JERUSALEM (May. 24)
The executive of the Jewish Agency today fully backed Dr. Nahum Goldmann, its president, on the issue raised against him by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion requesting “clarification” on Dr. Goldmann’s talks in Washington with Phillips Talbot, U. S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and in New York with Dr. Joseph Johnson, the special envoy of the United Nations Palestine Conciliation Commission who is now seeking to find a solution to the Arab refugee problem.
Following a meeting today which lasted four hours, the Jewish Agency executive expressed “general agreement with Dr. Goldmann’s position regarding the developments surrounding his recent meeting in Washington.” No details of the meeting were made public, but it is understood that all members of the executive expressed dismay at the Israel Cabinet decision last Sunday which resulted in the sending of a letter by Prime Minister Ben-Gurion to the Jewish Agency executive chairman Moshe Sharett requesting clarification of Dr. Goldmann’s diplomatic activities.
The full endorsement of Dr. Goldmann’s action today by the Jewish Agency executive followed a review given by Dr. Goldmann at the executive session of his recent talks with foreign diplomats, including the talk in Washington. Dr. Goldmann, who arrived in Israel last night also told the executive that he intends to hold a press conference in Jerusalem tomorrow at which he will make public his views on this subject.
MEETING BETWEEN JEWISH AGENCY AND ISRAEL GOVT. PLANNED
Today’s session of the Jewish Agency executive also decided to meet with the Cabinet on the issue. The initiative for arranging the meeting was left to the government. It was indicated that there is the possibility of an earlier private meeting between Dr. Goldmann and Israel’s Foreign Minister Golda Meir who reportedly expressed the wish to confer with the Jewish Agency president.
It was revealed today that the Cabinet decision that the Prime Minister should send a letter of inquiry to the Jewish Agency executive with regard to Dr. Goldmann’s diplomatic talks in Washington and with Dr. Johnson was adopted by the votes of Mapai ministers only. The other Cabinet members proposed to refrain from sending any letter until Dr. Goldmann’s arrival to Israel.
The view of the Israel Government is that Dr. Goldmann should account for his activities before the Jewish Agency executive which in turn should inform the government of its reaction. Jewish Agency chairman Moshe Sharett, after receiving the letter from Mr. Ben-Gurion, informed the government that Dr. Goldmann’s talk in the U. S. State Department with Mr. Talbot took place after prior contact with the Israel Embassy in Washington.