donovan, Conflict and Crisis: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1945-1948, p. 319.
10 Perhaps her circumlocution was due to a certain fear syndrome: the fear of being labeled “anti-semitic.” See the last comment of Jeers on this website.
David Martin, when titling his article (see footnote 5 above), was quoting the title of another article: “Jews sent President Truman letter bombs, book tells” – from the Tri City Herald of Washington State, December 2, 1972 – the item having been furnished by the AP newswire. It quotes excerpts from Margaret’s biography reprinted in the New York Times the day before.
After sending the letter bombs to Britain, the Stern Gang claimed responsibility, not that it was necessary. (Besides the obviousness, around the time the letters bombs were arriving in Britain two Stern Gang members were caught red handed in Europe carrying letter bombs addressed to British officials.) On the other hand no former Stern Gang member has admitted to sending the letter bombs, identical to the British ones, to the U.S. One former leader explicitly denied it. Considering that it is a known murderer issuing this denial, that lying is rather less a problem than killing, that he waited until after Truman was dead to make the denial after the facts had been public for over 20 years, his denial has zero credibility.
The Israelis are masters of the expedient lie and have a long history of deceit toward the U.S. The attack on Truman makes the Jewish State look bad when it matters – by the time of the denial there is a constant flow of foreign aid from America to Israel – therefore it didn’t happen. A more recent example of Israeli perfidy is the case of the traitor Jonathan Pollard. For many years Israel claimed, and self-righteously, that it had not authorized Pollard’s spying. (Apparently you were to believe Israel receives thousands of top secret U.S. defense documents and doesn’t wonder or care about the source.)
Another argument in defense of the Irgun goes as follows. The Zionists would not attempt to murder Truman because, successful or not, if the Zionists were suspected it would only drive him or his successor away from supporting Israel. The error in that argument is assuming one is dealing with rational people. In fact one is dealing with fanatics blinded by Jewish chauvinism.
The assassination attempt on Truman we’ve been considering was the first of two. The perps in the second attempt, made on November 1, 1950, were two Puerto Ricans. One of them died in the attack after mortally shooting a White House policeman, Leslie Coffelt, who managed to shoot and kill his assailant before he died.
The earlier, Zionist, attempt on Truman’s life might help explain the death of James Forrestal, former Secretary of Defense, in 1949. For more about it see The Willcutts Report: On the Death of James Forrestal on this website.