History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.

โ€” Abba Eban

The most fascinating Abba Eban quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.


Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.


A consensus means that everyone agrees to say collectively what no one believes individually.


The Jews are the living embodiment of the minority, the constant reminder of what duties societies owe their minorities, whoever they might be.


Zionism is nothing more, but also nothing less, than the Jewish People's sense of origin and destination in the Land linked eternally with its name. It is also the instrument whereby the Jewish Nation seeks an authentic fulfillment of itself.


One of the chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all.


Lest Arab governments be tempted out of sheer routine to rush into impulsive rejection, let me suggest that tragedy is not what men suffer but what they miss.


Consensus is what many people say in chorus but do not believe as individuals.


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.


It is our experience that political leaders do not always mean the opposite of what they say.


Tragedy is not what men suffer but what they miss.


Playing the game I have learned the meaning of humility.

It has given me an understanding of futility of the human effort.


About Abba Eban

Quotes 27 sayings
Nationality Israeli
Profession Diplomat
Birthday 2 February 1915

Tragedy is the difference between what is and what could have been.


Science is not a sacred cow. Science is a horse. Donโ€™t worship it. Feed it. [Addressing a group of prospective contributors to an Israeli scientific research program]


Salvation, the prophets tell us, is preconditioned by repentance.

The redeeming act of God waits upon man's initiative.


It [idolatry] nourishes mans ambition to domineer over his fellow man.

Idolatry, therefore, is the source of all social and moral evil in the world.


Nobody does Israel any service by proclaiming its 'right to exist.

' Israel's right to exist, like that of the United States, Saudi Arabia and 152 other states, is axiomatic and unreserved. Israel's legitimacy is not suspended in midair awaiting acknowledgement.... There is certainly no other state, big or small, young or old, that would consider mere recognition of its 'right to exist' a favor, or a negotiable concession.


A nation writes its history in the image of its ideal.


Better to be disliked than pitied.


His ignorance is encyclopedic.


Our intention to regard the closing of the Straits as a casus belli was communicated...to the foreign ministers of those states which had supported international navigation in the Straits in 1957 and thereafter. There can be no doubt that these warnings reached Cairo. One thing was now clear. If Nasser imposed a blockade, the explosion would ensue not from 'miscalculation', but from an open-eyed and conscious readiness for war.


Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all the other alternatives.


You can't achieve anything without getting in someone's way. You can't be detached and effective.


Human beings act intelligently only after they have exhausted the alternatives


Time and again these governments have rejected proposals today - and longed for them tomorrow.


Israel is not an aviary.