Israel’s Minister of Labor Outlines Policy of Nuclear Development

Israel’s policy regarding nuclear development in its own country as well as in the Middle East region as a whole was spelled out unequivocally here last night by Gen. Yigal Allon, Israel’s Minister of Labor.

Addressing the annual dinner of the British Technion Society, Mr. Allon discussed Israel’s needs for developing practical application of science and technology for an expanding population which, he envisaged, would reach 3,000,000 by 1970. In order to exploit all of its human and natural resources to the fullest, he said, including its project for the desalination of seawater, “there is a need for nuclear power.”

“I am aware that our efforts for the peaceful uses of nuclear power are viewed with misgivings not only by our enemies but sometimes even by our friends,” he declared. “Israel will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East. May I add that Israel will not permit any of her neighbors to start this destructive race. It remains Israel’s policy to do all it can–not only to keep nuclear weapons out of the Middle East but also to free the region of conventional, aggressive weapons. Israel’s policy is to reduce the level of conventional arms on both sides.”

Stressing the Egyptian claims that its need for arms was motivated “not by aggression against Israel but for defense against Israel’s aggression,” Gen. Allon declared; “If they are really interested in avoiding war, it should be possible to come to some mutual arrangement–if not for peace, at least to convert the armistice agreement into a nonaggression pact eventually with effective guarantees against surprise attacks. In the strategic conditions in our area, if surprise attacks are ruled out a major war has been ruled out.”

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