ROME (Mar. 9)
Israel has been excluded from participating in an International Meeting of Mediterranean Studies and Exchanges, which will be held in Palermo from March 15-18 under the auspices of the Italian Foreign Ministry, it was made known here today. Among those taking part in the gathering will be Premier Alcide de Gasperi, Foreign Undersecretary Taviani and, if possible, President Einaudi.
The countries invited to take part in the conference are Saudi Arabia, Egypt, France, Jordan, Greece, Iraq, Lebanon, Monaco, the Vatican, San Marino, Syria, Spain, Turkey, Yemen. In reply to a query submitted by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Foreign Ministry official in charge of the arrangements said Israel was omitted from the list of invitees because “it would have been impossible, in the light of past experience, to seat around one table both Arabs and Jews, because of the Arabs’fanatical intransigence to Jews.”
The official pointed out that Italy has always tried to act as a “stabilizing influence” between the Jews and Arabs and added that the Foreign Ministry intends to show Italy’s friendship for Israel in some form in the near future.