TEL AVIV (Aug. 26)
Menachem Beigin, leader of the Herut Party, called on small nations all over the world today to form a common front “against pressure, threats and the subversive activities of totalitarian Communism.” Mr. Beigin, who is a minister without portfolio in the national coalition Government, spoke at a party meeting here. He denounced the Soviet invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia as a “moral and political defeat” for Russia and its allies and said the Czechoslovakian episode pointed up the problem of all small nations. The Herut Party decided to hold a mass protest rally against the Soviet occupation.
(In Melbourne, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry said in a statement issued today, that the tanks and guns used in the Middle East in an attempt to crush Israel were of the same origin as those that spearheaded the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet Russia and its Warsaw Pact allies. The Council’s statement constituted Australian Jewry’s collective protest against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. “We watch with horror,” it said, “as the totalitarian forces directed from Moscow embark now on the ruthless enslavement of Czechoslovakia. We condemn those who use guns and tanks to oppress a people and we observe with sadness that tanks of the same origin had been used in the Middle East in an attempt to crush Israel.”)
Israeli nationals who were caught in Czechoslovakia by the Soviet-led invasion last week experienced no difficulties leaving that country and were treated extremely well by Czech, Austrian and Swiss border authorities, it was learned in Jerusalem today. The reports came from several Israelis who have just returned home and from Israeli sources abroad. It was estimated that some 20 to 30 Israeli nationals were in Czechoslovakia at the time of the invasion. Only three or four turned up at the Swedish Embassy in Prague for help and information, it was disclosed. The Swedish Embassy has represented Israeli interests in Czechoslovakia since the latter severed diplomatic relations with Israel following the June, 1967 Six-Day War. Some of the Israelis, who had to abandon cars and belongings or spend all of their money for gasoline to cross the border, were aided with funds. Returning Israelis said the Czech police were helpful in showing them roads out of the country through border control posts where no Soviet troops were near. No Israeli nationals were detained as far as could be ascertained here today.