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Ben-gurion Confers in Sweden on U.N. Problems Affecting Israel

August 27, 1962
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Problems concerning Israel and the Middle East to be taken up at the forthcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly were discussed by Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Swedish Premier Tage Erlander. Mr. Ben-Gurion, who is currently visiting Sweden as part of a tour of five Scandinavian nations, was the luncheon guest today along with Mrs. Ben-Gurion and their daughter Rennana Leshem, of Swedish King Gustaf VI Adolf and Queen Louise at their summer residence in Sofiero.

The Israeli Prime Minister, who spent the entire day yesterday at the home of Premier Erlander, was understood to have briefed the latter on details of Israel’s aid to underdeveloped countries. It is believed that Mr. Erlander premised Mr. Ben-Gurion that Sweden would pay full attention to Israel’s standing proposition at United Nations sessions concerning the necessity of direct negotiations between the Arabs and Israel as a condition for any negotiation about the Arab refugees.

Last night, the Israeli Premier delivered an address at a dinner attended by Swedish Government officials and Jewish communal leaders, in which Mr. Ben-Gurion said that there was “a large measure of agreement and understanding” between Israel and Sweden “as to the way in which problems should be tackled in order to increase peace, security and prosperity.”


Addressing a press conference here today, Mr. Ben-Gurion said: “I am sure peace will come to the Middle East, but I cannot know when it will be. If international tension will go on, peace will come later to our part of the world. If there will be less tension, I believe peace will be even in my lifetime.”

Referring to the tension between the two major world powers, Mr. Ben-Gurion stated: “I believe the two Big Powers are wise enough to prevent war. I am sure both want peace. Also the Communists who say they are sure Communism will come to the whole world sooner or later, have no reason to destroy Russia by war.”

Asked about Israel’s refusal to admit Dr. Robert Soblen, the American psychiatrist convicted of spying for the Soviet Union, the Prime Minister replied: “We refused Soblen permission to settle in Israel because he is not an honest man. He did not want to settle in Israel, but only to escape from the United States.”

With regard to the Eichmann trial, the Premier said: “The principal aim of the trial was to give the world the real view of the danger of anti-Semitism and to show the younger ones what really happened in the time of the Nazis. This aim was reached.”

The Prime Minister confirmed that he had discussed with Swedish Premier Erlander the problem of aid to underdeveloped countries but added that he did not propose any cooperation between Israel and Sweden. He lauded Sweden for having attained the “highest degree” of Social welfare. Mr. Ben -Gurion declined to answer a specific question about recent developments in Egyptian rocket capabilities, but he declared that “we will do anything in our power to defend Israel.”

Referring to his luncheon visit with the Swedish King, Mr. Ben-Gurion said he was impressed with the simplicity of the King, and that he had invited him to visit Israel. The 80-year-old monarch declined, however, replying that he was too old, Mr. Ben-Gurion said. He added that the King showed a deep knowledge of Israel’s problems.

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