Knesset Backs Eshkol, 54-26; Threatens Break with West Germany

Israel’s Knesset (Parliament), by a vote of 54 to 26, tonight supported Premier Levi Eshkol’s rejection of West Germany’s offer of monetary compensation for breaking Bonn’s previous agreement to supply arms to Israel, and declared that “the recent developments demand that Israel reconsider its relations with Germany.”

Summarizing the debate in the Knesset that followed his presentation of the case against Bonn, Mr. Eshkol expressed his appreciation of “the unity of the house in its condemnation of German surrender to Egyptian blackmail,” and declared: “The Knesset would like to see a continuation of relations between us and Germany, based on our demands, Germany’s action is one of surrender to pressure, and may cause the breakdown of our bridge–a fact that would force us to look for ways to rehabilitate the relationship.”

In its motion, the Knesset resolved as follows: “We express shock and anger over the intention to stop security assistance to Israel. This intention, if effected, would be tantamount to surrender to the hostile Nasserpolicy against Israel.”

After declaring that the development requires reconsideration of Israeli-German relations, the resolution continued: “We support the Government of Israel in its demand that West Germany continue its earlier agreement (for supply of arms to Israel). Financial compensation does not release the German Government for its obligations.

“The people of Israel and its Knesset are encouraged by the identification with her security needs expressed by the Jewish people and by world public opinion in their protests to Germany against the German Government’s surrender to the blackmail by the ruler of Egypt.”

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