WASHINGTON (Sep. 30)
Diplomats of the Embassy of Israel are in contact with “appropriate authorities” on the decision of the State Department to eliminate Israelis from the list of 19 session panel chairmen of the first International Symposium on Water Desalination to convene here October 3.
The State Department reportedly eliminated Israelis although some Israeli participants were more qualified in the field of desalination than a number of the chairmen named, the reason being Arab pressure against the presiding by any Israeli over any panel of the symposium. Dr. Moustafa Hafez, representing Egypt, was named chairman of a panel of conversion plant economics “to give the Arabs a sense of participation.”
U.S. Government sources have revealed that the State Department was careful not to put Israelis in charge of panels, although the Israelis were acknowledged to be highly qualified, because the Arabs threatened not to sit in such meetings. Eleven nations, the United Nations, UNESCO, and the United States are represented by panel chairmen. Egypt is among them but Israel is not.