My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON —On Monday evening I attended the dinner given for Abba Eban at the United Nations. It was a rather exceptional farewell party.

Everyone there had a warm feeling for the Ambassador from Israel, who is leaving us to enter politics in his own country. Many of those present, however, used this opportunity to say clearly that Israel was a nation that had to be recognized and that the country also wished to be on equally friendly terms with the Arab states. They maintained that peace in the Near East could only be accomplished if there could be recognition of Israel and a solution of the difficulties between Israel and its neighbors.

Incidents such as the pressure that must have been brought to bear on Dr. Charles Malik of Lebanon, current President of the General Assembly, to explain the photograph taken at the Israeli exhibit at the World Trade Fair in New York's Coliseum do not promote goodwill. It should have been obvious that Dr. Malik was at the exhibit representing all nations in the U.N.

He could not express his feelings as a member of the Arab group of nations and yet they must have insisted that he make this explanation instead of taking for granted what was so obvious. This was a foolish move on the part of the Arab countries.

His Excellency, U Thant, the permanent representative of the Union of Burma to the U.N., expressed the hope of many nations for the peace of the Middle East and the desire for friendship with all nations in that area, and this was echoed in many hearts.

It would seem that the delegates in Geneva have settled their controversy over seating rather neatly by limiting both West and East German representatives to advisory status who can only speak with the consent of all four big powers. These constant maneuvers to obtain recognition of East Germany come up at every organization of an international character and one wonders whether at this meeting there will be any possibility of facing realistically the German situation.

The desires of the Germans themselves, I think, have never been accurately ascertained. And there are so many different interests where other countries are concerned that enter into any decisions that I wonder sometimes whether our representatives really know themselves what they hope for as a solution of our difficulties.

I have just finished reading "The Ugly American," and I hope every American will read this book. He will learn a great deal about the Soviets and their tactics if he will read the writings of Soviet leaders and he will learn that the characters described, fictitious as they are, are extremely accurate—both good and bad. While much of this is nothing new to our State Department, it may be helpful to some of our citizens.


(Copyright, 1959, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Washington (D.C., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 14, 1959

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.