Sharett Warns West Against Isolating Israel; Hits Suez Pact
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Sharett Warns West Against Isolating Israel; Hits Suez Pact

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Prime Minister Moshe Sharett of Israel warned the Western powers today that their efforts to consolidate a democratic defense system based on regional blocs confronted Israel with “an unprecedented act of territorial ostracism. “

The Premier, in a 40-minute review which opened a debate on foreign policy in the Knesset, bitterly assailed completion of the Suez Canal Zone evacuation agreement “without any vestige of concern for the security of Israel” and denounced the provision of arms to Egypt.

“We have been in grave situations before, ” Mr. Sharett told the Parliament, “and we will be able to endure new trials, but we shall not exempt from responsibility those who, by their policy, may bring nearer or aggravate these ordeals. In close contact, and against the background of the world’s common destiny, we will warn them against their line of action which upsets the balance of strength in the region.”

Mr. Sharett, who also holds the post of Foreign Minister, divided his survey of Israel’s international position into two sections – the situation resulting from the Anglo-Egyptian agreement on the Suez Canal zone, and the current trend of United States policy, “the inevitable result of which is the widening of the military gap between Egypt and Israel. “


He told the Knesset that Israel, first and foremost, must rely on the people of Israel and on the support of “millions of our fellow Jews who will stand by us in our struggle and will continue to support us with brotherly hands. “

Mr. Sharett declared that Israel does not “begrudge Egypt this memorable achievement” – the agreement for British evacuation – but he raised the question whether Egypt is “really fit for this responsible status and the honorable task of guarding the Suez Canal on behalf of the entire world. “

He pointed out that no guarantees had been invoked that Egypt would honor international obligations. Israel, he said, was not aware of any concrete guarantee given, or even asked of Egypt, to ensure her compliance with the United Nations Security Council decisions on free passage of the canal.

Britain and the United States, he noted, though foremost sponsors of the resolution, had not taken any effective steps to assure implementation of the resolution. Further, he pointed out, control of the Canal Zone gives Egypt a great increase in military strength and capacity for aggression against Israel.

It was the duty of both Great Powers concerned, Mr. Sharett charged, to have made evacuation of the Canal Zone contingent on Egypt’s acceptance of its obligation to make peace with Israel or to offer special aid to Israel to strengthen her against the military superiority of Egypt.

“The document was framed, ” Mr. Sharett noted bitterly, “as if Israel does not exist and as if no formal declaration was made by Egypt asserting her determination to maintain a state of war against Israel. “

He complained that the political implications were that “Israel is being abandoned to her fate as if she has no place in the Middle Eastern countries or as if her possible fate in this hour of trial is nobody’s concern. “


The American policy of arming Egypt and thus increasing the odds against Israel, Mr. Sharett warned, is making Israel resentful. “Israel, itself,” he declared, “enjoys American economic Assistance which was of tremendous value to our development, and I take this opportunity to thank the United States, its people and its government, for it. But we denounced and we will continue to denounce the granting of arms to the Arab States as long as there is no peace in the region.

“We have exposed and will continue to expose the delusion and the absurdity of giving arms to those states for the sake of defending democracy, ” he continued. “How can democracy be upheld where it does not exist?”

The Israeli Premier added that “the Western Powers have tried to reassure us their intention is not to abandon Israel and, if the balance of strength be seriously upset, special care will be taken for our security.”

“We heartily appreciate the goodwill and sympathy of these statements,” he commented, “but we cannot accept these assurances as counterbalancing the new facts of power crystallizing before our eyes to our detriment. We look for deeds which will demonstrate the sincerity of those assurances and translate them into the language of facts. We are far from falling into panic, but we shall avoid illusions.”

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