Menu JTA Search

Peres Outlines Israel’s Security Problem in Knesset

Deputy Defense Minister Shimon Peres declared today in the Knesset that the Government was acting to implement a parliamentary resolution concerning West German scientists working on advanced weapons systems for Egypt but added that this was only one aspect of Israel’s security problem. The Government has been severely criticized in the Knesset on the issue.

Stressing that the enemy was not West Germany but Egypt, Mr. Peres said the arms which Israel needed could be found in three areas, the Soviet bloc, the United States and Western Europe. He pointed out that the Soviets had their own reasons for not supplying arms to Israel. The United States agreement to sell Hawk ground-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, he said, was appreciated but did not signify a change in permanent United States policy which is opposed to escalation of the arms race in the Middle East.

Thus, he continued, West Europe was the only source of arms and while aid from France was available, there was a question of whether, in view of the trend toward European unity, France would be able to continue aiding Israel with arms independently of the course adopted by France’s neighbors. For that reason, he added, Israel must follow a procedure design to win members of the European community over to the French position on aiding Israel.

He insisted, however, that the Israel Government had never taken the position that Israeli relations with West Germany required Israel to “go easy” in the struggle against West German scientists working on arms in Egypt. He said no such conditions or proposals entered into Israeli ties with West Germany.

NEXT STORY