JERUSALEM (Jul. 24)
Argentina’s act of declaring the Israeli Ambassador Arieh Levavi as “persona non-grata” and ordering him to leave the country in retaliation for Israel’s seizure in Buenos Aires of Adolf Eichmann, the notorious Nazi leader who directed the mass-murder of 6,000,000 Jews in Europe, is strongly criticized here today.
The entire Israeli press pointed out that the act is contrary to the decision of the United Nations Security Council on the Eichmann issue. Several newspapers see the Argentine move as proof that extremist nationalist elements have gained the upper hand in Buenos Aires.
Eduardo Colombo, the Argentine charge d’affaires here, called on the Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday to give formal notification that his government had declared Ambassador Levavi persona non grata. Gideon Raphael, acting director general of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, who received Colombo, expressed Israel’s regret at the decision.
The personal belongings of Garcia Arias, the Argentine envoy to Israel, have been packed and shipped to Buenos Aires on the ambassador’s instructions, it was disclosed today. The action was regarded here as an indication of a final decision by the Argentine Government not to send the ambassador back to his post here.
Ambassador Arias was called home for consultations soon after Israel disclosed that Eichmann had been seized in Argentina. The envoy’s wife remained in Tel Aviv when her husband left for Argentina, giving rise to hopes of his early return. However, she joined the envoy in Buenos Aires soon afterward.
ISRAEL DENIES EL AL PLANE WAS USED TO TRANSPORT EICHMANN
Israel has formally rejected an Argentine insinuation that the El Al airliner which took an Israeli delegation to Argentina to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Argentine Revolution was used to smuggle Nazi criminal Eichmann out of Argentina, it was disclosed today.
The insinuation was contained in the Argentine note, handed to Israel Ambassador Levavi July 19, in which the Argentine Government rejected Israel’s apologies for the abduction of Eichmann, and demanded Eichmann’s return and punishment of his abductors.
The Israel rejection of the charge concerning the El Al airliner was made yesterday when Gideon Raphael, acting director general of the Israel Foreign Ministry, called in Eduardo Colombo, the Argentine charge d’affairs, who is now in charge of the Argentine Embassy, and made the rejection. Mr. Raphael’s meeting with Colombo was publicized today after the Argentine Government declared Ambassador Levavi persona non grata.
In the report on that meeting, it was declared that Mr. Raphael told Mr. Colombo that “the Israel Government finds itself obliged at this stage to declare there is no foundation whatever to the inference which might have been drawn from article five of the Argentine note that the Israel Embassy in Buenos Aires might have acted in a manner contrary to accepted diplomatic usage.
“The Israel Government states that the Israel request of May 16 for permission to transfer on medical and humanitarian grounds a number of passengers on the El Al plane which brought an Israeli delegation to the 150th independence day celebration was in no way connected with the Eichmann affair,” the acting director general concluded.