Ben-gurion Voices Warning to Nasser; Stresses Israel’s Strength

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion warned the Arab world last night that if war is forced on Israel by miscalculating Arab leaders, “every one of us is ready to hit back and we will do everything so that the war will be waged on the attackers’ territory within a few days.”

Replying to threats from President Nasser on Egypt of the range of his new rockets, the Prime Minister used a phrase from a popular American song, “everything you can do, I can do better,” in saying that what Nasser could do with missiles, “we can do with more skill, ability and knowledge.”

He made his strong statement in an address at Sedjera, one of the first Jewish settlements in the lower Galilee where the Prime Minister himself worked 55 years ago as a young immigrant to the pre-state Jewish community in Palestine.

He asserted that Israel’s army was stronger than those of the neighboring Arab countries but that it was doubtful whether “there is one Arab leaders who appreciates this and who is therefore not planning to attack Israel.” For this reason, he said, Israel “must maintain a strong deterring army.”

The Prime Minister came to the settlement from a world meeting of Jewish War Veterans. In his address to the veterans he stressed the need of unity between all Jews which he called the main factor in preserving Jewish life and Jewishness throughout the world.

At a special Cabinet meeting today, the Prime Minister reported on his recent month-long tour of Scandinavian countries. The Cabinet approved the appointment of Joseph Almogi as Minister for Housing and Development to succeed the late Dr. Giora Josephtal. The new Housing Minister, who had been Minister without Portfolio, is a leading member of the Mapai party.

At the Prime Minister’s request, Abba Eban will continue as acting Foreign Minister while Mrs. Golda Meir is abroad, in addition to his post as Education Minister. Previously, the Prime Minister had assumed the acting Foreign Ministry portfolio during Mrs. Meir’s absence. She is now in the United States as head of the Israeli delegation at the current General Assembly of the United Nations.

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