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British Press Attacks American Pressure on Israel

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The pressure of the Eisenhower Administration on Israel, including an apparent readiness to support United Nations sanctions, was under sharp attack today in the British press.

Five leading Britons demanded proper security guarantees for Israel and backed Israeli administration of the Gaza Strip in a letter to the Times. They were Lord Cunningham, famous wartime naval commander; Lord Haily, former Governor of Punjab, Lord Hankey, member of the war cabinet, Professor Gilbert Murray, and Rev. E. G. Selwyn, distinguished churchman.

The London Daily Telegraph, in an editorial, bitterly assailed President Eisenhower’s appeal to Israel, calling it “either shockingly cynical or alarmingly naive.” The newspaper charged that the “argument that the United States cannot give concrete assurance in advance of Israeli withdrawal but would do so afterward is a contemptuous evasion.

The Manchester Guardian urged a clear American guarantee of free passage in the Gulf of Akaba, adding that Israel’s “stubbornness” was understandable in the face of the vagueness of the American “guarantees.” The London Daily Express, urging Israel to “stand fast,” said Israel should be provided with “cast iron guarantees” before withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the Gulf of Akaba positions.

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