— David Ben-Gurion Israeli politician, Zionist leader, prime minister of Israel 1886 - 1973
Address at the Mapai Political Committee (7 June 1938) as quoted in .
Context: In our political argument abroad, we minimize Arab opposition to us. But let us not ignore the truth among ourselves. I insist on the truth, not out of respect for scientific but political realities. The acknowledgement of this truth leads to inevitable and serious conclusions regarding our work in Palestine… let us not build on the hope the terrorist gangs will get tired. If some get tired, others will replace them.
A people which fights against the usurpation of its land will not tire so easily... it is easier for them to continue the war and not get tired than it is for us... The Palestinian Arabs are not alone. The Syrians are coming to help. From our point of view, they are strangers; in the point of law they are foreigners; but to the Arabs, they are not foreigners at all … The centre of the war is in Palestine, but its dimensions are much wider. When we say that the Arabs are the aggressors and we defend ourselves — this is only half the truth. As regards our security and life we defend ourselves and our moral and physical position is not bad. We can face the gangs... and were we allowed to mobilize all our forces we would have no doubts about the outcome... But the fighting is only one aspect of the conflict which is in its essence a political one. And politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves. Militarily, it is we who are on the defensive who have the upper hand but in the political sphere they are superior. The land, the villages, the mountains, the roads are in their hands. The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country, while we are still outside. They defend bases which are theirs, which is easier than conquering new bases... let us not think that the terror is a result of Hitler's or Mussolini's propaganda — this helps but the source of opposition is there among the Arabs.