NEW YORK (Mar. 20)
Israel wants to negotiate formal peace pacts with its Arab neighbors on the basis of its present de facto boundaries, Premier David Ben Gurion declared in an exclusive interview reported in the New York Times today from Tiberias. Mr. Ben Gurion disclaimed any intention on the part of the Jewish state to oxpand into adjoining territory.
He told Cyrus L. Sulzberger, chief European correspondent of the times, that peace is of paramount interest to Israel because “we must develop the country.” Pointing out that Israel now has a permanent contact with Transjordan, the Premier said that he expected that formal negotiations between the two countries would start after the forthcoming elections in the Arab country.
He also declared that the fundamental policy of the Jewish state is one of unlimited immigration, with particular emphasis on admitting Jews who face persecution or future abridgement of their right to emigrate. Asserting that he expects the population of Israel to reach 3,000,000 within ten years, Mr. Bon Gurion stated that the state will eventually be able to support 4,000,000 to 5,000,000 people. He outlined a policy of irrigation in the Negev and development of oil, chemical, textile and metal industries to support a large population.
FORMER ARAB LEGION COMMANDER ASKS ABDULLAH’S ABDICATION
The Times also reports from Cairo today that Col. Abdullah el Tel, former commander of the Arab Legion in the Jerusalem area, has charged that King Abdullah of Transjordan is an ally of Israel and intrigued with the Jewish state during the Palestine war. He proposed, according to the dispatch, that the Arab League call on Abdullah to abdicate or accept the status of a constitutional monarch and that he throw off British control of his country and British financing.
The same report pointed out that the issue of relations between Israel and Transjordan is not on the agenda of the forthcoming Arab League Council meeting in Cairo. It stated that if the issue is raised at the meeting, which opens Saturday, it will undoubtedly create a serious crisis.
In yet another Cairo dispatch the Times reported that plans are under consideration by some Arab states–notably Egypt and Iraq–to induce American business concerns to give up projects to establish plants in Israel and open them instead in Arab states.