Thursday, September 8, 2016

134 - C.L. Sulzberger Article on Ben-Gurion, November 14, 1956

In the final paragraphs of his weekly “Foreign Affairs” column, C.L. Sulzberger wrote:

            Ben-Gurion’s government stands alone and isolated. It has no ally. It does not even appear to have a friend. Among the great powers, Soviet Russia is unremittingly working against Israel’s very existence. The United States, appalled by the adventure into Egypt, is cooler to Jerusalem’s cause than at any moment since the Zionist state was founded.
            A Forced Withdrawal
            Now, as the result of gathering world pressures, the jaunty little Israeli army is having to draw back into its crowded borders, yielding the various positions it had – and hoped to hold. In the end, it would appear, it will even have to relinquish the Gaza portion of old Palestine, where Nasser based his guerrilla assaults.
            Boycotts, political strictures and economic constraints are working against Ben-Gurion. Despite the military booty seized by Israel from Egypt, the Arabs will again become stronger and more resolute, impelled by Soviet incitements and equipped with new Soviet weapons. And the presence in the Middle East of Israel’s most implacable great power enemy, the Soviet Union itself, is now a virtual fact.
            From the first moment that Ben-Gurion knew the extent of the Egyptians’ arms purchases from the Communist bloc he determined that some day he would have to “smash them.” ... The attempt has been made. The results are not yet entirely clear, in any long-range ultimate pattern. Ben-Gurion’s great audacious challenge was ventured – and it failed. When next the old scholar turns to the pages of Aeschylus perhaps we will comprehend, in the light of sad experience, what the Athenian meant by writing: “Things are where things are, and, as fate has willed, so shall they be fulfilled.”
SOURCE: C.L. Sulzberger, “Fate – as seen by Premier Ben-Gurion and Aeschylus,” NYT, November 14, 1956, p.34.