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Knesset Debates Israel’s Defense Budget; Nasser’s Threats Stressed

Minister of Labor Yigal Allon, a brigadier general on reserve duty, and hero of Israel’s War of Liberation, told the Knesset (Parliament) here today that, “in view of Nasser’s threats” Israel must build her defenses to a point where she could defeat Nasser if he attacked.

Mr. Allon defended, on behalf of the Government, the budget of the Defense Ministry which was under debate in Parliament. Esther Wilenska, a deputy representing the Communist Party, had demanded that the defense budget be cut. Mr.Allon, referring to Egypt’s launching of rockets capable of reaching Israel, told the House:

“Nasser forgets the simple geographic fact that the distance from the shores of the Nile to Israel is exactly the same as the distance from any point in Israel to the Nile. There is no question but that, in view of the Nasser threats, Israel this year and in the coming years will have to devote the best of her strength and wealth to maintain a reasonable balance of forces whose first objective will be to deter and, if there is no other choice, to win.”