Israel Does Not Seek Diplomatic Relations with Germany, Minister Says

There has been no decision by the Israel Government to enter into negotiations for a diplomatic exchange with the West German Government, Foreign Minister Golda Myerson declared in Parliament today. She categorically denied the existence of any such intention in replying to a motion for a debate introduced by Herut deputy Aryeh Ben Eliezer. His motion referred to a recent pronouncement on the subject by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

Mr. Ben Eliezer recalled the debate in Parliament four years ago on the question of the acceptance of German reparations, when advocates of acceptance stressed that reparations did not mean diplomatic recognition. He cited speeches by Mrs. Myerson herself, as well as by the then Foreign Minister, Moshe Sharett, to the effect that Israel had no intention of forgiving Germany’s crimes. He demanded a full dress debate in view of Herr Adenauer’s statement in Washington, during his recent U.S. visit, that his government was considering the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Jewish State.

His motion received only seven votes, after Mrs. Myerson said she had no objection to having the matter referred to Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security. The Herut members refused to accept this offer. However, Communist deputy Esther Wilenska moved that the matter be referred to committee and the motion was adopted by 42 votes.

Mrs. Myerson declared, in forceful tones, that there was no need and no justification for such a debate. She asserted that it was unfair to suggest, as Mr. Ben Eliezer had done, that the nation was divided between those who had forgotten the Nazi crimes against Jews and those who had not. “No normal person–and not only a Jew–can forget what the Germans did.” she declared.

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