Menu JTA Search

Protests on Bonn’s Halting of Arms to Israel Voiced in Various Lands

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

Fresh protests against West Germany’s cancelation of arms shipments to Israel were voiced in various countries today.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews adopted a resolution here today deploring the decision of the West German Government “to surrender to Nasser’s terms and to terminate the agreement for security aid to Israel essential for the country’s defense.

“For the Bonn authorities to be prepared to imperil the vital interests of Israel-threatened with annihilation, and whose population includes many survivors of the Nazi holocaust–and for Israel to be treated as a mere pawn in the current policy of West and East Germany is an affront to the conscience of mankind,” the resolution declared. It added that the Bonn policy, if carried out, “would be a breach of faith and a shortsighted act of appeasement, with possible serious consequences for the peace of the Middle East.”

The resolution expressed the hope that “the democratic forces in Germany will induce their Government to reconsider the consequences of abject surrender to blackmail and of the precipitate action which has shocked the Jewish people and general public opinion in many parts of the world.”

JEWS IN ITALY AND HOLLAND APPEAL TO WEST GERMAN GOVERNMENT

In Rome, Judge Sergio Piperno, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, called on the West German Ambassador to transmit a statement of Italian Jewry’s “profound regret” over West Germany’s yielding to President Nasser of Egypt on the arms to Israel suspension.

The statement also pointed out that Jewish opinion had been concerned for the past two years over the activities of West German scientists and technicians working in Egypt on advanced weapons for the Nasser regime. The statement said that while Jewish protests over the scientists had been fruitless, a few days of Egyptian pressure sufficed for the West German Government to yield to demands to halt the arms deliveries.

In Holland, a protest against the arms suspension was sent to the West German envoy at The Hague by the Dutch Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Liberal Jewish communities, who said that the West German “breach of promise” would lead to a weakening of an Israel threatened by the Arab countries.

The principal newspapers in Amsterdam denounced the Bonn arms halt in strong terms. The Nieuwe Rotterdamer Courant called the attitude of the Bonn Government “shameful morally as well as in the political and diplomatic sense.” Het Parool said that West Germany had “got caught in a web of blackmail.” The Volkskrant declared that the West German statements on the current Middle East controversy lacked “style and good behavior” and were “combined with a lack of understanding as to what moral commitments are.”

NEXT STORY