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Knesset Votes 68 to 7 Against Admission of Arab Refugees to Israel

Israel’s Knesset (parliament) decided overwhelmingly today, by a vote of 68 to 7, that the Arab refugees must not be returned to Israel and that the only solution of the refugee problem is the resettlement of the refugees in Arab countries.

A resolution on the subject was submitted jointly by seven political parties, including the four in the new coalition Government. After a four-hour debate, only the left-wing Mapam and the Communists voted against the resolution. The long debate was wound up with an address by Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister.

The resolution, as adopted by the big majority in the Knesset, endorsed a statement on the Arab refugee problem made in Parliament last month by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. In that statement, Mr. Ben-Gurion rejected what he called “the insidious proposal” that the Arab refugees be given a “choice” about returning to Israel. Such a policy, he said, was one policy calculated “to destroy Israel.”

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