JERUSALEM (Jun. 19)
Premier David Ben Gurion, speaking in the Israel Parliament tonight, stated categorically that he is opposed to a “preventive war” and emphasized that “this would be sheer madness.” However, he reiterated that the Israel Government would use-force to meet force.
The Premier spoke during the Knesset debate of the resignation of Moshe Sharett as Foreign Minister. The debate was scheduled to last seven hours with representatives of all political parties participating. It was opened by Menahem Beigin, leader of the extreme right-wing Herut Party, who charged Mr. Ben Gurion with “withholding the important reason” behind Mr. Sharett’s resignation.
In making clear his policy, the Premier told Parliament that he would not hesitate for a moment to rally maximum forces against any Arab aggressor, or against all of the Arab countries together, although this might prove costly. He ridiculed those who advocate a war against Jordan. He stressed that Britain was Jordan’s ally, and a war against Jordan would automatically mean war with Britain.
“I can never agree to fight against Britain, Russia, or any European power, or against the United States, because, this would be the sheerest folly. “Mr. Ben Gurion stated. He revealed that during the War of Liberation he gave strict orders to do everything possible not to involve the British while they were still on Palestine soil during the battles in Haifa. Tiberias and Safad.
(Failure on the part of the United States and other Western powers to sell defensive arms to Israel contributed greatly to the resignation of Israel’s Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, it is pointed out today by the New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune two of America’s leading newspapers–in editorials commenting on the event. Both newspapers agreed that Israel has good reason to be concerned over Communist arms sales to the Arabs The New York Times stressed the fact that both Mr. Sharett and Premier David Ben Gurion opposed those in Israel who press for a “preventive war.”)