Israel leaders only pursue their own interests, no matter what harm befalls others
The interviewer: What is your opinion of the concerns expressed by Israel regarding the agreement between Egypt and Britain on the evacuation of the Suez Canal area and the proposed American aid Involving a threat to Israel?
President Nasser: I think that Israel's fears are fabricated. They aim mostly to get more money from the US government, from the American people, and from all over the world. As for the Egyptian-British agreement, it will remove one of the major obstacles that prevent the improvement of relations between the West and the Arab countries. Israel is selfish even to think that all people think about it, and that its matters are more important. The Egyptian-British agreement is only a manifestation of the constructional development in Egypt.
Unfortunately, when seeking to prevent a peaceful settlement of the 72-year-old Suez Canal problem, Israel appears to share the position of the Communists - intentionally or unintentionally. The Communists and the Zionists were determined to disrupt the peace settlement. This is because the emergence of unrest in the Arab world only serves the destructive elements. This desire to create unrest and turmoil in the Arab world supports what I mentioned before that the Zionists serve the communists in their attempts to cause unrest and block the way to improving relations between the West and the Arab countries.
The interviewer: Do you see the efforts made by Salah Salem at the present time, to support the military forces of the Arab world, have an effect on Israel?
President Nasser: The efforts of Salah Salem in the Arab world were not limited to strengthening the Arab military powers only. We seek to strengthen all our relations with the Arab countries, in addition to coordinating our defense projects. Accordingly, our attention is directed to defense and not to aggression. One of the greatest goals we are concerned with is establishing peace and providing prosperity in this region, just as we are interested in discouraging every aggression.
Evidence has recently been available to the world public opinion that Israel (and not the Arabs) is pursuing a policy based on the terrorist raids it launches on Arab villages.
The interviewer: Your Excellency recently stated that Israel splits the Arab world into two parts. Could you explain whether you are contemplating a solution to this situation? What is the nature of this solution?
President Nasser: Israel has cut off all land communications between Egypt and the Arab countries east of Suez. We believe that Egypt and the Arab countries should obtain these vital land transportations for their trade, prosperity and defense projects. As everyone realized that the defense of this region rests on the shoulders of its people first, the importance of establishing these land transportations between Egypt and the Arab countries in favor of defending the Middle East was evident.
It is clear that the Arabs will continue to support their defense projects regardless of Israel. Although the United Nations and Arab countries did not recognize that Israel has a right in this region, Israel has occupied the area south of Palestine, which extends to the Gulf of Aqaba. This occupation is a flagrant violation of the armistice agreement; its continuation is a challenge to the authority of the United Nations. I do not know an immediate solution to this situation unless world public opinion or international pressure compels Israel to abandon this area. An area obtained by Israeli, not on the basis of a scheme of partition, or in accordance with any of the terms of the armistice. Israel raped the area in violation of this agreement.
The interviewer: Do you think it is possible to make peace between Egypt and Israel at any time? If so, what are the terms of this peace?
President Nasser: The Egyptian and Arab leaders have repeatedly stated that it will not be possible to pave the way for a peace treaty with Israel, unless Israel respects the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. However, Israel continues to defy the United Nations, and continues its brutal raids on the outposts, which aroused the indignation of world public opinion, and prompted the US government to blame Israel. This last measure is a significant development if we remember the influence of Zionism in Congress, and its control over the means of publication and radio in America.
Moreover, Israel did nothing to appease the Arabs. Rather, when we tried to settle our differences with the West, Israel put up obstacles, without regard to the desire of the leaders of the West and the Arab countries to achieve a greater measure of stability, and the consequent luxury for the sake of world peace.
Israel's leaders only pursue their own interests, regardless of harm to others, including the security of the Western countries they claim to be friends with. The Israelis have claimed that they are the only friends of democracy in the Middle East, yet their actions refute that claim. Indeed, Israel is no one's friend. Rather, it is a friend of itself, and it fluctuates between East and West according to what it sees of gain on either side. Israel only seeks its own interest, while we have never neglected our national and international responsibilities. I think that the conciliation that accompanied our negotiations with Britain on the Suez Canal problem is the best proof of that.
President Nasser's speech to the Deputy Director of the United Press Agency in the Middle East
On September 13, 1954