JERUSALEM (Sep. 20)
Israel-American relations grew closer, during the past year, and “active interest” of the United States in Israel’s security was again shown, according to a review of the activities of the Foreign Ministry contained in the Government Yearbook which will appear next week.
Discussing Israel’s relations with Eastern bloc countries, the article notes an improvement in relations with Poland and Yugoslavia while the relationship with others remained correct. However, “attempts made by Israel to renew trade relations and develop cultural relations with the Soviet Union had not elicited positive reaction from that country” During the past two years, the report notes, Israel’s overall East European trade increased by 130 percent.
The review discloses that an unnamed Israel envoy–presumably the Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Director General Maurice Fisher–conferred with the new Pope “whose friendship toward the Jews was demonstrated by the change in the text of the prayers of Good Friday. ” The review also points out that the reunion of families from Rumania halted after the Rumanian Government published a statement attacking Israeli leaders “for publications connected with Aliyah.”
Discussing the Suez blockade, the review points out that 41 ships carrying Israel cargo passed through the Suez Canal between March 1957 and March of this year, when Egypt began seizing Israel cargoes.”These ships were mostly chartered by Israel companies and the Egyptian authorities had no doubts about the origin of the shipments,” the review states.