LONDON (Nov. 6)
President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt told his nation today that “war” and “bloodshed” are now the only solution to the Arab-Israel conflict because all political solutions have failed. In what observers described as his most belligerent speech since the June, 1967 Six-Day War, Col. Nasser said Egypt is now in a position to put 500,000 armed men in the field against Israel.
“What was taken by force must be reclaimed by force,” he said in a radio and television address at the opening of the Egyptian Parliament. President Nasser denounced the United States for aiding Israel. U.S. militarists are fighting against Egypt, he said, “from behind guns and from aircraft that carry the Star of David.” He said Russia was Egypt’s friend–”the arms of the Soviet Union are in our hands and the arms of the U.S.A. are in Israel’s hands.”
The speech was the first by President Nasser in three months and was delivered following three apparently successful Egyptian commando raids on Israeli forces across the Suez Canal in the last 24 hours. He urged a new Arab summit meeting to coordinate action against Israel. He described Egypt’s situation as “to be or not to be. There is no alternative but to continue to fight against Israel.”
President Nasser claimed that Egypt had tried to implement the United Nations Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 Mideast resolution but said the Big Powers failed to find a solution. “The definite conclusion we must take from this is that there is no longer a way out of our present situation except by forging a road toward our objective violently and by force, over a sea of blood and under horizons blazing with fire,” The Egyptian leader said his Government had spent 500 million Egyptian pounds to re-arm its forces since the Six-Day War. He claimed that Israel was “fighting with its back to the sea.” Turning to the recent crisis in Lebanon, Nasser said, “all secondary side-battles in the Arab world must stop or our cause will slip from our hands.”
(Rashid Karami, who resigned as caretaker Premier in Lebanon in opposition to Army attacks on Arab guerrillas, said today he would try to form a new Government. Mr. Karami had been trying since last April to form a Government. He resigned little more than two weeks ago after fighting broke out between Lebanese Army troops and guerrillas in South Lebanon. He claimed he had nothing to do with the Army’s decision to crack down on the guerrillas.)