Abba Eban

  • Israeli diplomat
  • Born February 2, 1915
  • Died November 17, 2002

Abba Eban ( (listen); Hebrew: אבא אבן [ˈʔaba ˈʔeven]; born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban; later adopted Abba Solomon Meir Eban; 2 February 1915 – 17 November 2002) was an Israeli diplomat and politician, and a scholar of the Arabic and Hebrew languages. In his career, he was Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister, Education Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and ambassador to the United States and to the United Nations. He was also Vice President of the United Nations General Assembly and President of the Weizmann Institute of Science.

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

His ignorance is encyclopedic.

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.

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

A statesman who keeps his ear permanently glued to the ground will have neither elegance of posture nor flexibility of movement.

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

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

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.

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

Better to be disliked than pitied.

You can't achieve anything without getting in someone's way.

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.

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

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.

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