John Kennedy On Refugees

February 24, 1957


“Stopgap solutions are frequently offered — and there is talk of forcing either Israel or the Arab states to take all of them. But let us apply the spirit of brotherhood and comity. Let those refugees be repatriated to Israel at the earliest practical date who are sincerely willing to live at peace with their neighbors, to accept the Israeli government with an attitude of civitatis filia. Those who would prefer to remain in Arab jurisdiction should be resettled in areas under control of governments willing to help their Arab brothers, if assisted and enabled to earn their own living, make permanent homes, and live in peace and dignity. The refugee camps should be closed. Those who suffered actual losses of property or bank accounts in flight should be compensated by Israel. New water utilization and arable land projects should be initiated to assist their resettlement in Arab countries.”


Source: Speech to teh National Conference of Christians and Jews, Near East Report, (November 15, 1960).