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Abstract

This essay explores the role of Oscar Ewing, an Indiana native and a graduate of Indiana University (IU), in the story of the U.S. relationship with Israel, forming even prior to Israeli statehood in 1948. The essay will show that Oscar Ewing strategically utilized his political influence and role as U.S. federal security administrator—not diplomat or member of the State Department—to impact U.S. policy toward Israel. Although Ewing is a relatively unknown name in the history of the Truman administration and Israel, his influence and contribution to the early development of the well-known special relationship between the United States and Israel are significant. This abridged version of a larger work explains the process by which Oscar Ewing gained proximity to President Harry S. Truman, cultivated influence, and utilized his position to impact larger goals for U.S. foreign policy. Informed by archival material from several national libraries, this essay deepens understanding of the special relationship by considering the role of a peripheral player in determining policy that would impact the world.

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