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Inspirational Quotes about Jews and Israel

May 2, 2019 | by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller

By non-Jewish writers, philosophers and politicians.

On the Miracle of Jewish Survival:

1. The Jews present us with an outstanding spectacle: the laws of (the ancient kingdoms) of Numa, Lycurgus and Solon are dead; the far more ancient ones of Moses are still alive. Athens, Sparta, and Rome have perished and all their people have vanished from the earth; though destroyed, Zion has not lost her children. They mingle with all nations but are never lost among them; they no longer have leaders, yet they are still a nation; they no longer have a country and yet they are still citizens…

-- Jean Jacques Rousseau, French philosopher (1712-1778), Rousseau's private writings, quoted in La Religion de J.J. Rousseau by Pierre Maurice Masson (1906)


2. If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one quarter of one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and abstruse learning are also very out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world in all ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself and be excused for it. The Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greeks and Romans followed and made a vast noise, and they were gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, and have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, survived them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert but aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jews; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

-- Mark Twain, American Author (1835-1910), "Concerning the Jews" Harpers Magazine March 1898


3. How is it possible this old fellow (Voltaire) should represent the Hebrews in such a contemptible light? They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bauble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion in three quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and happily than any other nation, ancient or modern.

-- Pres. John Adams, in a letter to Dutch jurist Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, dated December 31, 1825


On Israel:

4. If as may well happen, there should be created in our own lifetime by the banks of the Jordan a Jewish State under the protection of the British Crown, which might comprise three or four millions of Jews, an event would have occurred in the history of the world which would, from every point of view, be beneficial.

-- Winston Churchill, future British Prime Minister, February 8, 1920 Illustrated Sunday Herald


5. Israel was not created in order to disappear - Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.

-- Pres. John F. Kennedy, Message to Zionist Organization of America annual convention 1962


6. The view of Jerusalem is the history of the world; it is more, it is the history of earth and of heaven.

-- Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister (1804-1881), Tancred or A New Crusade (1847) by Benjamin Disraeli


7. Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all of our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity and the right to use whatever sea lanes it needs. I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.

-- Rev. Martin Luther King, address to the Rabbinical Assembly March 26, 1968


8. A nation that cries and fasts for over 2,000 years for their land and Temple will surely be rewarded with their Temple.

-- attributed to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), after he visited a Jewish synagogue on the holiday of Tisha B’Av and witnessed Jews fasting and weeping for the destruction of the Temple


9. I have watched with genuine admiration the steady and unmistakable progress made in the rehabilitation of Palestine which, desolate for centuries, is now renewing its youth and vitality through the enthusiasm, hard work, and self-sacrifice of the Jewish pioneers who toil there in a spirit of peace and social justice.

-- Pres. Herbert Hoover, private letter to Lewis L. Strauss on the occasion of the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, 1922


10. One of the proudest days of my life occurred at 6:12pm on Friday May 14 (1948) when I was able to announce recognition of the new state of Israel by the government of the United States. In view of the long friendship of the American people for the Zionist ideal, it was particularly appropriate that our government should be the first to recognize the new state.

-- Pres. Harry S. Truman, recorded in secret meeting with Chaim Weitzman in the Oval Office, March 18, 1948


On Jewish Morality:

11. ….I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing nations...I should believe that chance had ordered the Jews to preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise, almighty Sovereign of the universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization.

-- Pres. John Adams, in a letter dated February 18, 1809, Letter to Dutch jurist Francis Adrian Van der Kemp (1783-1825) dated December 31, 1808


12. The moral teaching of the Jews and the practical example of their lives incomparably higher than the moral teaching and the practical example set by (others)...Judaism, by adhering to the moral principles which it professes, occupies a higher position than...everything that comprises the goals of our society’s aspirations.

-- Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer (1828-1910), "What is a Jew" essay published in 1891


13. The Hebrew is never a beggar; he always kept the law - lives by toil - often under severe and oppressive civil restrictions. (It) is also true that no race, sect or class has more fully cared for its own.

-- Pres. Benjamin Harrison, addressing Congress on December 9, 1891, after a series of pogroms devastated Jewish communities in Russia


On Anti-Semitism:

14. I am against preventing Jews from doing anything which other people are allowed to do. I am against that, and I have the strongest abhorrence of the idea of anti-Semitic lines of prejudice.

-- Winston Churchill, addressing British Parliament in 1946


15. Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.

-- Winston Churchill, February 8, 1920, Illustrated Sunday Herald


16. When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!

-- Rev. Martin Luther King, speaking with students who complained about Israel, October 27, 1967


17. How dare you tell a Jew that their outrage is ‘patently synthetic’? How dare you demand that they lay bare their pain and fear on demand, for your personal evaluation? What other minority would you speak to this way?

-- J.K. Rowling (via Twitter, August 26, 2018)

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