Ben-gurion Reviews Israel’s Contemporary Problems As Knesset Meets
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Ben-gurion Reviews Israel’s Contemporary Problems As Knesset Meets

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Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion said today that Israel has a vital role to play in “the central problem of our generation”–the gap between the mature nations and the newly emerging countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Addressing the opening meeting of Israel Parliament’s winter session here, today, Mr. Ben-Gurion placed Israel’s contemporary position–internally and externally–into the perspective of present-day world events. He told Parliament that, while Israel was “small and poor, with little population and burdened with difficult tasks, it is a fact that representatives from Africa and Asia, official and unofficial, come here to study. Israel’s instructors, experts and technicians are invited to help in their development. “

Expressing the opinion that “a balanced examination” of the competition between the “two blocs” in the “cold war” indicated that fears of a third world war were exaggerated, the Prime Minister said each of the world’s two great powers was “well aware” that either could wipe the other off the face of the earth.

Asserting it was hard to imagine that their leaders would “deliberately bring about the destruction of their peoples and countries,” Mr. Ben-Gurion asserted that the real meaning of the phrase, “the cold war.” was the struggle for the support of the new nations of Asia and Africa, as well as of Latin America, “which, together comprise almost half of the human race.”

The Premier linked Israel’s capacity to be of assistance in bridging the gap to Israel’s achievement in the resettlement of nearly 1,000,000 immigrants. This accomplishment, he said, is an example of a transformation of a people to which he said it would be difficult to find a parallel anywhere in the world. He said the transformation was fruitful, revitalizing and strengthening not only in economic terms, but also from the cultural and social points of view. He pointed out also that there had been continuity of government as well as a stable policy throughout Israel’s statehood.


Discussing Israel’s security situation, Mr. Ben-Gurion recalled an address to Israel’s army commanders in which he had said that Israel’s forces could never be equal in numbers to that of the actual and potential enemies of Israel, and that only through qualitative, moral and intellectual superiority could Israel survive.

There is much to be done in the field of education, the Premier said, adding that “if, Heaven forbid, we do not manage to pass on to the younger generation the superior moral and intellectual qualities of those who created the State and the Israel forces, from the War of Independence to the Sinai campaign, there is a danger that the coming generation may transform Israel into a Leviathan state.”

Such failures, Mr. Ben-Gurion said, would constitute dangers more grave than the threats by President Nasser of the United Arab Republic and Premier Kassem of Iraq to destroy Israel. He added this was a danger not only to Israel but to the Jewish people throughout the world.

The Prime Minister noted that Israel will try Adolf Eichmann. “one of the chiefs of the Nazis who organized and carried out, together with his colleagues, the destruction of millions. The country in which Eichmann hid for a number of years under an assumed name has in practice, conceded Israel’s right to try Eichmann, as have other enlightened countries in the world. “

In the Negev, Mr. Ben-Gurion said, “was have not yet reached our goals, and have not yet done all that we should, although our needs are many and pressing.” He added that some of the projects which have been carried out “are laudable. “

He cited, among Negev gains, the fact that industrial employment rose from 73,000 in 1949, to 165,000 this year. He said output of Dead Sea phosphates, fertilizers and chemicals has grown from 250,000 to 675,000 tons.

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