JERUSALEM (Feb. 27)
High ranking dignitaries from many countries arrived here today to represent their governments at the funeral tomorrow of the late Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. Representing President Richard M. Nixon will be his Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, former Lt. Gov. Robert H. Finch, of California. Mr. Finch left Washington today on a special flight to Tel Aviv accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Sisco. They will be joined by U.S. Ambassador Walworth Barbour.
Max. M. Fisher of Detroit is also serving as a member of the U.S. delegation. Mr. Fisher coordinated Mr. Nixon’s campaign efforts for the Presidency in the Jewish community last year. He also served as a special Nixon adviser on urban and community affairs during the campaign. He is president of the United Jewish Appeal, chairman of the United Israel Appeal and a ranking board member of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds.
The highest ranking foreign representative will be Herbert Weichmann, President of the Bundesrat (West Germany’s Upper House) and acting President of the Federal Republic. Mr. Weichmann, who is Jewish, is also Mayor of Hamburg. The Canadian Government will be represented by its former Foreign Minister Paul Martin and Australia by Speaker of Parliament W. J. Aston. Delegations were expected from Britain, Italy, Belgium, Holland and the Scandinavian countries among others.
Apart from diplomats, Lydda Airport was jammed with arriving groups representing various Jewish organizations and Socialist parties who will pay their final tribute to Mr. Eshkol. Thousands have already filed past the bier in the center of the Knesset (Parliament) plaza here. Among them are foreign diplomats, Israeli Government officials, men and women from all walks of life and many Israeli Arab and Druze notables.
Mr. Eshkol, Israel’s third Prime Minister, was the first to pass away while in office. Entire editions of Israeli newspapers today were devoted to eulogies of him. The independent daily Haaretz, frequently an outspoken critic of Mr. Eshkol named him as “one of the most important men of the generation.” The Labor Zionist Organization declared a week of mourning for Mr. Eshkol among its branches throughout the world. Itzhak Koren, general secretary of the movement, hailed the late Prime Minister as one of the pillars of the labor movement.
Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger of West Germany sent a note of condolence describing Mr. Eshkol’s death as a grave loss to Israel. “We pay special tribute to his dedication to the freedom of his country,” Dr. Kiesinger said. The German Social Democratic Party said in a message to the Israel Labor Party, “We shall always remember Mr. Eshkol as a man who, in the dark hours of history our two peoples, always resolutely found the path of cooperation in human fellowship.” British Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart sent telegrams of condolences to Gen. Allon and Mr. Eshkol’s widow. British Opposition leader Edward Heath also sent a telegram to Mrs. Eshkol.