De Gaulle’s Embargo on Israel Denounced by Backers of Pompidou and Poher

The secretary-general of the Independent Republican Party, a group which is supporting the Gaullist candidate, former Premier Georges Pompidou, for the French Presidency, called yesterday on all the Presidential candidates to declare themselves publicly on the embargo on arms and military supplies for Israel imposed by former President Charles de Gaulle.

Michel Poniatowsky, the Independent Republican leader, sharply attacked the embargo in a speech at a commemoration of Israel’s 21st anniversary organized by the France-Israel Alliance. He said that to enforce an embargo against “an ally which is also an outpost of Europe in the Mediterranean is both unjust and dangerous.” He said that such a measure “undermines the moral credit of France and the country’s economy.”

M. Poniatowsky’s attack on the de Gaulle embargo was echoed by Jean Lecaneut, president of the Democratic Center, a principal supporter of Acting President Alain Poher’s candidacy, M. Lecanuet, speaking at the same function, asserted that “for millions of Frenchmen, friendship for Israel is still very much alive. We all hope that the embargo will be lifted after June 15th.” The second and final round of the Presidential elections will be held on that date and the new President of France named then.

A new protest was registered today by Pierre Bloch, president of the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, oven the alleged failure of the Foreign Ministry to investigate reports that the French envoy to the United Nations, Ambassador Armand Berard, had made anti-Semitic statements in comments on the defeat of President de Gaulle in the French referendum last month.

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