Knesset Debate Requested on Report That Israel Arms Re-sold to Portugal

Three of Israel’s political parties–Herut, the Liberal Party and Ahdut Avodah–today demanded that the Knesset (Parliament) urgently debate reports that Israel-made “Uzi” submachine guns, originally sold to West Germany, have been re-sold by the Germans to the Portuguese authorities fighting independence forces in Angola Africa

The story appeared in the London Observer, and is believed by Israeli officials to have been planted as deliberately anti-Israel propaganda by Franz Von Leers, the ex-Nazi who serves the United Arab Republic as a psychological warfare expert against Jews and Israel.

Finance Minister Levi Eshkol, acting Premier, was in touch on the issue today with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who is in England, and with the Foreign Minister, Mrs. Golda Meir, who is now in Denmark.

Israeli circles reported they have received assurances from the West German Government at Bonn, denying that any of the Israeli arms acquired by Germany have been sold to the Portuguese. On the other hand, Defense Ministry circles here pointed out that Israel’s arms deal with West Germany contains no clauses about possible re-sale of the Israel-made weapons to a third party.

Various stories accusing Israel of collaboration with reactionary regimes have recently cropped up in the world press, and Israel is have traced the origin of many of these stories to Spain, where von Leers has contacts with former Nazi war criminals who have asylum there. One story alleged that the French rebels, who tried to stage an anti-De Gaulle coup in Algeria, had presumably obtained arms “from Spain, Portugal and Israel.”

The Arab purpose for spreading these canards, it is said here, is to create anti-Israel hostility among Africans, as well as to besmirch Israel’s reputation among liberal circles in Western countries.

NEXT STORY