LONDON (Dec. 9)
A number of the Arab countries feel that the time is coming when they have got to learn to live with Israel, Harold Wilson, Labor member of Parliament and the Labor Party’s “shadow foreign minister,” declared here last night. He made the statement in an overall report on a visit to Israel, from which he had just returned, on the Hebrew service of the British Broadcasting Company’s radio transmission.
Declaring that he gained the impression of Arab readiness to talk peace “from outside Israel as well as in Israel,” the Labor Party’s foremost foreign affairs expert said that each of the Arab states “is afraid to make the first step.” “They are afraid,” he declared, “that if they do that, intervention may come from another Arab state, leading perhaps to a palace or some other kind of revolution, and it would be dangerous to take the first step.”
“Until some such step is taken,” he added, “there would have to be a real awareness of Israel’s security problem.” The West, he said, “has a job to do, particularly in considering the Suez Canal blockade against Israeli ships.”
Mr. Wilson declared him self “tremendously impressed” with Israel’s progress and “with the rate of advancement,” both on the industrial and agricultural fronts. He lauded the progress made in the development of desert areas, the absorption of immigrants, and the “social equality being built in Israel.” Above all, he said, he was “taken with their confidence and with the Israeli tackling of the problems of the future.” He expressed the opinion that “the future of Israel probably lies in being an industrial country.”