JERUSALEM (May. 24)
The Israel Government was “shocked” by the severe sentences meted out to Rumanian Zionist leaders by Rumanian military courts, Premier Moshe Sharett declared today in Knesset.
Mr. Sharett made his remarks after the appearance in Parliament of Idov Cohen, a deputy and leader of former Rumanian Jews now residing in Israel. Mr. Cohen, who helped organize the hunger strike of 60 former Rumanian Jewish leaders and is one of the strikers, appealed to the Israel Government, to world Jewry and to world public opinion to save Rumanian Jewry, especially the Zionist leaders now in prison.
The Premier told the deputies that the Israel Government believed that the Zionist leaders had not acted and had no intention of acting against the Rumanian Government. He said the Israel Government had information in its possession that led it to believe that the sole reason for the heavy sentences imposed on the Zionist leaders was their devotion to Zionism and to the cause of immigration to Israel.
He pledged that the Israel Government would not stop “sounding the alarm” and would continue to demand the release of the Rumanian leaders and their migration to Israel which, he said, was the natural right of every Jew no matter where he might be. “Those who were sentenced are our comrades-in-arms in the Zionist cause,” he said. At the conclusion of his speech, the Premier asked Parliament to refer the matter to its Foreign Affairs and Security Committee because “this is a very delicate matter.”