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Beigin Recalls a Friendlier Attitude Toward Israel by De Gaulle

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An Israeli Cabinet Minister who was formerly on friendly terms with President Charles de Gaulle said today that the new French arms embargo did not tally with Gen. de Gaulle’s previous attitude toward Israel. Menachem Beigin, leader of the Herut Party and a minister without portfolio, said in the Knesset (Parliament) that the French leader had told him in 1957 that Israel should not evacuate the Gaza Strip or the Sinai Peninsula, which it had occupied in the 1956 Suez campaign. Israel subsequently pulled out under pressure from the United States and the Soviet Union. Gen. de Gaulle was not then in power. Mr. Beigin said the French embargo was obviously an attempt to intimidate Israel, but, he declared, “the days are past when one could frighten Jews.” He called the move “a grave breach of trust” by France.

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