TEL AVIV (Aug. 29)
Jewish spokesmen here today indicated their suspicions that the U.N. mediator and the truce observers have given the Arabs in Gaza, am important invasion base, and elsewhere a free hand while keeping a strict watch for truce violations in Jewish areas. These sentiments were expressed following the fatal shooting yesterday of two French truce observers when they attempted to land in a U.N. plane at the Gaza airfield, held by the Egyptians.
One semi-official Israeli spokesman pointed out that in a recent list released by the mediator Gaza was included among a number of other Arab strongholds at which U.N. observers had been posted. But, he said, a U.N. communique says that there was difficulty in contacting Gaza, indicating that there is no U.N. team at the city. Another source assorted that since the plane was apparently riddled by the Arabs after it landed, there was probably no U.N. observer on duty at the field, although the mediator is supposed to have stationed personnel at every Middle Eastern airdrome.
Goldie Meirson, Israeli Minister to the Soviet Union, left here today for Moscow, accompanied by her staff. The mission, which will travel via Prague, was seen off at the airport by Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok and the Soviet Minister to Tel Aviv, Pavel Yershov. The Foreign Office today announced that Reuben Rubin, well known portrait painter and native of Rumania, has been named Minister to Bucharest.
The right of Irgun to representation in the Israeli government was at least as great as that of the Agudah and Poale-Mizrachi, small groups with seats in the governing bodies, it was stated today at a press conference by Jacob Meridor, one of the five Irgun leaders who were recently released. Meridor, along with Peter Bergson and others, was arrested in connection with the landing of an arms embargo from the Altalena during the first U.N. truce.
Bergson said that two months before the ship landed he had unofficial talks in Paris with an Haganah spokesman. He acknowledged that Haganah finally rejected Irgun’s offer of the ship and its arms cargo. Bergson insisted that if the government’s intention as to the Altalena and its cargo had been clearly known beforehand, the Irgun would never have permitted the ship to land.
Bergson revealed that the five Irgun commanders were released without conditions by the Israeli government and were not required to join the Israeli army. He urged patience after the tragic events and said that all feuds must be forgotten. The Irgun group described conditions at the Beisan detention prison, where they were kept incommunicado and in solitary confinement must of the time, as being worse than under the Mandatory regime.
Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, at a public meeting of the General Zionists here over the week-end, declared that not only the battles on the war-fronts but also those on the political fronts brought about the creation of the state of Israel. He promised, for the future, that American Jewry would double its efforts to strengthen Israel. Dr. Emanuel Neumann, president of the Z.O.A., stressed the “great danger” involved in the creation of “two nations” — Israeli and Jewish.