Israel Sends Strong Note to Prague; Rejects Barring of Envoy

The Israel Government today handed the Czechoslovak Charge d’Affaires in Tel Aviv a note rejecting the Czech Government’s demand for the recall of Dr. Arieh Kubovi, Israeli Minister to Prague, and accusing the Czech Government, at the recent Prague “purge” trial, of adding a new section to the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

The note rejected “unreservedly” and “vigorously” the Czech charges against Dr. Kubovi and said that they were “without foundation” and were based on “allegations contrary to the truth,” The Israel Government considers Dr. Kubovi’s behavior “scrupulously correct,” the note added, praising the “good sense and devotion” with which he discharged his duties.

The Israel people are “deeply shocked by this brutal affront to its national self-respect and by the violent hostility with which its feeling of friendship to the Czech people has been reciprocated,” the note continued. It rejected completely the charges that Dr. Kubovi had maintained unauthorized relations with persons engaged in espionage against the Czech state, asserting: “Slansky’s trial demonstrated how freely the Czechoslvak Government is prepared to attribute espionage activities to diplomats accredited to it.”

EXPRESS “INDIGNATION” AT TONE OF PRAGUE TRIAL

Pointing out that the Czech note on Dr. Kubovi was largely based on the evidence introduced at Rudolf Slansky’s trial, the Israel demarche said that Israel must express “amazement and indignation” about some of the salient features of the trial — “the charges hurled against Israel, its government and its diplomatic representatives; the slander against Zionism and the patently anti-Semitic character of the proceedings.

“Czech juridical authorities found it necessary to underline the Jewish origin of most of the accused and to announce that certain persons had admitted their Jewish origin,” the note emphasized. “Incitement and so called admissions as evidence, as well as the prosecutor’s summary read like a new addition to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

A special passage of the Israeli reply to the Czech note was devoted to a meeting between Dr. Kubovi and Ladislav Simov, director of the Asian Department of the Czechoslovak Foreign Ministry. It expressed astonishment that the Czechoslovak Government waited 13 months after the meeting — which took place Oct. 19,1951 — to comment on it.

The meeting, which both parties had agreed to regard as unofficial, concerned an inquiry by Dr. Kubovi into the fate of two Czech Jews, Joseph Buchler, president of the Zionist Organization of Czechoslovakia, and Adolph Reich, director of the Palestine Office in Prague. Both of these organizations acted in behalf of the Jewish Agency before the State of Israel was established.

The activity of these two men was publicly known and even recognized and approved by the Czech authorities, the Israeli note stressed. It was not untill the Czech note of Dec. 6, demanding Dr. Kubovi’s recall, that Israel was informed that the two were charged with acts of sabotage and espionage against the state. In view of this fact, the Israel Government rejects the charges against its Minister of having expressed an opinion regarding the guilt or innocence of the two men, the note said.

The note concluded by pointing out the contrast in the friendly relations between the two nations few years ago and more recent developments. It. “mentions” the Czech Government’s “obstinate denial of exit visas to aged parents desiring to join their children in Israel.”

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