LONDON (Sep. 11)
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan will be the principal speaker at a dinner and ball to be given by British Jewry on November 5 to mark the conclusion of the community’s celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the State of Israel. The Prime Minister, who will be accompanied by Lady Macmillan, will offer the to the State of Israel.
Mr. Macmillan announced his acceptance of the invitation today to Barnett Janner, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who called on him at No. 10 Downing St.
The Prime Minister’s acceptance was described here today as a highly significant indication of a major change in the official British attitude towards Israel. Informed circles commented that it would have been unthinkable some months ago, given the then prevailing status of Anglo-Israeli relations. It was also pointed out that precedents for such a gesture are rare.
Political circles noted that Britain’s Middle East policy is now in a state of transition following the collapse of a policy based on a friendly Iraq, and saw a possibility that the recent development of a friendly atmosphere in Anglo-Israel relations might be reflected in the new policy the Government is trying to hammer out.
Improvement in British-Israeli relations was said to date to the recent visit to London of Mrs. Golda Meir, the Israeli Foreign Minister, who conferred here with Mr. Macmillan and Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd. Since then, Israelis have found the British authorities much more receptive and understanding of the Israeli position.