Arabs Can’t Beat Israel Unless Backed by a “great Power”

Without the aid “of one the Great Powers,” the Arab states could not defeat Israel “but Israel naturally could not stand alone against a Great Power attack,” Prime Minister David Ben Gurion declared in an interview published today.

Asked by the military correspondent of Davar, Labor daily, whether there was “any sense to a policy of retaliation,” the Prime Minister, who also serves as Defense Minister, replied: “There is no dogmatic answer to such questions. At the present time, there is relative tranquility along our borders but Israel will not be caught napping if the situation changes.”

Discussing the Sinai operation, the Prime Minister said that the Army General Staff was engaged in correction of some “organizational and implementational short comings noted in the campaign” with the result that the Israel Army was now even more effective “than during the Sinai campaign.”

The Prime Minister said there had been “no little progress” in the field of atomic research in Israel and that there were “considerable prospects for further research but we are still in a state of ‘he who girdeth his armor’ and not in a state of ‘he who putteth it off”

In response to a question as to whether “Hatikavah” could continue to serve as Israel’s national anthem after establishment of the Jewish State, Mr. Ben Gurion said: “There are important arguments for a new national anthem to express the mission of the State of Israel, but since less than 15 percent of the nation lives in Israel, there is still reason to retain the Hatikvah anthem.”

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