Ben-gurion Reveals U.S. Attempt to Initiate Arab-israel Peace Talks
Menu JTA Search

Ben-gurion Reveals U.S. Attempt to Initiate Arab-israel Peace Talks

Download PDF for this date

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion revealed today that the United States Government “recently initiated an attempt to bring about peace talks” between Israel and the United Arab Republic.

The Prime Minister made the disclosure in a lengthy article in the Government Year Book which was published today. The Prime Minister declared that “the initiative” in the effort “came from the supreme authority in the United States” and that it failed because of “obdurate opposition from the Egyptian dictator,” President Nasser of the UAR.

He also disclosed that in the summer of 1950, Israel asked the Soviet Union to invite representatives of Israel and Egypt to peace talks. He added that the Soviets never replied to the requests.

Mr. Ben Gurion, in a discussion of the background and consequences of the 1956 Sinai campaign, warned against the “fallacy” of believing that the 1956 operation solved Israel’s security problems. He said “basically, the problem is not solved.”

He indicated a belief that the “wall of Arab hostility” would eventually be breached but that this would come, not by direct Israel action, but by strengthening of Israel’s ties with the peoples of Asia and Africa on whom the Arab Governments tried to rely for support.

Mr. Ben-Gurion revealed that on November 7, 1956, the late John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State had warned Israel that the world was on the brink of a general war because of Israel’s refusal to withdraw from the Sinai peninsula. Mr. Dulles also warned Israel that not only would all United States aid to Israel end, but also that Israel might be expelled from the United Nations, the Prime Minister added.

The two principal points of the lengthy review were that the Sinai campaign had limited objectives which were achieved and that withdrawal had been planned before the campaign was launched; and that the recent sale of Israel arms to the West German Army was necessary for Israel’s security.

He described as the two specific objectives of the Sinai operation that of destroying marauders’ bases in the Gaza Strip and safeguarding freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Akaba. He quoted himself as telling the Cabinet meeting which decided on the Sinai campaign that “Gaza is an embarrassing objective, a burden.”

He also cited a statement to the Cabinet meeting that “there will be forces which will compel us to evacuate–there is America, Russia, the United Nations, India–I am more concerned about America than about the rest. America will compel us to leave.”

The Premier on three separate occasions in his article strongly criticized India’s Prime Minister Nehru for his “double stand” attitude in relations with Israel and the Arab countries.

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