LONDON (Jan. 15)
The feeling that the Arab-Israel situation is now “very dangerous, just like before the Sinai campaign in 1956, ” was expressed here today by Anthony Wedgwood Benn–Lord Tansgate–following his return from Israel. “Israel, ” he reported over the radio, is “very alarmed at the Egyptian rearmament and very desperate.”
“Time is moving against Israel, ” he said. “The Arab countries are getting arms from both sides–from the West and the East. The differential in the morale between the Israeli and Arab troops, which used to be very important, is now diminishing with the acquisition by the Arab governments of more technical weapons.”
He suggested that Israel should take the initiative in solving the Arab refugee problem by agreeing to admit one Arab refugee to every 10 Jews entering Israel under the Law of Return. “An initiative by Israel on the Arab refugee question would have several advantages, ” he asserted. “There would be some technical cooperation between Israel and the Arabs; Israel would obtain a sort of de facto recognition by the Arabs; and a category of refugees would be created who have chosen not to return to Israel and therefore would be eligible for resettlement in the Arab countries.”
ARAB COUNTRIES ON THE ALERT AGAINST NASSER; FEAR COUP
The London Daily Mail meanwhile reported today that almost every Arab country in the Middle East was on the alert against President Nasser of Egypt for a possible coup. The newspaper asserted that “this powder keg corner of the world is nearer to an explosion now than it has ever been in the year of intrigue, plotting and craving for power by the man who waits in Cairo.”
The London Times, reporting the closing of the Syrian border with Lebanon, said this appeared to be a prelude to a strong move against pro-Nasser elements. The official explanation was the desire to prevent infiltration of pro-Nasser and subversive elements into Syria.