Israel’s Basic Foreign Policy Outlined by Sharett in Knesset

The main points of Israel’s foreign policy were outlined in the Knesset last night by Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett on the occasion of his submitting a 2,500,000 pound budget for his Ministry. Mr. Sharett said that the three major bases of that policy are:

1. Israel’s wide international treaty has been recognized by 59 countries since its establishment a little over five years ago.

2. Israel’s development tempo which depends to an extent on foreign aid and on contributions and loans from Jews in other countries.

3. Israel’s living ties with the Jewish communities in the various countries of the world.

The Minister declared that not all of Israel’s international problems had yet been solved; some of these problems are clearly defined, he pointed out, but others are “vaguely hanging in the air.” Israel has not yet reached a peace settlement and it is hard to foretell when the Arabs will come around to bridging the gap between the Jewish State and its neighbors, he stated.

He underlined the fact that Israel is still “besieged” on three sides and therefore is obliged to seek the closest ties of friendship with far off countries. The Arab conflict “haunts us throughout the world and we must mobilize understanding and sympathy in world opinion,” Mr. Sharett stressed.

In the debate which ensued deputies of all parties participated, with representatives of the government Mapai and Progressive parties objecting to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles’ recent suggestion that Israel accept some of the Arab refugees. Progressive deputy Izhar Harari specified that such action was impossible without the return of those areas to Israel where the refugees dwell.

Right-wing Herut leader Dr. Arieh Altman demanded a more vigorous policy toward Arab aggression along the frontiers. Leftist Mapam deputy Jacob Riftin attacked Mr. Sharett for “severing diplomatic relations with Russia.” Benjamin Mintz, Poale Agudah leader, demanded the appointment of a special religious attaché at every Israeli legation and embassy abroad.

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