Israel’s Right of Passage Through Suez Canal Supported in Britain

With the second 18-nation conference on the Suez crisis scheduled to open here Wednesday, the entire British press, from the right to the left, came out today with articles strongly espousing Israel’s rights of passage through the Suez Canal and calling for measures designed to secure these rights.

The strongest position is taken by the right-wing Daily Sketch, which offers Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden his “way out” of the Suez difficulty by supporting Israel before the bar of world public opinion, and with arms. The newspaper calls Israel the “neglected key to the whole Middle East,” and notes that neither Britain nor anybody else “lifted a finger to help Israel.”

The Liberal News Chronicle writes: “We can have no confidence in the word of Nasser until he has given proof that his promise to let ships pass freely through the canal is genuine. The value of this promise can be judged by the fact that, in defiance of the Security Council and Egypt’s own undertaking, Israeli ships are barred from the waterway. On this point there can be no compromise. Either Nasser means what he says when he swears the canal will be open to the ships of all nations, or he is utterly cynical and still intends to defy the United Nations.”

The Labor Party’s Daily Herald, urging Britain to take the Suez Canal dispute to the UN, insists that guarantees of the right of world shipping to use the canal “means also the rights of ships bound’ to and from Israel, which have been prevented from using the canal by Nasser, in defiance of the United Nations.” Declaring that governments including the British, have been “shutting their eyes” to this breach of a UN resolution, the Herald says that a UN settlement would mean nothing at all, unless it meant freedom for all ships without exception.”

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