AUGUST 27, 1958
NEW YORK —The Middle East situation, so far as the United Nations is concerned as of the moment, was resolved by an Arab resolution that 80 countries agreed to accept. But the problem is still far from being settled.
Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold will endeavor to do the "practical" things that will ensure a sense of security in all the Middle Eastern countries and allow those countries to go about their business without fear of territorial aggression.
It seems to me, the first important thing for the Secretary-General to do is to press for a larger permanent police force under U.N. authority, or he will have no way to carry out his responsibilities. And, of course, the good faith of President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt is basic to any success in that area. If Mr. Hammarskjold attempts to consolidate all the Arab states under a leader that would threaten Israel, then there will be no peace in the Middle East.
The major part of the world knows quite well that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that can give a practical demonstration of what democracy really is. Certainly, the big powers know that the one hope of a change toward democracy and away from totalitarianism in the Middle Eastern states lies in the example of Israel, which may show the other nations the way to increase their standards of living among their people.
The primary objective for the West, I think, from now on is to help nations all over the world who are willing to raise their standards of living. This will ensure more equal competition trade-wise, and such action would be a little less difficult to effect in the more highly developed and organized countries.
I confess to little or no surprise that the Soviet Union has been as moderately cooperative as it has been. The only explanation I have been able to find is that the Russians are turning their thoughts to the Far East under some kind of agreement brought about in the Soviet's last meeting with China.
The shelling of the Nationalist China islands would seem to indicate that the Chinese Reds were preparing to move in some way toward a final settlement in that area. Of course, this will add to our problems and to those of the British and perhaps even the French, and the Soviets know this. If for the moment they are putting the Middle East on ice we should not pat ourselves on the back and think that they are permanently going to give up their interest there.
We had better be prepared for a new offensive in the Middle East when whatever the Russians are planning in the Far East has either been accomplished or reached the point where they think it wise to be less active in order to allay our fears.
Actually, we cannot afford not to be alert as regards the Soviet Union's policies everywhere at all times. We know what their final objective is, and we must be ever watchful, as we would be in a game of chess, of the moves in the power struggle they are carrying on.
I left Hyde Park early Monday morning, saying goodbye to my little dog with some regret for I won't be seeing him for some time. However, I'm sure he will be completely happy because he really likes my caretaker and her husband better than he likes me! They are with him all the time and I am always gadding away! We did have a few nice walks in the woods, though, which is pleasant at this time of year. The past few days in Hyde Park were really cold and swimming was chilly.
(Copyright, 1958, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 27, 1958
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
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