LONDON (Mar. 2)
Israel’s Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, who arrived here this week-end to engage in talks on Anglo-Israeli relations with British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, last night warned that the rapidly changing Egyptian Government situation “imposes on Israel the necessity of extreme watchfulness.”
“We must be alert to the dangers of any possible arrangement which would redound to our detriment, as we are anxious to seize upon any opportunity which may present itself for advancing toward a lasting peace and complete harmony with our neighbors.” Referring to a “spate of reports” from Cairo advocating and foretelling an early start to peace negotiations between Israel and the Arab states, the Israeli Minister said it was too early to say whether the reports have substance to them and added that it is “highly questionable” whether anything will come of them at this time.
(The usually well informed Cairo newspaper Rose-el-Youssef this week-end published a sensational report that the Arab states have agreed among themselves to enter into direct negotiations with Israel for a settlement of all outstanding issues.)
Mr. Sharett’s remarks on the Egyptian situation were made at a banquet given in his honor by the Joint Palestine Appeal of Britain. Over 500,000 pounds ($1,400,000) was contributed at the affair toward is the J.P.A. goal of 2,000,000 pounds in 1952.
Addressing the opening session of the J.P.A. national conference this afternoon, Mr. Sharett emphasized that it was his mission to strengthen the “bonds of solidarity and brotherhood between Diaspora Jewry and Israel.” He pointed out that despite the fact that Israel’s development was moving forward at a rapid pace, the Jews of Israel need monetary help from world Jewry for investment in projects which show no immediate economic returns. The requests for all grants and loans are made on the assumption that “the Jews would not let Israel down,” Mr. Sharett asserted.
The Minister described stories of oil discoveries in the Nagev as “fiction,” but added “sometimes fiction turns out to be fact.” He detailed the new discoveries of mineral wealth in the Negev, but stressed that financing on a “colossal scale” was needed because while grants and loans are important they cannot meet the great need. He appealed for all Jews to make private investments in Israel.