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Defensive Arms for Israel Can Prevent Mid-east War, Ben Gurion Says

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Given defensive weapons, Israel will prevent a war in the Middle East, Premier David Ben Gurion told Richard Crossman, Labor MP and former member of the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry on Palestine, in an interview yesterday. “Give us the tools and we will prevent war,” Mr. Ben Gurion said, according to a dispatch from Mr. Crossman published in today’s Daily Mirror.

Mr. Crossman further declared that his talk with the Premier had left him with the clear impression the despite Prime Minister Eden’s “complacent assurances” there is no basis at present for peace negotiations between Mr. Ben Gurion and Premier Nasser of Egypt. He insisted that the first thing that must be done is to supply Israel with arms so that she does not fall behind in the “frantic arms race.” This, he added, is at best a short-term policy which must be followed by inclusion of the USSR in a four-power embargo on arms to the Middle East which is the only prelude to peace talks.

In a special television program presented by Labor MP Woodrow Wyatt over the BBC yesterday, Mr. Ben Gurion repeated his offer to meet “anywhere and any time” with Premier Nasser for peace talks. He said that the 1947 UN resolutions could no longer serve as a basis for a settlement and that only the status quo would serve for such purposes. He urged Britain to help secure peace by redressing the arms balance.

Col. Nasser and Jordan’s King Hussein were also presented in filmed interviews. The former demanded that the UN resolutions on Palestine be implemented, but the latter said that the Palestine Arabs, on the principle of self-determination, had decided to joint their part of the country with Jordan.

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