JERUSALEM (Jul. 5)
Dr. Rolf Pauls, the West German Ambassador to Israel, left today for a seven-week home leave for consultations with the Bonn Foreign Ministry over recent developments causing new difficulties in relations between the two countries. Asher Ben-Nathan, Israel’s Ambassador to West Germany, arrived here today for a similar home leave and consultations.
What observers termed an “awkward feeling” in those relations has reached a new peak because of a speech by Dr. Pauls last week at the Tel Aviv fair in which he criticized Israel for its recent statement of support for the Oder-Neisse line as the permanent boundary between Germany and postwar Poland. The issue is a sensitive one in Bonn. Dr. Pauls also said that Israel had failed to recognize its “debt of gratitude” to West Germany.
Dr. Pauls also said that Germany no longer needed to be regarded with caution as a member of the family of civilized nations. His speech evoked sharp criticism in Israel and continued to be a cause of irritation among Israelis. Israeli newspapers, commenting on Dr. Paul’s home leave, noted that this was his fifth trip home for lengthy stays since his arrival a year ago. His functions will again be assumed by Dr. Alexander Toeroek, who will be acting Charge d’Affaires.
It was learned reliably that the Israel Government does not intend to bring up the issue of Dr. Pauls’ speech with West German officials, either here or in Bonn. Despite pressures of leftwing members of the coalition, the Government has decided to let the matter pass without any official reaction.