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2,500 Israelis Return Their War Decorations to Communist Lands; Protest Anti-israel Actions

In protest against the pro-Arab and anti-Israeli actions of all the East European, Communist countries, except Rumania, 2,500 Israelis who were formerly residents of those countries today returned their medals, decorations and other honors accorded to them which they were awarded for bravery and gallantry during their service as soldiers in the armies of the lands involved in World War II.

The medals and decorations were handed here today to the charge d’affaires of Finland, who represents the interest of the Soviet Union, which broke diplomatic relations with Israel as a result of the USSR’s charges that Israel was the “aggressor” in the June war. The Finnish diplomat was asked to return the decorations to the Governments of the Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Many of the honors were the highest military awards in the respective countries.

One man, formerly a high-ranking officer in the Soviet army, told the diplomat: “We don’t need decorations from governments which actively endorsed the policy of destroying Israel and supporting the Arabs,”