Britain Suspected of Aiming to Wage War Against Israel; Issue May Be Brought to U.n

The Israeli Government may charge Britain before the U.N. Security Council with being an active ally of the Arabs in the Palestine war, it was indicated here today by an Israeli spokesman. He emphasized that the latest British diplomatic and political activities tend to show that Britain is apparently aiming to wage a major war against Israel, under the pretext that Israeli troops have entered Egyptian territory. Declaring that Israel “has no territorial ambitions,” the spokesman said that Israeli military activities in the Negev are “prompted solely by the effort to smash Egyptian aggression and secure the integrity of Israel’s frontiers.” “In the last few days,” he stated, “the British Foreign Office has been extremely active on the diplomatic front, exerting the heaviest pressure on the United States to intervene to save the Egyptians from the results of the folly of their aggression. There has also been British military activity with British reconnaissance planes, according to a British Foreign Office spokesman, ‘active over Israel’s positions in the battle areas.’

BRITISH WARNING TO U.S. CITED AS PROOF OF WAR THREAT

“There was,” the spokesman added, “a familiar ring about all their pieces on the gravity of the warning by Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, carried by Ambassador Oliver Franks to Under-Secretary Robert A. Lovett at Washington, which stated bluntly that Britain was prepared to extend help to Egypt to the point of war with Israel. We are not unmindful of this high compliment to Israel’s Defense Army, but I think I must place on the record the fact that this pressure puts Britain completely out of court as an objective, impartial member of the United Nations, seeking to produce peace and stability in the Middle East.

“When Egypt defied the U.N. decision and her troops drove deep into Israeli territory, Britain was silent. Indeed much of that aggression was assisted by British vehicles and guns supplied by Britain. Now that the Egyptian troops are being flung out of our territory, and shattered on their own doorstep, Britain seeks to rush to Egypt’s aid and is even prepared to wage a full-scale war against Israel in the process

“What Winston Churchill terms ‘Bevin’s sulky boycott’ is now developing into a major war. I do not know whether the Egyptians will thank Bevin for openly proclaiming Egypt’s weakness and the Egyptian forces’ incapacity to defend themselves. I do not know whether Egypt is prepared now to regard the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 as sacredly as Bevin does. I do not know whether British reconnaissance planes serving Egypt’s interests by flying over Israeli positions have the approval of the Egyptian Defense Ministry. But I hope that when the U.N. Security Council meets again, Britain will be considered an interested party and an active ally of the Arabs.

“Anyway, I repeat again that Israel has no territorial ambitions, and its activity in the South has teen continuing prompted solely by our efforts to smash Egyptian aggression and to secure the integrity of all of Israel’s frontiers.”

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