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Israel’s Views on Nuclear Tests Outlined by Eban at United Nations

In a major address today to the General Assembly’s Political and Security Committee, Ambassador Abba Eban of Israel made a strong appeal for unanimous agreement on the problem of nuclear tests, and for the reestablishment of effective United Nations machinery to negotiate disarmament problems in general. The UN disarmament machinery has been deadlocked for over a year.

Mr. Eban told the Assembly that “small nations cannot evade their role” in the important debate on disarmament and nuclear tests now under way. On the other hand he pointed out the small nations “cannot even if they would inherit the responsibility which rests uniquely upon the nuclear powers.”

The world’s “perils,” said Mr. Eban, “are the result not of scientific success but of diplomatic failure. Our least duty is to help develop the weight of world opinion and bring it to bear in full solemnity upon the policy of our more powerful colleagues.”

With emotion which he seldom displays in his formal addresses, the Israeli Ambassador analyzed a recently issued report by a UN committee on radiation and spoke of the hazards “to children and to unborn generations.” The hazards, said Mr. Eban, “cannot be precisely measured. The whole subject is surrounded by fences of doubt. But now that scientific opinion is divided only between a greater and a lesser alarm, it is surely natural for us, in all conscience, to be guided by the more cautious alternative.”

The Israel Ambassador proceeded to tell the Assembly that mere suspension of testing was not enough. “Shall we recommend,” he asked, “the abolition of nuclear tests and passively endorse the continued and unrestricted production and stockpiling of nuclear weapons” He pointed out that “peace and human survival” are endangered by the very accumulation and potential use of nuclear weapons, “whether they are tested or untested.”

Mr. Eban expressed support of a number of proposals already laid before the committee by the representatives of a number of smaller nations. Referring to a statement made by Jules Moch of France, Mr. Eban endorsed M. Moch’s analysis which held that the world looks “to the United Nations for relief from the ‘terror that walketh by night’–the cold stark dread of a world which may be devastated by the very forces which hold the promise of its most abundant florescence.”

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