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Ben-gurion Calls for Settlement of Two Million Jews, Development of Negev

Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion has called for the settlement of two million Jews in the Negev and the industrial development of that region so that it can serve as a center for exports to African markets. Mr. Ben-Gurion, who makes his home in the Negev village of Sde Boker, spoke before the Negev Development Club.

He called the region, which comprises two-thirds of Israel’s territory and is in large measure arid and undeveloped, “Israel’s gate to Africa,” and said, “we do not need the Suez Canal, we have a Suez of our own.” The Negev is served by the port of Eilat, on the Gulf of Aqaba, which leads to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Most of Israel’s trade with East Africa and the Far East passes through Eilat.