Arab-israel Peace Must Precede Defense Pact, Ben Gurion Says

Prior conclusion of an Arab-Israeli peace pact is essential to Israel’s joining a Middle Eastern regional defense organization in which Egypt would be one of the founders of such an organization, it was indicated by Premier David Ben Gurion when he conferred with American Ambassador Monnet B. Davis this week.

It was learned here today by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Premier Ben Gurion pointed out to the American Ambassador in Tel Aviv that Arab-Israel peace is necessary because, under the present circumstances, Israel could not risk sharing her military secrets with Egypt in a regional defense arrangement.

Another point that was stressed by the Israel Premier when he was informed by the U.S. Ambassador of the western powers’ invitation to join a Middle Eastern defense project, was that if Egypt were to receive a heavy additional arms, Israel would then be forced to seek for her own defense an equal supply of munitions.

The State Department has been informed that in the Israel view, Egypt led the Arab states in making war against the Jewish state and therefore should be charged with the responsibility for leading the way toward a peace settlement. Israel is skeptical about the tripartite peace guarantee issued by the United Kingdom, France, and the U.S. because these powers failed to act when Syria violated Israel’s territory several months ago.

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