WASHINGTON (Sep. 6)
A representative of the Israeli mission to the United States termed a “condensation of illegality” the State Department’s reply this week-end to the Israeli protest against the interference of American military authorities in Germany with the emigration of displaced Jews of military age to Israel. The mission spokesman said that Bernadotte never had such powers and if the U.S. agrees to his exercising such authority it will be a party to an illegal act.
The U.S. note answering the first Israeli diplomatic protest declared that the United States ban of Jewish emigration from Germany to Israel can he partially relaxed provided all Jews of military age receive prior clearance from United Nations ?mediator Count Folke Bernadotte before leaving Germany. But if Bernadotte decides so withhold such clearance, the United States military authorities in Germany will see to it that the present temporary ban on all Jewish immigration of men between the ages of 18 and 45 years is continued, the note said.
The Israeli mission spokesman, who said that the formal reply to the U.S. note will come from Tel Aviv presently, stated that the mission in Washington cannot believe that the note represents final U.S. policy. He added that the mission hoped for a prompt reversal at the “highest policy level.” He also asserted that the people of Israel will be “profoundly disturbed” by the collaboration of the American Government in a “policy designed to block Jewish emigration to Israel. He likened It to the British policy of holding the Cyprus detainees.
The spokesman said that the note places the U.S. in the position of forcing the “breaking up of Jewish families which contain men aged 18 to 45” or of condemning whole families to remain in Europe although they wish to leave and Israel is anxious to receive them. In view of the indefinite nature of the Palestine truce, he pointed out, this state of affairs may last a long time.
The U.S. note, signed by Charles E. Saltzman, Assistant Secretary of State ##r Occupied Areas and addressed to Eliahu Epstein, head of the Israeli mission here, said that U.S. military authorities in Germany had been instructed to continue their ?prohibition of the exit of emigrants for Israel identified as fighting personnel.”
The U.S. note said that clearances which Jews must receive from Bernadotte in order to leave Germany must be procured for them by accredited representatives of Israel who would have to contact the mediator. Only when these clearances are presented to American officials in Germany in advance of the Jews’ departure can the American officials allow it.