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Relations Between N. African States and Israel Seen As ‘considerably’ Worse

Relations between the three major North African new states–Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria–on the one hand, and Israel on the other, have considerably worsened recently, the influential French daily, Le Monde, declared today.

Le Monde stated that President Bourguiba of Tunisia had never before described the Arab fight against Israel as “the most important and most urgent task of all the Arabs,” as he did last week. The indicated worsening of relations with Israel, the newspaper declared, might presage a step toward Tunisia’s alignment with the Arab League.

After examining the strong anti-Israel stand taken by Morocco at the Security Council session this week on Israeli and Syrian complaints and counter-complaints on border incidents, Le Monde considered the situation of Algeria, calling it “the most anti-Israel state of them all.”

The review stressed the efforts of the Ben Bella regime in Algeria to blur the distinctions between Israeli and Israeli citizens, and Algerian and foreign Jews. The newspaper also noted that the FLN, the pre-independence Algerian underground movement, has often paid tribute to the aid it received from various Christians, but has never mentioned the sacrifices which many Jews accepted for the Algerian revolution. At one time, Le Monde concluded, it had been hoped that the North African countries might serve as arbitrators between Israel and the Arab states, but such hopes appear doubtful now.

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