Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Israel May Face ‘grave’ Military Test in Next Decade, Ben-gurion Says

February 4, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion warned today that in the next decade Israel might face “a grave and perhaps decisive military test.”

Speaking at the opening session of the ninth convention of the Histadrut, the Prime Minister said that he did not know of any other nation “so thirsty for peace” as was Israel. Peace. he declared, was a vital necessity for a young nation wrestling with the creative enterprise of reviving its homeland while surrounded by enemies plotting its destruction.

It was impossible, he said, to predict what a particular dictator might do if he thought he had the power to carry out his aims by force and that “in our area there are dictators who make no secret of their aims and quite openly proclaim daily their design against our very existence.

These dictators, he told the convention, receive arms from “mighty powers over whom we have no control or influence.” He warned that Israel “must not rely too much on our past brilliant victories. Circumstances of relationships and relative strength are constantly changing and the test of the future will be unlike those of the past.”

The Prime Minister also reiterated his hope for substantial immigration from countries “where Jews live disconnected from their brethren and from Jewish culture.”

In his address, he stressed that the achievement of labor unity in political activity, in the collective sector and in the affairs of state was the principal task before the Histadrut and the State in the next decade.

Recommended from JTA