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Ex-commander of Arab Legion Pessimistic on Arab-israel Rapprochement

Sir John Baggott Glubb, one-time commander of Jordan’s Arab Legion, told the Detroit Economic Club that there was little reason to hope for a “political settlement” of problems in the Middle East.

The British general, speaking on the Middle East, made no mention of Israel but did give some comments on the Israel-Arab situation in reply to questions. He said, in reply to one of the questions, that firing on the Israel-Jordan border, which had been frequent a few years ago, had practically stopped because “people are cooling off. I think it means that people are saying let’s get this settled.'”

He attributed Israel’s success in solving its problems to the high level of education of Israelis, compared with that of the Arab neighbors. He said the Arabs also were suffering because they were jealous of each other and not united. He was asked his opinion as to the basic cause of Arab hostility toward Israel and replied that after World War I, the Jews represented seven percent of Palestine’s population and the Arabs “thought it was their country. Now one million who lost their homes keep their hatred alive.”

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