Statements in Israel on Rumanian Emigration Criticized in Knesset

The question of the emigration of the Rumanian Jews to Israel, and the Arab steps to halt it, was raised today in the Parliament by Herut deputies who accused Prime Minister David Ben Gurion of making statements which led to sensational reports in the press.

Haim Landau, leader of the Herut party, charged that these statements had brought about concerted pressure action by the Arab states on the Soviet Union and Rumania to halt the emigration. He also asserted that a speech by Shimon Peress, Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Defense–later broadcast over the Israel radio–disclosed security information and “gave the enemy cause for protesting against Jewish immigration into Israel on military grounds.”

Premier Ben Gurion, replying to the charges, expressed regret over the fact that official statements and broadcasts had been made in Israel which were likely to endanger the immigration from Rumania. He admitted that there had been official lapses. However, he said, most of the disclosures were made by the overseas press over which Israel has no control. He said some efforts had been made to induce the foreign press to restrict its reports on the emigration from Rumania, but they were not always successful.

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