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PRIME MINISTER DAVID BEN-GURION (ISRAEL) - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 05/17/1956 - HFSID 82262

 
DAVID BEN-GURION
Five months before Britain and France join Israel in the invasion of Egypt, he tells his Foreign Office he is "committed at this time to strengthen our bonds with all those countries who wish to be our friends".
TLS: "D. Ben-Gurion" as Prime Minister and Defense Minister, in Hebrew, 1p, 6x8. Jerusalem, 1956 May 17. To Walter Eytan, Director General Foreign Office, Jerusalem. Carbon to former Prime Minister Moshe Sharett. In full: "We must see with clear eyes what is before us. With all our efforts to increase our military readiness, we must always try for peace, yet with all our desire to embrace peace, our readiness for war must be our supreme command and so we are committed at this time to strengthen our bonds with all those countries who wish to be our friends in Europe, Asia and America." By April 1956, regular Egyptian forces were taking part in border raids against Israel. On April 10, 1956, President Eisenhower wrote to Ben-Gurion about the situation, concluding: "I sincerely hope that in view of the terrible tragedy that general hostile actions will undoubtedly bring to this region you will abstain, even under the pressure of extreme provocation, from any retaliatory acts which may result in very dangerous consequences." Ben-Gurion replied to Eisenhower, in part: "I am certain that no other country would surrender to such a situation without appropriate action. The Government of Israel and I are fully aware of your sincere White House declaration that the United States will oppose any attack in the region. However, I would not be candid with you nor would I be fulfilling my obligation to my people were I not to say in all friendliness that such a declaration does not relieve our grave anxiety for Israel's security." Failing to receive arms from the United States, Ben-Gurion wrote to French Prime Minister Guy Mollet on April 12, 1956. In part: "Strengthened by modern arms, planes, bombers, and tanks, which were generously provided by the Czechs, the Egyptian ruler considers this an opportune time to open a new campaign against Israel by sending armed and trained gangs to the heart of our country...I am convinced that the French Government will recognise that the balance of power, recently upset to Israel's disadvantage, must be restored at this time with utmost urgency...I have instructed Shimon Peres, Director-General of the Ministry of Defence, to brief you concerning the problems and urgent needs of Israel's security. At this dangerous time, the small and young Republic of Israel appeals to the older and great French Republic with the certainty of mutual understanding." On July 26, 1956, as part of Egyptian President Nasser's nationalist agenda, he took control of the Suez Canal zone away from the British and French companies that owned it. At the same time, as part of his ongoing struggle with Israel, Egyptian forces blocked the Straits of Tiran, the narrow waterway that is Israel's only outlet to the Red Sea. On October 29th, Israel attacked Egypt. The Israeli invasion was a reaction to a declaration that the armies of Jordan and Syria were set under joint commando of the Egyptian army commander in chief. The next day, Britain and France offered to temporarily occupy the canal zone and suggested a ten-mile buffer on either side that would separate the Egyptian forces from the Israelis. Nasser refused, and on October 31, 1956, Egypt was attacked and invaded by the military forces of Britain and France. In response to these developments, the Soviet Union threatened to intervene on Egypt's behalf. President Eisenhower pressured Britain, France and Israel into agreeing to a cease-fire and eventual withdrawal from Egypt. Vertical fold touches paraph. Lightly soiled. 2 file holes at blank right margin. Overall, fine condition.


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PRIME MINISTER DAVID BEN-GURION (ISRAEL)  


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PRIME MINISTER DAVID BEN-GURION (ISRAEL)
Born: October 16, 1886 in Plonsk, Masovian, Poland
Died: December 1, 1973 in Tel HaShomer, Ramat Gan, Israel




Film Credits
2010 War of the Gods (Other), 2010 Nazi Hunters (Other), 2008 Weaponology (Other), 2006 Knowledge is for Acting Upon: The Manhattan Raid (Other), 2000 Operation Thunderbolt: Entebbe (Other), 2000 In Our Own Hands (Other), 1997 The Long Way Home (Other), 1996 Israel: Birth of a Nation (Other), 1973 Ben Gurion Remembers (in person), 1967 Strike Zion! (Other), 1959 Small World (in person)


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