Sharett Warns Czech-egypt Deal Puts Israel in ‘gravest’ Danger
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Sharett Warns Czech-egypt Deal Puts Israel in ‘gravest’ Danger

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Premier Moshe Sharett of Israel told his countrymen today that recent developments have given the military advantage “to the strongest of our enemies” and that the youthful state is facing today “a danger unknown since the War of Liberation.”

Addressing the Israel Parliament on the foreign situation, Mr. Sharett warned that the recent agreement for the purchase of arms by Egypt from the Communist bloc created “black perspectives” for the State and overshadowed other developments. He called on the Western Powers to give Israel a defense pact to “strengthen our defenses against attack by our enemies,” but pointed out that a pact was not a substitute for arms. He concluded his speech with an appeal to Jews in Israel and throughout the world, to support Israel and to supply it with arms, “many arms and good arms.”

Mr. Sharett’s 45-minute review of the political situation was delivered in a crowded chamber in the presence of President Itzhak BenZvi and members of the diplomatic corps. The only empty seat at the Cabinet ministers’ table was that of Premier-designate David Ben Gurion, who is ill.


Mr. Sharett condemned Egypt for “criminal initiative” in training gangs for murder and sabotage and sending them into Israel which, he said, had necessitated vigorous action by the Israel army. He served notice on Egypt and the other Arab States that they would be held answerable for further murderous attacks and warned that Israel reserved freedom to act in accordance with the needs of the situation. He stressed that Israel was anxious to act in all these matters in full cooperation with the competent organs of the United Nations, in accordance with the armistice agreements, “but we shall insist on bilateral fidelity to those agreements. We do not feel that they should be observed by one side while the other feels free to violate them at will.”

Mr. Sharett declared that the “most conspicuous violation of the armistice” was implicit in recent Egyptian regulations regarding entry into the Gulf of Akaba, aimed at barring Israel shipping from Israel’s port of Elath. He warned that on this, too, Israel reserved full freedom of action “in the time and manner we find suitable.”


The Premier dealt at length with the proposals of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles for a Middle East settlement, and commented that while the Dulles statement “evidenced fuller understanding of Israel’s unique problems,” it nevertheless “contained pronouncements raising much misgivings and calling for fundamental clarification.”

In a detailed analysis of the Dulles proposals, Mr. Sharett pointed out that while Mr. Dulles referred to a loan which would enable Israel to pay compensation to the Palestine Arab refugees, “implicit in his statement was the assumption that payment of compensation could be implemented while the Arab States, which benefit from this in one way of another, continued to inflict serious financial losses on Israel by boycott and blockade.” He also pointed out that Mr. Dulles made no reference to the fate of property abandoned in Arab lands by Jews who emigrated to Israel.

But the part of the Dulles speech which aroused most opposition among Israelis, the Premier declared, was that dealing with boundaries. He pointed out that Mr. Dulles referred to Israel territory as territory “now occupied by Israel” is if to indicate that the matter was still pending and that Israel’s sovereign rights over its territory could be called into question.

These, the Israel Premier said, could be interpreted as aiming at a contraction of Israel’s territory to satisfy Arab expansion ambitions particularly in the Negev, including the port of Eilat. He announced that Israel had reasserted “in unequivocal terms, that Israel is determined to preserve its territorial integrity from Dan to Eilat.”

Mr. Sharett said the Israel Government had been “extremely patient” in connection with negotiations carried out by Eric Johnston, President Eisenhower’s special envoy, for Jordan River development, “but Israel’s patience is by no means inexhaustible.” He indicated that unless there was a definite answer by the Arab States Israel would proceed next season with its own water development program.

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