Ben Gurion Warns World Jewry Against “delusion” on Israel’s Security
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Ben Gurion Warns World Jewry Against “delusion” on Israel’s Security

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Jews throughout the world were warned by Israel Premier David Ben Gurion this week-end not to be under the “dangerous delusion” that Israel’s security problems have been solved by the Sinai campaign. He also warned against assuming that the present division in the Arab camp strengthens Israel’s security. This is a “mistaken” notion, he said.

Addressing a session of the Zionist Actions Committee, which is now meeting here, the Israel Premier emphasized that the Arab leaders may argue among themselves about hegemony, but Jews must not forget that the only thing that unites them is haired of Israel.

“No good will come to Israel from the split up of the Arab camp into Soviet satellites and American satellites,” he added. He asserted that arms in Arab hands, whether supplied by the East or the West, were intended by Arab leaders to be used against Israel, not against Communism or democracy.

“The Sinai campaign,” Mr. Ben Gurion said, “secured for us a useful truce.” This asset would be used to speed up the main task of absorption of immigrants and Israel’s development, he stated. He also expressed the opinion that the Sinai campaign increased Israel’s prestige “among its friends, enemies and the disinterested.” It was not a coincidence that Pakistan’s Premier just now advises the Arabs to recognize Israel and India’s Premier advises the same thing to his friend Nasser, he declared.

There may be some willingness on the periphery of the Arab camp to come closer to Israel, the Premier added, but the rulers of the Arab countries continue to incite their peoples against Israel. “One cannot forget the bitter fact that the lead in this incitement has been taken by the press of such a great power as the Soviet Union; and they are not satisfied with incitement alone–Soviet arms flow to Syria and Egypt.”


Discussing arguments of “neutralists,” Mr. Ben Gurion said that there were two types of neutrality, ideological and politico-military and that while Israel could not be neutral as between democracy and totalitarianism, Israel was willing to sign peace with the Arabs even though there is not a single democracy among them.

He stressed that there could be no greater mistake than the belief that Israel could assure her safety by politico-military neutrality because the immediate danger to Israel was not from the West nor the East but “from within the area in which we live. “Neutrality would not lessen this danger, he pointed out.

The basic principle of Israel’s policy was, and would remain, that “under no circumstance will we assist aggressive designs against any country regardless of its internal regime. “the Premier said. He noted that in the early days of statehood, Israel had received moral support from the Soviet Union and material aid from Czechoslovakia and he expressed regret that these two countries had turned against Israel.

He praised the “permanence” of Israel’s friendship with the United States and stressed the strengthening of ties with France particularly during the past year. Israel, he asserted, can and does assist the backward peoples of Asia and Africa and this assistance not only opened new vistas for Israel in the two continents but, ultimately would also break the “wall of hostility” of the Arabs. In the second decade of its existence, Israel must bring in her third million people and revive the wastelands of the Negev, he said. He called on world Jewry for a partnership of “deeds not words.”


Expressing his personal outlook, the Israel Premier told the members of the Zionist Actions Committee that he was first a Jew and then an Israeli, because the State of Israel was created for and by the merits of the Jewish people. “But the future of the Jewish people from now on depends on the existence, growth and strength of the State.” he added

Israel, he reiterated, does not represent any non-Israeli Jew, but every Jew is a member of the Jewish nation and the unity of nationality binds all Jews to a common historic, eternal fate. Even non-Israeli Jews in the free countries do not have freedom and full rights as men and as Jews, he asserted, adding that as a member of a minority, the Jew was dependent, knowingly or not, on the will of the majority. If he is religious, he does not observe some of the religious principles, and if he is secular, he assimilates wittingly or otherwise whether or not he believes in assimilation. Living in the confines of a non-Jewish majority, he is surrounded materially and spiritually in a non-Jewish atmosphere even where the environment is not unfriendly, said the Premier.

Thus, Mr. Ben Gurion continued, there is a “deep abyss” in the non-Israeli Jew, and in every Jewish heart there are tragic moments with the danger of complete annihilation always lurking. Only in Israel are Jews free as men and as Jews and only in Israel can the Jew find complete fulfilment and natural prospects of living as a Jew and as an individual without conflict, he said.

The State of Israel makes no distinction between the Jew who has just arrived, the veteran settler or the native born, he said. All have equal rights, he declared. From this he drew the added point that there were no differences between the Jew abroad who supported immigration and upbuilding of the country for many years and the Jew who only recently gave help.

“The Third Jewish Commonwealth rallied the support of all Jews, thus making the wall between Zionist and non-Zionist crumble, “he said. He was referring to the charter given the World Zionist Organization which says “Israel hopes for the cooperation of all Jews as individuals or groups.”


Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, took issue with Premier Ben Gurion’s argument that Israel was built only by its settlers, and that its fate depends entirely on its populace. Dr. Goldmann called the Premier’s conception “unreal.” Despite great achievements in many spheres, the State of Israel is still not yet consolidated and Israel for many years must have the cooperation of world Jewry, he said.

Taking exception to Mr. Ben Gurion’s distinction between settlers, whom the Prime Minister called the builders, and Zionists, whom he called helpers, Dr. Goldmann warned that if non-Israeli Jews were relegated to the status of donors only, they would soon cease to donate. Non-Israeli Jews feel and want a role of being “junior partners” to take part in the historic responsibilities of building Israel, Dr. Goldmann said. Many Jews want to stay in their countries of residence and remain Jews, but their greatest Jewish content of life is Israel and this would be taken away if they were considered only donors, he stressed.

He warned that Mr. Ben Gurion’s conception contained the danger of dividing the Jewish people into Israelis on the one hand and a conglomerate on the other who within 10 to 20 years would not understand each other. This threat, he added, was greater to the non-Zionist than to the Zionist, since the latter could be reconciled to the eventual fulfilment of the Zionist mission while the former would be unable to fill the void. He said the Ben Gurion approach was probably the cause of the present misunderstanding and the current gap in the interpretations of the spirit of the charter given to the World Zionist Organization.

Dr. Goldmann concluded by stating that regardless of the question of the validity of Mr. Ben Gurion’s conception and interpretation of today’s Zionist mission, the Premier who could say that he was first a Jew and second an Israeli would — by placing the Jew foremost–go down in history as the greatest Zionist leader of all time.

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