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Left-wing Deputies Urge ‘reorientation’ in Israel’s Foreign Policy

Spokesmen for the left-wing parties in the Israel Government coalition called today for a “reorientation” of Israel’s foreign policy and adoption of a more neutral position as between the two Great Power blocs. They made their plea today when the Knesset resumed debate on foreign policy.

Spokesmen for the Mapam and Achdut Avodah parties told the Parliament that a middle course between the two giants would be more advisable for Israel. Last week, Foreign Minister Golda Meir emphatically rejected proposals that Israel follow a policy of neutralism arguing that Israel would not purchase the friendship of any state at the price of its independence or territorial integrity.

Speakers for several parties challenged the left-wing position. A speaker for the Herut right-wing) Party warned that Egypt was preparing in the Sinai Peninsula for resumption of its fedayeen (commando) raids against Israel halted last year when Israel’s invading forces smashed the fedayeen bases. The Herut deputy called for action against Egypt short of war and proposed that Israelis sabotage the flow of the Nile, Egypt’s lifeline and impede navigation through the Suez Canal.

The government reply and the wind-up of the debate is expected to be postponed until Foreign Minister Meir, injured last week when a demented immigrant bombed the Knesset was able to return to the house. Mrs. Meir was released from hospital last week to recuperate at home. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said she was still feeling the effects of antibiotics administered to her after she was wounded.

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