When Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House on Monday, it will mark the latest in a long line of similar meetings: since the country was founded in 1948, there have been more than 100 visits to the U.S. by its prime ministers and presidents.
The first took place just days after Israel was established in May 1948. After being elected president May 14 of that year, the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann—who had been in New York City when the news came—traveled to Washington to meet President Harry Truman in Washington. Not everyone, however, was happy about the situation, as TIME reported:
The dispute over the role of Israel in the lives of American Jews—a debate that has yet to be resolved—didn’t put a damper on the celebratory visit. Weizmann had what TIME reported was a 25-minute chat with President Truman, during which the new head of state “presented [Truman] with a Torah covered in blue velvet,” TIME noted. “Confided Harry Truman: ‘I always wanted one.'”
Read more about Chaim Weizmann, here in the TIME Vault: A Long Road
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