Through the years, Israel and the Jewish people have been blessed with eloquent leaders. Below are seven of what we think are the best and most memorable quotes we’ve heard. Read them and be inspired — then share your favorite quotes about Israel in comments below.
“I think that this is the first war in history that on the morrow the victors sued for peace and the vanquished called for unconditional surrender.” – Abba Eban, then Israel’s Foreign Minister, after Israel’s decisive victory over Arab armies in the 1967 Six Day War
“Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” – Golda Meir, Israel’s first female prime minister, during a 1957 speech
“In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.” – Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, 1956
“The Jews who will it shall achieve their State. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and in our own homes peacefully die. The world will be liberated by our freedom, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind.” – Theodor Herzl, father of modern political Zionism, from his book Der Judenstaat, the Jewish State, published in 1896
“We, the soldiers who have returned from battle stained with blood, we who have seen our relatives and friends killed before our eyes, we who have attended their funerals and cannot look into the eyes of their parents, we who have come from a land where parents bury their children, we who have fought against you, the Palestinians We say to you today in a loud and clear voice: Enough of blood and tears. Enough.” Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, 1993
“If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” Moshe Dayan, Israeli military leader and politician, 1973