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Britain Urged to Release Funds to Israel from Blocked Palestine Accounts in London

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Britain’s de facto recognition of Israel does not mean the automatic creation of a better understanding between Britain and Israel, the Manchester Guardian warned in an editorial today.

Asserting that the British announcement had been greeted with more relief than enthusiasm, the Liberal organ-declared that a series of practical steps was necessary to establish understanding. It advised the British Government that first of all it must send to Tel Aviv a diplomatic representative worthy of a big and difficult task. Trade relations between the two countries should be encouraged, the paper declared. The oil of Iraq should be encouraged to flow again down the pipeline to Haifa.

The paper urged immediate payment on account to Israel from the Sterling balances of the former Mandatory Government, now blocked in London. While Israel’s final share in these assets cannot be determined until the country’s boundaries are finally settled, the paper said, the initial payment should not be delayed.

“On the other side,” it added, “one would be glad to see some acknowledgement by the Israelis that the British position in the Middle East is not maintained simply from malignant hatred of the new state but for good reasons which involve no threat to Israel. On neither side is there much room for self-righteousness. But one right thing was done Saturday. May it be the first of many.”

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