Sharett Stresses Inconsistency in U.S. Policy Toward Israel

Israel Prime Minister Moshe Sharett said in an exclusive interview published here today that Israel is “at a loss to understand how the U.S. can reconcile” her policy of arming the Arab states “with her declared policy and concern to see Israel prosperous and secure.”

Mr. Sharett’s views were published in the U.S. News and World Report. The Prime Minister said that Israel watched “with profound dismay and mounting anxiety the policy of the American Government to arm the Arab states.” He foresaw “a state of very grave peril for our security if this goes on.” The arms, he said, enhance the Arabs’ “capacity for mischief.” He stressed “this is certainly not a step in the direction of peace. It is a step away from peace.”

He warned that the danger to Israel and Middle Eastern peace would become even greater if the Suez agreement is followed by an American policy of supplying arms to Egypt. Asked if the danger to Israel could be offset by a corollary program of arms aid for Israel, Mr. Sharett replied that “the question is whether it would be corollary.”

When the Prime Minister described the anti-Communist attitude prevalent in Israel, he was asked why there wasn’t “more active collaboration between Israel and the United States on the problems of security.” He answered that this question “should be put to the United States.”

One question put to Mr. Sharett pertained to demands heard in Israel “for stronger action to force an immediate showdown with the Arabs–a military showdown.” He answered: “Naturally, people get impatient, but it is not the policy of Israel, certainly not of its government, to force the issue in the military sense. Of course we stand ready to react to any provocation, but we are not bent upon war, nor upon any expansion. Our desire is for stability and development. We hear all sorts of fantastic rumors about preparations on our part to launch a major attack. Dates are mentioned and deadlines fixed. These evil and foolish forecasts never materialize, yet they recur from time to time. They are the results of malice or sheer ignorance, or a product of morbid imagination.”

Mr. Sharett expressed the view that the United Nations truce supervision machinery “has proved inadequate.” He said the purpose of retaliatory attacks by Israelis was “a natural reaction to aggressive violence of people brutally attacked so that the other side should realize that Israel is not sitting with its arms folded to be assaulted by anyone with impunity.”

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