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Israel Calm but Asks for U.S. Guarantees, Mrs. Halprin Reports

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Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency, reported today on her return from three weeks in Israel, that an “amazing feature of Israel life Is the calm that pervades the country, despite general awareness of the dangers that might accrue to Israel from the turmoil in the Arab world around her.”

Israel feels, she said, that in the long run it will “weather any new storm as It has weathered previous storms, but Israel does feel that the stability of the area as well as her own security require that the United States Government give an open and unqualified guarantee of Israel’s territorial integrity, and render all assistance in strengthening Israel.”

“Such declaration,” she said, “would discourage the Nasserist designs against Israel and his larger imperialist ambitions.” Mrs. Halprin was In Israel to attend plenary sessions of the Jewish Agency executive and to help draft the Jewish Agency’s immigrant rehabilitation program for 1959. She said that there is the gravest concern In Israel today over the plight of Jews in Algeria and behind the Iron Curtain.

The “peculiar and tragic position of the Jews in Algeria was poignantly demonstrated last week,” she said, “when the Jewish Agency received conclusive evidence that two of its emissaries, who were in Algeria to help emigrants to Israel, were killed five weeks ago by the F.L.N., the extremist rebel organization.” This, she added, highlights the plight of Algerian Jews, “caught in a vise, with all contending forces in Algeria claiming their loyalty, and with the extremists of the F.L.N., despite professions of religious toleration, evidently taking their cue from Cairo.”

Evidence from the U.S.S.R., too, offers little consolation, she said. The Soviet press has stepped up Its press campaign depicting Israel in the grimmest colors. The Soviet press has been printing letters allegedly written by Iron Curtain Jews newly arrived in Israel, regretting their emigration. This has been followed up by further curtailment of emigration from satellite countries. “These features of the campaign of vilification against Israel seem to be in direct ratio to the mounting interest in Israel among Soviet Jewry,” Mrs. Halprin reported.

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