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Israel Has No Quarrel with Egypt, Says Ben Gurion; Hopes for Peace

March 20, 1952
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel has no quarrel with Egypt and sincerely hopes for peace with all the Arab countries, Premier David Ben Gurion declared here last night at a press conference arranged for 55 American editors now visiting the Jewish state.

“The defeated Arab countries,” he said, “do not want peace with Israel, but we hope that peace will come sooner or later when these countries become democratic. To defend ourselves against the much discussed ‘second round’ we have to impose upon us a heavy defense burden and introduce universal military service of men and women. But we have no quarrel with the Arab countries and I hope that peace treaties with them will be signed. If not peace treaties, then at least non-aggression pacts. Especially we have no quarrel with Egypt. I sincerely hope for peace with the Egyptians.”

Premier Ben Gurion took the opportunity to thank the American people and the U.S. Government for their support of the Zionist movement and later for the recognition of Israel and for the grant-in-aids to the Jewish state. He expressed the hope that the United States will continue its support of Israel.

Replying to questions on freedom to private investors, the Israel Premier said: “Israel is a free country and everybody is free to invest here. Kaiser-Frazer and others invested a total of $65,000,000 in various enterprises, and I see no reason why others should not invest.”

Mr. Ben Gurion told the American editors that Israel is now fighting inflation and hopes to succeed to some degree. This, he pointed out, will lead to economic recovery and will make possible the absorption of a greater number of immigrants, the conquering of desert land and the settlement of several million Jews in the country.

Regarding oil prospects in Israel, the Premier said: “American experts were very optimistic. But until oil is drilled and we see practical results, we are not satisfied.” Speaking about the economic difficulties which Israel is now facing, he declared that the country will become self-supporting within four to six years.

Replying to questions with regard to Soviet Russia, Mr. Ben Gurion said that the Israel Government formally applied to Moscow to allow any Jew desiring to emigrate from the Soviet Union to Israel to leave, but has not received any reply as yet. “We know that the Jews in Russia do not enjoy the same privileges as other nationalities there,” he stated. “The Jews have no schools of their own, or newspapers, and they cannot live freely as Jews,” he pointed out.

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