The nation of Israel, the Jewish homeland, was officially established on May 14, 1948, in a proclamation by David Ben-Gurion, who was the head of the Jewish Agency. The country was then recognized by the United States and then President Harry S. Truman on the same day.
In 1917, the Balfour Declaration recommended that a Jewish state be established. Although the United States had favored this declaration, Great Britain held claim to the area of Palestine until 1948 by colonial mandate. Due to this mandate, the British did not support either a Jewish state, unlimited immigration by Jewish refugees or an Arab state in the region. After the mandate ended, the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine divided the region up into separate Jewish and Arab states.