Tuesday, March 3, 2015

JFK's Reply to Netanyahu: War Need Not Be Inevitable

by Nomad

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will today address the US Congress in an attempt to influence foreign policy with regards to ongoing Iranian nuclear negotiations.

The search for a lasting peace in the Middle East sometimes seems a waste of time. Perhaps, as Kennedy once said, we need to define what we really mean when we think of peace.

In June 1963, President Kennedy gave one of his finest speeches of his presidency. It is known as his American University speech

Set against the most dangerous era of the Cold War when the Far Right demanded a tough line against the Communists, Kennedy chose to talk about the path to a lasting peace. At that time, it seemed so far-fetched.

Yet that fact did not stop the president from presenting his thoughts about peace with the Soviet Union: what it entailed, how it could be achieved and why it was a worthy and realistic goal to pursue.

As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu prepares to speak before the US Congress, in an attempt to influence US-Iran negotiations, President Kennedy's speech seems applicable to the fear-mongering and war-mongering.
".... Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process--a way of solving problems.

With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor--it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors.

Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable."