I am currently working on a long post about why the PLO recognizes the state of Israel, but refuses to meet Olmert's demand for formal recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state"; and about the hysterical response that the PLO's refusal has provoked among some of the Usual Friends Of Israel™.
While I was working on it this afternoon, I came across a document in the U.S. National Archives (click image left to enlarge), that I thought deserved a mention in its own right.
The document is from 14 May 1948. The context is that the Zionist government has proclaimed a "Jewish state" in Palestine, and is seeking U.S. recognition of that state. The document is President Harry S. Truman's response to that request.
The interesting thing is that the original text of the document is edited with hand-written corrections, to produce the wording finally approved by Truman. And the purpose of the editing is specifically to remove the suggestion that the U.S. recognizes a "Jewish state", and to clarify that it recognizes instead the "state of Israel".
How about that: the United States was asked in 1948 to recognize the "Jewish state", but offered recognition instead to the "state of Israel". Just as the PLO does today.
So why exactly is it uncontroversial when we do it, but an obstacle to peace when they do it?