Kennedy to Ben-Gurion

16 July 1965 Interview of Ben Gurion (see link below)

BEN-GURION: Can I tell you something that is not to be published, which is only to be used for the Archives?

BAYNE: This is it.

BEN-GURION: You see, while we were talking he (Kennedy) stood up and took me to a corner far away from the people there. There was Mr. Talbot, our Ambassador, and (Kennedy’s) secretary, Mr. Feldman. He took me away from them and said, “I was elected by the Jews.” Later, I understood this is usual in America. He said to me, “You know I was elected by the Jews. I have to do something for them.” I was shocked. I’m a foreigner; I represent a small state. I didn’t come to him as a Jew, as a voter. And he told me, “You know, I was elected by the Jews of New York. I will do something for you.” I was a little shocked when he said it to me. Then we went back and continued our conversation. This I remember because I was thoroughly impressed, but later I understood that this is usual and in keeping with American politics.

BAYNE: I see. He wouldn’t have wanted that, perhaps, an open admission of history, but to international relations…

BEN-GURION: Yes. He took me into a corner at a far away table because we were sitting all together here, and took me over—something like that. [Laughter]

Kennedy to Ben-Gurion