Foreign Relations

John F Kennedy’s relations to the Middle East, specifically, Israel:

John F. Kennedy and Israel, written by Herbert M. Druks,  reflects on Kennedy’s feelings directly towards Israel when he was president from 1961 through 1963. It is set up into seven chapters covering topics varying form Kennedy’s early life to his assassination and the affect on Israel. Herbert Druks aims to describe Kennedy’s visions and philosophies towards Israel. A major argument in this monograph is the fact that The United States’ strategic interest and stability may have been a result from Israel’s perseverance of their own defense weapons. Druks explains how Kennedy hoped to strengthen relationships with Israel without leading to a war by resolving differences between the Arabs and Israel. Druks believes that Kennedy had good ideas and visions for Israel but he did little to act on them. Druks uses a plethora of primary sources to complete his research. He commonly refers to letters, interviews, speeches, records, Israeli state archives, presidential files, and conversations to complete his studies. Druks also conducted his own interviews with about 28 different Israeli or American politician.  By writing this monograph, Druks is helping scholars understand that Israel and America’s relationship is just as complicated back then as it is today. What makes their relationship so complicated is that although Kennedy wanted to help Israel strive, he did not want to ruin relationships with the Arab countries. Druks is providing scholars with research and details towards Kennedy’s stance with Israel to help scholars make a stance of their own. 21

Herbert M. Druks is a retired Professor of Politics and History in the Judaic Studies Department at Brooklyn College. He taught for 48 years until his retirement in 2012. In the past, he taught at Yale University and Hofstra University. Druks is a well known American historian who focuses his research and studies on American diplomatic history, the history of the American presidency, the Jews of America, history of Zionism and Israel, and Jewish biography and the Holocaust. In 2005, Druks paired up with Praeger Security International Publishing Company to release the scholarly monologue, John F. Kennedy and Israel, which describes Kennedy’s feelings towards Israel before and during his presidency in the 1960’s. Druks is the author of two other books: The Uncertain Friendship: The U.S. and Israel, from F.D.R. to Kennedy (Greenwood 2001) and The Uncertain Alliance: The U.S. and Israel from Kennedy to the Peace Process (Greenwood 2001).

Source: Druks, Herbert. John F. Kennedy and Israel. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2005. Print.


Along with Israel, Kennedy had relation’s with Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

View his Speech on the Cuban Missile Crisis here with an analysis included.