WASHINGTON (Apr. 5)
A State Department source said today that the United States had informed Israel it would not send official observers to the trial of Adolf Eichmann, which opens next Tuesday in Jerusalem, in order to make available seats for which a strong demand exists.
It was explained that the notification regarded the seats and did not pertain to any issue of whether the trial was or was not an internal Israeli affair. A State Department authority said:
“We merely did not wish to preempt seating facilities. It was just a case of the embassy making known it would not require a specified number of seats as the United States would not send official government observers. The demand for seats is tremendous, many private American observers wish to attend, and the intent of the Embassy was not to pre-empt seating facilities.”
The Israel Government in Jerusalem had extended official invitations to the U.S.Embassy and other diplomatic missions to send observers to the Eichmann trial, an Israel Embassy official here said.
The invitation was conveyed in Israel, apparently, directly to the appropriate American diplomats and was not a subject of discussion involving the Israel embassy in Washington and the State Department here. It appeared from the. Department’s statement, however, that the final decision on the question was made with concurrence and advice from the Department.
(The Times of London reported today from Tel Aviv that British Ambassador Patrick Hancock notified the Israel Government that the Embassy would not accept the offer of a seat at the trial for a British observer. The British Embassy later told the Israel Foreign Ministry that Britain felt it had said all it wished to say about Nazi war crimes at the Nuremberg trials and did not want to be associated with the Eichmann case. The stand, it was explained, did not mean that Britain disagreed with Israel’s objectives in holding the trial.)