Ben Gurion, in Knesset, Denounces Nasser As Would-be Hitler
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Ben Gurion, in Knesset, Denounces Nasser As Would-be Hitler

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Premier David Ben Gurion of Israel denounced Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt today in terms rarely employed by the head of a state and said the only reason Nasser should not be compared with Hitler was that Israel would not let Nasser do what Hitler had done, although the Egyptian dictator was equal to those crimes.

Mr. Ben Gurion’s polemic came in a debate on a Communist motion in the Knesset calling for a reversal of Israel’s pro-Western policy. The opposition parties voted solidly with the Government to reject the Communist motion which received the vote of only two Communist deputies.

Earlier, Mr. Ben Gurion rejected a Herut Party demand for a full debate on the future of Jordan, declaring that Nasser “knows–and that is all he needs to know–that we are opposed to the entry of foreign troops in Jordan.” He said it was better that Jordan should continue to exist as it is and appealed for restraint in discussing policy on Jordan.

Mr. Ben Gurion disclosed that United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold had promised to visit Israel early next year to discuss Article VIII of the Jordan-Israel armistice agreement which requires both parties to meet to settle unresolved issues. Mr. Hammarskjold, he said, insisted that this discussion take place at Sde Boker, the Prime Minister’s vacation home in the Negev.

Mr. Ben Gurion emphasized that it would be “very harmful” to discuss publicly what Israel would do in the event of violation of the Jordanian status quo because “there is no need to tell a hostile world what we are going to do in a hypothetical case, especially on a question involving peace or its opposite.”


In dealing with the Communist motion, Mr. Ben Gurion expressed Israel’s sympathies with the Arab liberation movement but stressed that movement must not be identified with “the oppressive imperialist dictatorship of a soldier who crushes his own land and people and bankrupts them by spending the fruits of their sweat on arms from Communist countries and wants to dominate other peoples and the whole of Africa.”

He told the Knesset that “Nasser’s ambitions and the aims of the Arab liberation movement are two opposite things.” He accused Nasser of using against Israel and the Jewish people “the techniques of Hitlerite propaganda” and mentioned that Nasser had given an Indian journalist a copy of the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Mr. Ben Gurion replied to an assertion by Dr. Moshe Sneh, Communist deputy, that Israel was allied with imperialism by referring to a certain Great Power (the Soviet Union) which “rules over colonial peoples and is not liberating them.” He said Israel was ready to maintain normal relations with that power.

Discussing Israel’s arms purchases from the West, Mr. Ben Gurion said: “We do not want to be dependent on the mercy of Egyptian, Iraqi and other dictators.” Egypt was obtaining Soviet arms, he said, not to improve the wretched conditions of her peasantry but for warfare against Israel. “We will do everything to prevent encirclement by Nasser,” he exclaimed. “How we will do it, I abstain from saying.”

Mr. Ben Gurion concluded his diatribe by stating that he had not been surprised by Communist identification with Col. Nasser, since in the past the Communists had allied themselves with Hitler, too.

Mr. Ben Gurion’s comments on the Jordan situation flowed from questions by Yigal Alon, leader of the Achdut Avodah Party, a partner in the government coalition, about an interview the Premier gave a correspondent of the Sunday Times of London. During the interview, the Premier expressed his personal opinion that if there were a change in Jordan’s status, he would prefer that the west bank of the Jordan River be demilitarized and that Israel get international security guarantees for any such new arrangements.

The Prime Minister was sustained in his stand when the Knesset voted to refer the issue to the Knesset Foreign and Security Affairs Committee.

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