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Israel Sharply Criticizes Soviet Government at U.N. for Nuclear Tests

November 2, 1961
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel today lined up with many other delegations here in demanding that the testing of nuclear devices be discontinued and, at the same time, delivered a sharp rebuke to the Soviet Union for endangering the world by breaking the nuclear testing stalemate that existed until the ban was broken by Moscow’s rulers.

Israel’s position was delivered in an address before the General Assembly’s Political and Security Committee by its representative in that committee, Gideon Rafael. A member of this year’s Assembly delegation with the rank of Ambassador, Mr. Rafael is assistant director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

Mr. Rafael told the committee that Israel would vote for several pending resolutions and amendments which call for cessation of nuclear testing and envisage international agreement on nuclear test bans “under appropriate international control.”

The world, said Mr. Rafael, “has been pushed further down the perilous path toward the nuclear abyss by the latest Soviet test. In taking this fateful decision, in spite of enlightened public opinion everywhere, and in the face of appeals made to the Soviet Union by fair minded people all over the world, and in spite of the appeal launched by our organization supported by an overwhelming majority of member states representing the largest variety of opinion and alignment, the Soviet Union has acted–and by this deplorable action has taken upon itself a grave and perilous responsibility. For it is obvious that these Soviet tests may well release a new chain reaction of nuclear tests and an arms race for the perfection of even more monstrous weapons.”

In his address, Mr. Rafael recalled statements made here previously by ranking Israeli spokesmen, including Foreign Minister Golda Meir, calling for an end to the nuclear arms race. Israel, he noted, has always insisted on an end to nuclear testing, with guarantees that such a ban “will be a lasting one, not to be abandoned at will.”

The world, he said, is “lost in a dead-end street” regarding testing. “Aligned or unaligned,” he said, “all are aligned under a deadly fallout.” He quoted from statements by Soviet scientists showing that even Russia’s scientists are of the opinion that fallout from nuclear testing endangers the entire world, including Russia’s own peoples.

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