Suggestion of Dual Loyalty Aggravates Gaullist Debate over Embargo on Israel

A suggestion that French Jews maintain dual allegiance–to Israel as well as to France–has further inflamed a debate within Gaullist ranks over President Charles de Gaulle’s embargo of military equipment and spare parts to Israel.

Many prominent Frenchmen, Jewish and non-Jewish, are extremely critical of the embargo and have accused the government of reneging on its contractual obligations. A Gaullist deputy, Maurice Le-Combe, writing in the Gaullist newspaper La Nation today, denounced such criticism and hinted that Frenchmen of Jewish faith were prepared to betray their loyalty to France and Gen. de Gaulle in the interests of Israel. M. LeCombe called on French Jews “to remain loyal to their country.”

Another Gaullist deputy, Claude Gerard Marcus, took sharp issue with this criticism. In a statement published today, he maintained that Frenchmen who supported Israel and opposed the embargo were upholding the interests of France. “Are Frenchmen to be allowed to take an interest in Vietnam or Biafra but forbidden to show the same awareness of the problem where Israel is concerned?” M. Marcus asked.

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