LONDON (Sep. 19)
The possibility that Israel may be attacked by Egypt following the agreed-upon withdrawal of British armed forces from the Suez Canal zone was indicated here today in a broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation in which it was emphasized that “Israel has good reason to look out anxiously over her borders.”
The broadcast, which reflects public opinion in England, came simultaneously with an announcement that Selwyn Lloyd, Minister of State at the British Foreign Office, will this week meet with the diplomatic representatives of the eight Arab countries to convey to them the view of the British Government on their demands with regard to Israel. These demands were advanced last Friday when they visited the Foreign Office in a body and presented an aide memoire in which they asked the Western powers to take “immediate steps” against Israel.
The aide memoire charged that Israel had aggressive designs on the Arab states and appears to be attempting to provoke a major clash allegedly to further territorial aims. It also expressed a “warning” against “the false clamor of Israel for peace,” asserting that if Israel were sincere it would have attempted to create a “propitious atmosphere by respecting and executing resolutions of the United Nations” in respect to Palestine.
The Arab document demanded that immigration to Israel be put under control because otherwise an “unnatural growth of population will create an explosive situation dangerous to the whole region.” The Arabs charged that Israel’s protest against Western Power arming of the Arab states was designed to “leave some 60,000,000 people poor and insufficiently armed in one of the most important strategic areas.” They asserted that Israel’s demands that they be asked to conclude peace with the Jewish State before they receive arms grants from the West was an attempt to have the West “blackmail” the Arab states.
A spokesman for the Israel Embassy here, commenting on the Arab demarche, pointed out that the present “unhappy situation” in the Middle East was the aftermath of a war launched by the Arab states against Israel in an attempt to annul the UN decision to set up a Jewish State. He stressed that since that war Israel has on innumerable occasions expressed its willingness to conclude a just peace with the Arab states who, however, have refused to discuss it.
This refusal, the Israel spokesman noted, has been accompanied by threats of renewed warfare against Israel, economic boycott and blockade and continuous “incursion, pillage and murders” by Arabs from the bordering states. With this in the background, he said, Israel demands that the Arab states not be armed and that if they are armed, Israel be given similar weapons with which to maintain the balance of power in the Middle East.