TEL AVIV (Aug. 13)
Premier Levi Eshkol issued a stiff warning last night to Syrian and Egyptian leaders “to think twice before uttering threats against Israel. ” The warning was the second by the Prime Minister in 24 hours, following a threat by President Nasser of Egypt that the time had come to “wipe out the stain” of Egypt’s defeat by Israel in 1948.
The second warning was contained in an address to reserve and regular paratroop officers on Paratroop Day. The Premier made it plain that, while Israel did not desire bloodshed, “our neighbors in the north (Syria) should entertain no hopes that Israel will remain quiet in the face of their aggressions only because Israel does not hurry in its reactions.”
He emphasized that paratroopers, as well as other units of the Army, would be sent to the borders “and our enemies should not think we will remain with hands folded eternally in the face of provocations. ” Events for the special day included a parachute drop on the Tel Aviv seashore and a parade in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv.
In his first warning, the Prime Minister addressed himself to the Egyptian President, urging Nasser to be careful in any moves because “Israel is not unprepared. ” Speaking at a Mapai municipal rally in Beersheba, he said that Nasser had shown “his true face” in making bellicose speeches against Israel. Until recently, the Premier noted, Nasser had been talking about peace.
“We must continuously strengthen Israel in the face of the declared danger from Egypt.” Mr. Eshkol said, adding that he had no intention of competing with the Egyptian leader in speechmaking. He then quoted King Ahab’s answer to the Syrian King Ben-Hadad from I Kings: “Let him who girds himself for war not boast as he who ungirds himself” after victory.