Ben-gurion Addresses Parliament on Security; Says He Wants to Prevent War
Menu JTA Search

Ben-gurion Addresses Parliament on Security; Says He Wants to Prevent War

Download PDF for this date

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, addressing the Israel Parliament today on the Government’s foreign policy, said that he believes that it is the intention of Col. Nasser, Egypt’s ruler, to attack Israel. However, he pointed out that the position of the Jews in Israel is not like the position of the Jews under the Nazis, who found themselves utterly helpless.

Israel’s defense forces, he said, have the power to repulse any attack or aggression, whether it comes from one or the trio of Arab states which indicated interest last month in forming a tripartite United Arab Republic. This is true, he said, despite the fact that the Arab armies have undoubtedly progressed, and not with standing Egypt’s reception of a stream of Soviet arms and Russian instructors, while German scientists are improving the training of the Egyptian army and the quality of its weapons.

“However,” Mr. Ben-Gurion stressed, “the only sure victory is prevention of war. Israel’s policy is therefore directed toward this end through constantly strengthening the deterrent power of its army and securing the moral and political support of all the forces in the world concerned, as we are, for the maintenance of peace in the area.” The Premier added that he believes that peace will come when “our neighbors will realize their folly,” and that it will be the kind of a peace from which the Middle East and the entire world will benefit.


Recalling Israel’s continued peace efforts since the State was established, the Premier noted that all the attempts “have been met with Arab hostility and with proclamations of the intention to destroy Israel.” He referred to last month’s Cairo announcement about the tri-power pact for forming a new Arab Federation which said specifically that the Federation’s arms include a military alliance to insure “the liberation of Palestine.

“This is the first time,” he said, “that annihilation of Israel was set down as the clear aim of a unified Arab military command.”

The Prime Minister sharply criticized Britain’s Lord Privy Seal, Edward Heath, who last week told the House of Commons in London: “We have no reason to assume that the Arabs contemplate an attack against Israel.” “It is inconceivable,” said the Prime Minister, “that Mr. Heath did not read the terms of the treaty between Egypt, Iraq and Syria. Does he not believe this political declaration of the Egyptian President and the representatives of the Iraqi and Syrian Governments? I doubt whether many British subjects who are concerned with world peace will identify themselves with the Lord Privy Seal’s statement.”

Mr. Ben-Gurion listed Israel’s achievements during the last 15 years, despite being “under siege, weighed down by heavy security burdens.” In the face of such burdens, he noted, Israel succeeded in “solving many of its problems in a pioneering spirit,” also finding the ability to assist new and developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Mediterranean basin.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund