JERUSALEM (Apr. 17)
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion today described as deliberately libelous reports that Israel Beer, the high-ranking Israeli military expert who was arrested on charges of spying for a Communist country, was his military adviser or close associate. He attributed the reports to a campaign for “Government without Ben-Gurion” and labeled the circulators as malicious falsifiers.
The Premier made the statement at a Cabinet meeting today at which the affair and its implications were discussed. Mr. Ben-Gurion emphasized that, at no time did Beer participate in military or political discussions and that he did not belong to any body which dealt with security matters.
The Premier said Beer had no access to official information in connection with security matters and that whatever he may have obtained in this regard must have been privately gleaned from senior Army officers by virtue of his position as Army historian.
The Cabinet shelved until the next meeting a decision on the proposal that a Ministerial committee review the principles governing the appointment of officials dealing with security matters and regarding the safeguarding of state secrets. The head of Israel’s security services is scheduled to appear before the Cabinet next Sunday to reply to questions about security practices, after which the Cabinet will discuss the proposals.
No mention was made at the Cabinet meeting of the foreign agent with whom Beer had contact nor was it disclosed whether any foreign diplomat had been declared persona non grata over the issue.