Eshkol Castigates Bonn; Categorically Refuses Offer of Money
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Eshkol Castigates Bonn; Categorically Refuses Offer of Money

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Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, addressing the Knesset (Parliament) today, accused West Germany of reneging on its “duty” to help Israel, surrendering to Egyptian “blackmail” by ordering the stoppage of arms shipments to Israel, and declared categorically that Israel will refuse to accept monetary compensation from Bonn for its denial of the military equipment which Israel needs. He concluded his lengthy address by stating:

“On the plane of the relations between Israel and Germany, let it be perfectly plain and open: Germany’s duty is to help Israel with the equipment necessary for her security, and no compensation or monetary substitute alone can exempt Germany from this duty. We shall accept no compensation in return for the cancellation of the promised security aid.” (See last-minute news on Knesset action, inside.)

Mr. Eshkol addressed a jam-packed Parliament chamber as three motions for full-scale debate of German-Israeli relations were pending. The Government, which examined the new Bonn-Cairo developments at its Cabinet meeting yesterday, made no effort to curb the demands for a thorough discussion of the issue precipitated by Bonn’s capitulation to demands by the Cairo Government.

In his hard-hitting address, recalling Germany’s “moral duty” to Israel, and pointing out that Israel had already geared its defense posture to the expectation that Germany would honor an agreement made on its behalf in 1960 by former Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Mr. Eshkol told the Knesset:

“It is Germany’s primary moral duty to make every possible contribution to the strengthening of Israel, and she must not on any account be led into any action whatsoever that is liable to weaken Israel’s security.


“The whole of civilized humanity rightly tends to judge and evaluate the extent to which Germany has liberated herself from the burden of the past by her actions in the sphere of relations with Israel and the Jewish people. It is also natural to regard Germany’s policy towards Israel as the touchstone for her aspiration to find her place in the family of nations as a factor for world peace and stability.

“It may be assumed that this was the decisive consideration that moved Chancellor Aderauer’s Government to lay down his country’s attitude to Germany’s duty to make a serious contribution to the strengthening and consolidation of Israel in various fields.

“For several years, the Government of West Germany displayed a favorable approach to the vital needs of the State of Israel which is struggling for existence and consolidation. Nevertheless, the account still pending between the Jewish people and the German people, written in blood, goes far beyond the limits of the political and the material fears.

“Now comes the statement from Bonn, and it is no wonder that there has been an indignant reaction in Israel and among the Jewish people in the world at large. From these statements and from direct talks that have taken place in Bonn, it appears that there is a tendency to retreat from the faithful observance of express undertakings which Israel has already taken into account in developing her defensive readiness.”

From Israel’s point of view, continued Mr. Eshkol, Bonn’s decision is doubly grave, both because of its results and the fact that it constituted “surrender to blackmail.” “Blackmail,” he noted, “leads to further blackmail.” He tore apart Germany’s thesis of ending the shipment of arms to “areas of tension,” pointing out that Germany itself lies in such an area. “Moreover,” he held, “It is not a question of an objective state of tension between the two parties, but of threats and preparation for aggression against Israel by the Arab states.”

“It is this situation, he continued, “resulting from this Arab policy, that established Israel’s right to receive aid to strengthen her security and the duty of peace-loving states to make their contribution to this end.

“I cannot fail to point out the flagrant contrast between the Bonn Government’s haste at this time in taking action to half arms dispatches to areas of tension, and the sluggishness it has displayed in its response to Israel’s demand for effective action for the withdrawal of the scientists from Egypt.”

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