Ahmed Ben Bella, the former president of Algeria who was imprisoned for many years under the regime of Houari Boumedienne, said in a recent interview with the French periodical “Politique Internationale” that the Arabs will never accept the Zionist fact.
“I am an Arab and Palestine does not only concern Palestinians; it concerns all Arabs. Even if the Palestinians are forced to accept some kind of solution, the Arabs in general will never accept the State of Israel,” he said.
Asked if some territorial compromise was possible, Ben Bella replied that acceptance of the Zionist being would imply a legitimacy to a non-Arab entity in the Mideast.
“The Zionist State by its internal logic,” said Ben Bella, “presupposes economic, political and cultural control over the entire region. For us this is synonymous with sterilization and a loss of identity that no self-respecting Arab could accept.”
Ben Bella, released from an Algerian form of house arrest only a year-and-a-half ago, said that while individual Arab leaders might go to Jerusalem to conclude some form of peace with Israel there would always be a Moslem who would arise “to liquidate traitors.”
Using the terms “stranger” and “cancer” to describe Israel, Ben Bella predicted that the Israel problem would be solved in about 20 years.
SAYS ISRAEL DOESN’T HAVE A CHANCE
Quoting Israeli statistics regarding immigration and emigration, Ben Bella noted that in 1981, 22,000 Jews had left Israel while only 11,000 had entered the country. The Arab population was already 750,000 and growing faster than the Jewish one.
The former Algerian President pointed also to the technological gap which once separated Jews and Arabs. “The Arabs are beginning to have their own technicians, scholars, their own brains,” said Ben Bella.
“Sooner or later they will have the atomic bomb; this is inevitable. At that point we will weigh down so heavily on the Israelis that they will be unable to resist us. They don’t have a chance.”
Asked whether this line of thinking did not justify an Israeli pre-emptive strike against the Arabs, Ben Bella said: “That’s the classical threat. We are constantly told; Watch out the Israelis have nuclear weapons, they will blow up everything. They have a Massada complex … Well, I’ll tell you what I really think; if there is no other solution, let the nuclear war take place and let us be finished with it once and for all.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.