TEL AVIV (Oct. 30)
Israel observed its annual “Armor Day” yesterday, marking the day with parades of tanks and other armor equipment in many cities, towns and army camps. “Armor Day” is celebrated each year on October 29, the anniversary of Israel’s launching of the Sinai campaign in 1956.
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion delivered the principal “Armor Day” address, summarizing Israel’s achievements since the Sinai campaign. Among the positive factors, he said, were the opening of the seaways to Africa and Asia, the relative quiet on Israel’s borders, and the friendly relations that have developed with a number of Asian and African countries. In the latter category, he noted, was Ethiopia’s announcement last week that it is according de jure recognition to Israel. All of these developments, said the Prime Minister, have their roots in the Sinai campaign.
Referring to press reports about a speech delivered by Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser, following the Syrian break-away from the United Arab Republic, Mr. Ben-Gurion told Armored Corps officers that he understood the Egyptian ruler had announced openly his determination to try to solve internal difficulties that have beset Egypt for 5,000 years. If that speech was not delivered “on the impulse of the moment,” said Mr. Ben-Gurion, “I see here a hopeful sign.”
“It may be,” said Mr. Ben-Gurion, “and I stress, may be, that the Sinai campaign could bring peace nearer between Israel and Egypt, in spite of all the strangeness of this statement;” (Obviously replying to the Israeli Prime Minister, today’s issue of El Sharam, of Cairo, a semi-official newspaper organ of the Nasser regime, declared in a leading article: “The Arab attitude toward Israel has not changed. It is either Israel or the Arabs.”)