Eshkol Offers Nasser a Non-aggression Pact and Mutual Disarmament
Menu JTA Search

Eshkol Offers Nasser a Non-aggression Pact and Mutual Disarmament

Download PDF for this date

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol reiterated here tonight Israel’s proposals for a non-aggression pact with Egypt and for complete disarmament of both Israel and Egypt “under mutual inspection.”

He issued his new challenge to Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser at a gala dinner here honoring the United Jewish Appeal Mission composed of 120 leaders from various American Jewish communities sent to study conditions here.

Referring to an address by Mr. Nasser last week, in which the Egyptian President charged that Israel is “a base for aggression and aims at expansionism,” Premier Eshkol noted that great quantities of arms, military equipment and financial support enable Nasser to intervene militarily in Yemen as well as in the Algerian-Moroccan dispute.

“It is time,” said the Premier, “that not only Israel took note of President Nasser’s claim that fear of Israel dictated his need for arms and that, while preparing to attack Israel, he puts these arms to use in other Arab countries.”

“Would it not be wiser,” he asked, “if President Nasser stopped his sabre-rattling and, instead, entered into competition with me in advocating and implementing peace in the Middle East? Rather than use vast sums for weapons, the Arabs could compete in seeking peace, devoting these sums to the eradication of hunger, disease, poverty and illiteracy.”


Turning to the tasks to which the United Jewish Appeal is pledged, Mr. Eshkol told the Mission members: “What moral power can absolve the Jews in the free world from their responsibilities toward the Jewish people seeking refuge and returning home? There is no objective reason for the decline in UJA activity, individual or collective. The remaining barren land cries out and demands that Jews come. Israel, in their name, voices their silent but deafening cry.

“Israel, which does not exist for its present population alone, has assumed great responsibilities and the cost of security and defense which completely falls on its own shoulders and is staggering. No moral power on earth can absolve Israel of these responsibilities for the security and well-being of its citizens of today and for preparing and preserving a home for the hundreds of thousands yet to come.”

Congratulating the UJA on embarking on its second quarter-century, he urged the UJA to meet the challenge of the “Decade of the Negev,” and to live up to the luster and greatness “which the great American Jewish community earned in the past.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund