THE NATION Footprints in the Sands The talk of the world's statesmen centered on two small, sun-scorched strips of Middle Eastern territory, and the discussion was phrased in noble concepts—peace, justice, the dignity of man, national interest. Around Gaza, a huddle of houses and hovels and hapless refugees, and the western shore of the Gulf of Aqaba. an obscure waterway commanded by coastal gun positions, the world's great and small nations maneuvered, found areas of agreement, disputed—friends against friends as well as against enemies.
Here stood Israel's leonine David Ben-Gurion, vowing that Israel's tough little army would not give up conquered Gaza and the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba until it got guarantees that Egypt could not again use these bases to attack Israel or strangle her commerce. There sat Egypt's deep-chested Gamal Abdel Nasser, shirtsleeved before his nine telephones, a hard-pressed, unpredictable man who was hearing the arguments with unaccustomed mildness.