JULY 10, 1948
HYDE PARK, Friday—Late yesterday evening I got back to Hyde Park, and it was hard to believe that I had only left here Tuesday morning, had gone all the way to Phoenix, Arizona, and back, seen my oldest granddaughter married and done a great many things yesterday in New York City!
Modern life certainly makes it possible to cover a great deal of ground in a short time, but I wonder if it gives us time really to appreciate all that we see and hear.
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Last evening I was the opening lecturer in the course of lectures of the Institute of Arts and Sciences, which is run every summer at Columbia University. There were teachers present from all parts of the country and they were a remarkably responsive audience.
I was asked to talk about human rights from the world point of view, which is one of the subjects I like best. I think that we, in this country, need to be reminded frequently that human rights all over the world are desperately important to us here at home, since violation of human rights in Germany undoubtedly was one of the first signs of the beginning of World War II.
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The speech made yesterday in the United Nations Security Council by the representative from Syria seems to me an outrageous one. The Arabs have just defied the efforts of Count Bernadotte, who has been trying to mediate between the Arab peoples and the State of Israel. The Arabs know quite well that no atom bombs need to be used against them, and it is insulting for the representative from Syria to talk in the way he did yesterday in the Security Council.
If arms were supplied equally to the two nations, the Arabs probably know equally well what the results would be. But they seem to assume that the world powers will not want to see war going on in their parts of the world and they actually dare the great powers to intervene to keep the peace.
This seems to me brash beyond words. If the great powers actually decided to use joint efforts to keep the peace, the Arabs would shortly find themselves in an extremely difficult situation, even if no bombs were dropping on their heads. They know this just as well as the other powers do. It is their sense of security in the fact that the great powers will not attempt to coerce by force a weaker group of people which makes them dare to talk in the way in which the representative from Syria did yesterday.
One cannot help but grieve that people can be so foolish as not to want to extend a truce and really try to come to a negotiated agreement, which would certainly have been fair because both sides are being heard by the world as a whole.