This article may primarily relate to a different subject, or place undue weight on a particular aspect rather than the subject as a whole. Specifically, a potential majority of quotes and sum of their text relate to global political debates of much recency. (July 2021)
- For Patriarch of the Israelites, see Jacob.
Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in the Middle East, situated at the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea. It shares land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan on the east, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, which are claimed by the State of Palestine, and Egypt to the southwest. It contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's financial and technology center is Tel Aviv, while Jerusalem is both its self-designated capital (though unrecognised by the United Nations) and its most populous individual city under the country's governmental administration. Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is internationally disputed. In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a "Jewish and Democratic State".
- If you want to see the picture, you have to see whole picture, if you talked about violence, let's talk about 4000 Palestinians killed during the last five years while from Israeli side a few hundreds killed. So, if you want to talk about the violence and you called this violence "terrorism" Israel kills more, more Palestinian than Palestinian kills on Israel, Second, You have to see both sides. You talk about Hamas, what they did in Israel but don't talk about Israel and what they did in Palestinian Territories, and they commit assassinations from time to time and in public, they said "we're going to kill..." It's the whole picture. Anyway, doesn't matter what label we put, if you want to have the solution, we have to deal with the facts, not the terms. whether they are terrorists or not, this is not the problem. we have to deal with the facts, and the facts if you don't have peace, you will have more blood-letting
- Bashar al-Assad, Interview with Charlie Rose, (2006)
- If the Jewish state becomes a fact, and this is realized by the Arab peoples, they will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea.
- The citizens of Israel were the first in the world to receive the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and we are continuing to pioneer with the fourth dose as well," he said.
- It doesn't matter what the world says about Israel; it doesn't matter what they say about us anywhere else. The only thing that matters is that we can exist here on the land of our forefathers. And unless we show the Arabs that there is a high price to pay for murdering Jews, we won't survive.
- David Ben-Gurion, as quoted by Ariel Sharon, in the documentary The 50 Years War : Israel & The Arabs (1999).
- This life as a simple citizen and laborer has its benefits not only for the person himself but perhaps also for his country. After all, there is room for only one Prime Minister, but for those who make the desert bloom there is room for hundreds, thousands and even millions. And the destiny of the state is in the hands of the many rather than of a single individual. There are times when an individual feels he should do those things which only can and should be done by the many.
- David Ben-Gurion, "Why I Retired to the Desert", The New York Times Magazine (28 March 1954), p. 47.
- In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.
- David Ben-Gurion, interview on CBS (5 October 1956), as quoted in Israel: Years of Crisis Years of Hope (1973) by Roman Frister, p. 45.
- Israel has fought one battle after another, clinging to survival in the decades after its people were systematically murdered during the Holocaust. But the story of self-determination and Arab-Israeli conflicts spills out far beyond the borders of the Middle East. Israel wasn’t just the site of regional disputes—it was a Cold War satellite, wrapped up in the interests of the Soviets and the Americans.
The U.S.S.R. started exerting regional influence in a meaningful way in 1955, when it began supplying Egypt with military equipment. The next year, Britain and the U.S. withdrew financing for Egypt’s Aswan High Dam project over the country’s ties with the U.S.S.R. That move triggered the Suez Crisis of 1956, in which Egypt, with the support of the USSR, nationalized the Suez Canal, which had previously been controlled by French and British interests.
- Lorraine Boissoneault, “What the Six-Day War Tells Us About the Cold War”, Smithsonian.com, (June 6, 2017).
- Israel and its Arab neighbours had plenty of reasons for hatred or mutual suspicion. But the Cold War in the 1950s and 1960s added extra fuel.
The Soviet Union provided Egypt with a modern air force. Israel had warm relations with the United States], but it was not yet the biggest recipient of American military aid; in the 1960s Israel also bought aircraft from France and tanks from Britain.
- Jeremy Bowen, "1967 war: Six days that changed the Middle East", BBC, (5 June 2017).
- Israel is in an existential crisis. It can wall itself off and annex what it wants on the West Bank, and leave Palestinians in tiny truncated, nonviable bantustans that will become the spawning pools of terror. Or it can give the Palestinians what Oslo, Camp David, Taba and the 'roadmap' promised; a homeland, a nation and a state of their own. Israel is free to choose.
- Pat Buchanan, Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency (2004)
- It is a country in which a clear majority of the population, battered by wars and terrorism and heartbreak and frustration, still wants to see negotiations leading to a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and an end to occupation.
- Bradley Burston, What Does 'Death to Israel' Mean to You?, Haaretz (November 03, 2011)
- You mess with Israel, you are messing with the United States of America. It's that simple.
- Herman Cain, as quoted in Real Clear Politics (20 May 2011).
- Israel will never find peace until it is willing to withdraw from its neighbors’ land and to permit the Palestinians to exercise their basic human and political rights... The current policies are leading toward an immoral outcome that is undermining Israel’s standing in the world and is not bringing security to the people of Israel.... These same premises, of recognizing Israel, acceptance of all past agreements, and the rejection of violence, will have to be accepted by Hamas and any government that represents the Palestinians. The long-term prospects are not discouraging... an overwhelming majority of Palestinians and Israelis support peace for Israel based on the acceptance of Israel of its international borders with some modifications, with justice and peace for the Palestinians. An early exchange of the three Israeli soldiers for some of the 10,000 Palestinian prisoners will expedite the peace process.
- Jimmy Carter in Palestine Peace Not Apartheid (2006)
- And Israel is not only our ally; it is a beacon of what democracy can and should mean… If the people of the Middle East are not sure what democracy means, let them look to Israel.
- In defeating terror, Israel’s cause is our cause.
- Hillary Clinton, Hanukkah dinner speech at Yeshiva University (December 2005)
- We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here. In considerable areas of the country we bought lands from the Arabs. Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahalal arose in the place of Mahalul, Gevat — in the place of Jibta, Sarid — in the place of Haneifs and Kefar Yehoshua — in the place of Tell Shaman. There is no one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.
- Moshe Dayan, From an address given to Technion University students (19 March 1969), a transcription of which appeared in Ha'aretz (4 April 1969), quoted in The Question of Palestine (1980) by Edward Said, p. 14
- It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land….I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.”
- Sigmund Freud Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren Ha Yassod, Vienna: Feburary, 26, 1930
- Israel is a colonialist-imperialist phenomenon. There is no such thing as an Israeli people. Before 1948, world geography knew of no state such as Israel. Israel is the result of an invasion, of aggression.
- Muammar Gaddafi, Time (9 April 1979) "World: An Interview with Gaddafi"
- It is not even a state. From an international law viewpoint, the existence of the so-called Israel is illegal. Israelis and Palestinians live on the same piece of land namely; Palestine that is located between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean. This is a disputed land.
- I urge Israel to cease demolitions and evictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. All settlement activities, including evictions and demolitions, are illegal under international law. A revitalized peace process is the only route to a just and lasting solution...Only through renewing our commitment and redoubling our efforts towards a negotiated solution can we bring this cruel violence and hatred to a definitive end.
- António Guterres, Secretary-General’s Remarks to the General Assembly Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East and Palestine, United Nations Secretary-General, Statements, (20 May 2021)
- Israel isn't 'Jewish' in the sense that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are 'Muslim'... Israel is actually less religious than the U.S., and it guarantees freedom of religion to its citizens. Israel is not a theocracy, and one could easily argue that its Jewish identity is more cultural than religious. However, if we ask why the Jews wouldn’t move to British Columbia if offered a home there, we can see the role that religion still plays in their thinking.
- Sam Harris, "Why Don't I Criticize Israel?" (27 July 2014), Sam Harris.
- WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People's Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People's Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called "Israel".
- Israeli Declaration of Independence (1948).
- THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
- Israeli Declaration of Independence (1948).
- It had a great and lofty wall and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names were inscribed which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.
- John the Evangelist, Revelation 21:12, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
- Like prosperous and peaceful Japan on the one hand, and war-torn and poverty-wracked Armenia on the other, Israel is a classic national-ethnic organism.
- Robert D. Kaplan, "The Coming Anarchy" (1994), The Atlantic
- Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel 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.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., March 25, 1968, less than 2 weeks before his death
I am a Jew and want to live in a Jewish state. This is my inalienable right, the same as the right of a Ukrainian to live in Ukraine, the right of a Russian to live in Russia, the right of a Georgian to live in Georgia. I want to live in Israel. This is my dream, this is the goal not only of my life, but of the lives of hundreds of generations of my forerunners… I want my children to learn Hebrew, I want to read Hebrew newspapers, I want to go to the Jewish theater. What's bad in this? Where am I to blame? .. As long as I'm alive, I will devote all my efforts to obtaining permission to leave for Israel. And if you see fit to put me in jail, it won't change anything for me. And if I live to see my release, I will be ready to go to the homeland of my ancestors, even if for this I need to go by foot — Cited here by Yuli Kosharkovsky.
|— Kievan Jew Boris Kochubievsky, in a letter to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU Leonid Brezhnev after having been refused permission to leave for Israel, November 1968. For this prose, he was awarded with 3 years in a penal labor colony.|
- [P]eople misunderstand Israel, and see it now in colonial, imperialist terms is because it’s a unique event in human history. The British colonization of North America, New Zealand, Australia, the Dutch in South Africa, they came to places that they had never been to. That’s colonialism. You put your people in there. You takeover. You marginalize the natives if you can. You may not succeed. In South Africa, that’s colonialism. So they see the Jews arriving in what’s called Palestine, and that’s the parallel, the only one they understand. They can’t put their heads around the fact that this is a people returning to their home. That they never gave up title to. They never gave up their longing for. It was repeated in their rituals three times a day, it wasn’t like once a year, let’s remember the homeland.
- Charles Krauthammer, interview with Bill Kristol (13 March 2015)
- We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon — no alternative. The Egyptians could run to Egypt, the Syrians into Syria. The only place we could run was into the sea, and before we did that we might as well fight.
- Golda Meir, as quoted in LIFE magazine (3 October 1969), p. 32.
- Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!
- Golda Meir, at a dinner honoring West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, as reported in The New York Times (10 June 1973).
- We are awaiting aggression by Israel and any supporters of Israel. We will make it a decisive battle and get rid of Israel once and for all… This is the dream of every Arab.
- Gamal Abdel Nasser, as quoted in the Washington Post (27 July 1959)
- Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Israel have come home never to be uprooted again.
- Benjamin Netanyahu, address to the United Nations General Assembly (1 October 2013).
- Since Israel is a democratic state surrounded by essentially undemocratic states which have sworn her destruction, those interested in democracy everywhere must support Israel’s existence.
- Israel is not consistent in its new anti-apartheid attitude... they took Israel away from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years. In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.
- H.F. Verwoerd, as quoted in The Empire's New Walls: Sovereignty, Neo-liberalism, and the Production of Space in Post-apartheid South Africa and Post-Oslo Palestine/Israel., by Andrew James Clarno. 2009. pp. 66–67
- If it is proper to ’reconstitute’ a Jewish State which has not existed for two thousand years, why not go back another thousand years and reconstitute the Canaanite state? The Canaanites, unlike the Jews, are still there.
- H.G. Wells, Palestine Dilemma, Sakran, Frank C., p.204
- Israel is a Western democracy … The so-called 'Middle East conflict' is not about land at all. It is not a territorial conflict. It's a conflict about ideologies; it's a battle between Islam and freedom.
- Geert Wilders, remarks at the Free Speech Summit Columbia University, New York (21 October 2009)
- The founding of the state of Israel and its startling rise to military dominance unsettled the Arab identity. In the low condition the Arabs found themselves in, they looked upon Israel and recalled the time when the Prophet Mohammed had subjugated the Jews of Medina. They thought about the great wave of Muslim expansion at the point of Arab spears and swords, and they were humbled by the contrast of their proud martial past and their miserable present. History was reversing itself; the Arabs were as fractious and disorganized and marginal as they had been during the jahiliyyah times. Even the Jews dominated them. The voice in the mosque said that the Arabs had let go of the one weapon that gave them real power: faith. Restore the fervor and purity of the religion that had made the Arabs great, and God would once again take their side.
- Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (2006), p 46