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Collapse of Summit Conference in Paris Provokes Concern in Israel

Political sources expressed concern today over the possibility that a renewal of the East-West cold war stemming from the collapse of the Paris summit meeting might result soon in increased Middle East tension. No official comment was made.

Israel leaders, including Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, had repeatedly expressed the hope in recent months that a genuine easing of East-West tensions would also lead to tranquility in the Middle East. The Prime Minister’s pre-summit trips to the United States and Britain were connected with hopes for guarantees of Middle East stability. These hopes were considered damaged if not shattered by the Paris debacle.

Some observers here speculated that the likely renewal of the cold war would increase the pressure of the major powers, particularly Russia, on uncommitted nations. Such a development in the Middle East, it was suggested, might again strengthen the bargaining power of the Arab countries and might bring new Soviet arms shipments to Egypt and Iraq.

Israelis were reported well aware of the fact that when cold war tensions mount, it is usually the “traditional” danger zones which first feel the new crisis and the Middle East usually is in that category.

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