JERUSALEM (Oct. 17)
Parliament today gave the government of Premier David Ben Gurion an impressive vote of confidence on its handling of the international situation. The Knesset approved government policy on the border situation and the Suez Canal by a vote of 76 to 13. It rejected a non-confidence motion offered by the opposition Herut Party, 69 to nine and a similar motion made by the Communists, 84 to four.
Premier Ben Gurion wound up the debate today with a scathing attack on critics of his policy and an admonition to the United States “which can and must add equipment to balance the enemy’s considerable advantage.” He warned that Israel’s progress in rearmament was not sufficient and said he could not over-stress the importance of receiving arms from the United States.
The Israel Premier lashed out at Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, warning the Knesset that “our greatest and real enemy is the Egyptian fascist dictator, Col. Nasser, who seeks to annihilate Israel, which he publicly proclaims, and wishes to rule the Arab world.”
The Premier also denounced the British Government, warning that the dangers to Israel included British plans, both known and unknown, against the security of Israel’s territorial integrity.
BEN GURION SAYS ARMY RAIDS APPROVED BY GOVERNMENT
The Premier replied to opponents who criticized the handling of the military operations against Jordan strong point in recent weeks and said the country had reason to be proud of the Army’s deeds. He assured the house that all actions recently taken had been with full Government approval.
In a direct reply to Menachem Beigin. Herut leader, who had asserted that Foreign Minister Golda Meir’s blunt declaration that Israel would fight if Iraqi troops entered Jordan did not conform to Ben Gurion’s “freedom of action” declaration, the Premier declared there was no difference between the two statements. He said he could not spell out at this time the meaning of “freedom of action” but declared that its meaning would be seen when action results either from external factors or Israel’s counter-measures.
He assured the Knesset that although Israel was not the decisive factor in the international affairs of the Middle East, Israel is not insignificant and things will not easily be accomplished without Israel raising its voice to protect its interests.
IRAQ BACKDOWN VIEWED AS “POSITIVE TURN”
The Premier noted that there had been a “positive turn of events” since the Knesset began its debate on Monday, citing the Arab decision not to station Iraq troops in Jordan and the Suez Canal situation. He warned against over-optimism, however, asserting that dangers still existed.
“Fateful problems remain,” he advised Parliament. “We must remain alert to safeguard our sovereignty, our territorial security and the observance of the armistice agreements,” These, he said, include freedom of passage of the Suez Canal and the Red Sea.
Mr. Ben Gurion stressed in his rebuttal speech, as he had in his foreign affairs report to Parliament, Israel’s need for defensive arms from the United States. Israel’s bid for defensive arms, he said, did not mean arms of inferior quality. The party attacked must possess every type of equipment the attacker possesses, he told Parliament He reminded the house that the best defense is the offense and he told the house Israel will carry action to the other side for effective defense if necessary.
In the course of his rebuttal speech. Mr. Ben Gurion clarified the criticism he had voiced Monday of the United Nations. He said that the Israel Government sees the United Nations as a tremendous factor in the hopes for future peace in the world and is interested to increase its prestige and jurisdiction. He voiced the hope that the day would soon come when the United Nations will have force to preserve the peace. But, he said, he must differentiate those United Nations organizations which claim that Israel is under an international regime in view of the armistice agreements.