Top Israel Officials Discuss Middle East Defense Command

The new situation created as a result of the decision of the United States, Britain, France and Turkey to establish a Middle East defense command, was under review this week-end at a two-day extraordinary meeting here of top government officials and diplomatic representatives.

Premier David Ben Gurion, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, high officials of the Foreign Ministry and the Chief and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Israel defense forces met with the Israel Ministers to London and Ankara, who had been urgently recalled for consultations, and with the Israel military attaches to Washington, London and Ankara.

Several hundred Communists today demonstrated here against Israel’s joining a Middle East defense arrangement. The demonstrators supported Egypt’s fight for “total independence from Britain” and repudiated the expected negotiations with Germany for reparations to Jews for property looted by the Nazis.

There is no need for Israel to be included in a Middle East defense command because the Soviet Union will not attack the Jewish state, Dr. Moshe Sneh, leader of the left-wing Socialist Mapam Party, told a meeting of the Soviet-Israel Friendship League today. The League held a mass meeting here to celebrate the 34th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

Soviet Minister to Tel Aviv Pavel Yershov, another featured speaker at the meeting, declared that the Atlantic Pact was not a treaty designed for defense purposes but for aggression. Shmuel Mikunis, Israel Communist leader, asserted that the progressive forces in the Jewish state would fight against Israel’s joining the anti-Soviet bloc.

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