New Directives Issued in Israel Restrict Contact with Germany
Menu JTA Search

New Directives Issued in Israel Restrict Contact with Germany

Download PDF for this date

New directives for limited contacts by Israelis with West Germany were issued here today to all Ministries following the approval last night by the Knesset (Parliament) of a new Government policy with regard to Israel-German cultural and educational ties.

The Knesset defeated–by a vote of 37 to 25–a Herut motion calling on the Government to cease all cultural relations with Germany. The new Government policy as outlined in the Knesset by Minister of Education Abba Eban on behalf of the entire Cabinet, was worked out by a special six-member inter-ministerial committee. Today’s directives, based on that policy, include the following points:

1. No delegations, mission or groups will be permitted to go from Israel to Germany unless these visits are sanctioned by a special governmental committee.

2. There will be no German theatrical or other artistic performances in Israel. A Governmental committee will sift and recommend Israeli artists or other cultural groups that will be permitted to perform in West Germany if invited by West German organizations.

3. The Government will provide no support to Israeli students below military age who wish to study in Germany, by withholding foreign currency for subsistence required by such students and by refusing permission for their acceptance of German scholarships. Only such post-graduate and research studies essential to the State of Israel will be permitted to Israelis planning to study or do their research work in West Germany.

4. The only German personnel to be admitted to work in Israel will be those required to operate or instruct here in connection with equipment or goods acquired by Israel under the German-Israeli reparations agreement.

5. Israel is to participate in international events held in Germany, while West Germany is to be permitted to take part in such events held in Israel.

6. Visits to Israel by Germans is to be limited to “approved categories,” especially to youth, students and young professional.

7. A special Government committee is to be formed to cooperate with representatives of Israeli institutions of higher learning who will send lecturers and leading personalities in Israeli academic life to West Germany to lecture and to provide information about Israel.

In explaining the Government’s feeling that restrictions had to be imposed, Mr. Eban declared: “We are situated here between the past and the future. We are not free to ignore either. The very existence of any limitation shows that at this hour the present is nearer to the past then to the future.”

At the same time he pointed out that an absolute ban on German contacts would have been a “racist” approach, ruling out contact with Germans not born during the Hitler era or those whose anti-Nazi attitude is a matter of record.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund