Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

Israel welcomes the Egyptian revolution, statement to the Knesset by Prime Minister Ben-Gurion

(August 18, 1952)

In July 1952, a group of young officers under the leadership of General Mohammed Naguib and Colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser, deposed King Farouk and assumed power. On 18 August, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion made the following statement in the Knesset:

The tensions and conflicts inside the UN deprive the community of nations of the ability and authority to decree peace, and the situation in the different countries of the Middle East foreshadows not stability, quiet development, and projects of peace, but the opposites. Apart from two stable and strong countries in the Middle East - Israel and Turkey - all Near Eastern countries are immersed in a whirlpool of disturbances, revolts, political chaos, political assassinations, deposition of monarchs, and constant contests for power between adventurers and dictators.

It is possible that these stormy developments may also contain some positive trends for recovery and progress. Wherever such trends exist, we view them with favour. No doubt some of the events in Egypt in recent weeks in connection with the seizure of power by Mohammed Naguib may be welcomed. We can accept the testimony of Mohammed Naguib, the head of the military revolution, who declared that he and many of his colleagues in the Army had been opposed to the invasion of our country, and that the man chiefly responsible for the war against us was the deposed King Farouk.

The reasons for Naguib's opposition to the invasion may have been merely military, but there is no doubt that there was not then, nor is there now, any ground for a quarrel between Egypt and Israel. A vast expanse of desert stretches between the two countries and leaves no cause for frontier conflicts. There never was nor is there now any reason for political, economic, or territorial conflict between the two neighbours.

The State of Israel wishes to see a free, independent, and progressive Egypt. We bear Egypt no enmity for what she did to our forefathers in the days of the Pharaohs, nor even for what she did to us four years ago. We have proved our good-will toward Egypt - in spite of the foolish conduct of the Farouk government toward us throughout the months when Egypt was involved in a serious conflict with a great world power. It never occurred to us to exploit Egypt's difficulty in order to attack her or take revenge upon her, as she did to us when our State was established.

Yet we cannot ignore the fact that even this Egypt does not show any signs of good-will to make up for the grievous offences of the deposed King Farouk, and none of us can tell with certainty what Egypt is aiming at: peace or war.

Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs