Knesset in Show of Unity Hits Arms Deal, Appeals to West

The vote of Israel’s Parliament last night on Communist arms peddling in the Middle East was seen here today as an outstanding demonstration of the nation’s unity in the face of a ballooning threat of Arab attack. With the exception of five lone Communist votes, every deputy present, including five Arabs, voted to express grave anxiety over the Czech-Egyptian arms deal and to demand that the West supply Israel with whatever arms are needed for defense.

The resolution, hammered out at a two-hour caucus in advance of the Knesset session and introduced by the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, received the positive vote of the leftwing parties as well as the rightist Herut.

The resolution expressed the Knesset’s “anxiety” at the major arms shipments to Egypt and the continued arming of Iraq and other Arab states who have declared that they are still at war with Israel and who are plotting against its existence. “These shipments of arms, constituting the gravest danger to Israel’s security, will be turned to a war of annihilation against Israel and will endanger peace in the region and in the world,” the resolution said.

“The Knesset empowers the government to marshal the people and the state to face these dangers, to increase the army’s strength and its equipment and to demand of the powers that they give Israel weapons for defense; and lauds and encourages the Israel people’s voluntary efforts to provide arms for the Israel army,” the resolution concluded.

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