John Kennedy On Causes of
Middle East Conflict

March 17, 1958

“Quite apart from the values and hopes which the State of Israel enshrines — and the past injuries which it redeems — it twists reality to suggest that it is the democratic tendency of Israel which has interjected discord and dissension into the Near East. Even by the coldest calculations, the removal of Israel would not alter the basic crisis in the area. For, if there is any lesson which the melancholy events of the last two years and more taught us, it is that, though Arab states are generally united in opposition to Israel, their political unities do not rise above this negative position. The basic rivalries within the Arab world, the quarrels over boundaries, the tensions involved in lifting their economies from stagnation, the cross pressures of nationalism — all of these factors would still be there, even if there were no Israel.”

Source: Near East Report, (1958).