Knesset Votes Motion Protesting on German Scientists by 51 to 2
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Knesset Votes Motion Protesting on German Scientists by 51 to 2

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The Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, by a vote of 51 to 2, today reiterated an earlier statement protesting the activities of West German scientists working on advanced weapons systems in Egypt, and expressing regret that Germany has not yet taken concrete action to force the scientists to halt those activities.

Opposition motions scoring Germany for delaying tactics intended to deceive world opinion were rejected by the House by a vote of 46 to 36. All the nations were presented at the conclusion of debate on the issue, begun in the Knesset a week ago.

In an address ending the debate, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol said that West German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard’s promises to “utilize all possibilities” to relieve Israelis of the feeling that they are being threatened by the German scientists, “must assume practical form to have any meaning at all, ” “It is inconceivable, ” he declared, “that the German people, legislature and Government should be unable to give recognition that the activity of the scientists in Egypt is liable to become a danger to peace.”

Referring to the concern of the entire Jewish people over the danger to peace and the threat to Israel inherent in the work of the scientists, Mr. Eshkol stressed that “only concrete action is compatible with the effort of which Erhard spoke. Without such action, we can only expect a continuation and an intensification of this anxiety on the part of the Jewish people, with all that it may involve.”


The Premier expressed appreciation of the importance of Chancellor Erhard’s remark that Germany’s attitude to Israel was “not determined by purely political considerations, and could not be dissociated from the burden that National Socialism has imposed on the German people.”

He stressed, however, that Germany’s failure to adopt the initiative in establishing full diplomatic relations with Israel deprived her of “the moral basis” for the policy of which Erhard spoke. Arab threats against Germany in case she established full relations with Israel were empty threats, Mr. Eshkol declared, reminding the Germans that the Arabs were by now too dependent on foreign aid, including German aid, “to mean such threats seriously.”

Summing up Israel’s policy towards Germany, the Premier said that there is no contradiction between obtaining aid from Germany and continuing determined opposition to the activities of the scientists in Egypt.

“On no account should we restrict our relations with the new Germany, within the combined European setup, to the dispute over the scientists, ” he declared. “We cannot dissociate debate over the scientists from the need for constant advancement of Israel’s interests throughout the world.”

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