Egypt’s Action Stimulates Sentiment in Britain for Arming Israel

The entire London press; with the exception of the Sunday Times, came out today with articles asking that, in the light of the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egypt and the threatening speeches against the Western Powers by Egyptian President Nasser. Britain supply Israel with arms and seek a closer relationship with Israel.

Leading members of all political parties in England similarly advocate that Britain should now sell Israel all the arms she wants. Some foresee the possibility that the Egyptian dictation, in his mood of desperation, may embark on a sudden attack of Israel. They therefore suggest that Israel be given arms without delay.

Former British War Minister Lord Hore-Belisha announced that he will suggest in the House of Commons tomorrow that the British Government build a new East–West canal across Israel territory to replace the Suez Canal. The new canal would run from the Mediterranean shore of Israel to the port of Elath on the Red Sea.

In the worldwide excitement which followed Col. Nasser’s announcement of the seizure of the Suez Canal, it has been overlooked that in his three-hour address be referred to Israel as “imperialism’s tool and pledged that Egypt would not rest until the entire Middle East area between the Atlantic and the Persian Gulf was Arab–an obvious threat against Israel.

The general feeling in England today, as expressed in the Sunday newspapers, was that it would be absurd now for the United States and Britain to leave Israel under-armed in the face of a possible assault by Egypt. The Sunday Times, an exception, says that the problem of Israel and her Arab neighbors is quite distinct from that of the Suez Canal problem and will still have to be settled equitably when Col. Nasser’s folly is defeated and expiated.

Observers here do not expect an immediate change in the British policy toward arming Israel despite the mounting pressure from all sides. They are of the opinion that the elements who are now pressing the government to give arms to Israel are not motivated by concern for the Jewish State but are intent upon causing as much annoyance to Col. Nasser as possible. However, it is believed that even this point alone might yet induce the Foreign Ministry to approve the movement of arms to Israel, provided there is American approval, if not example.

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