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Israel Voices ‘angry Bewilderment’ to France over Purported ‘jewish Gold’ Remark

Israel has expressed to France its “angry bewilderment” over a statement attributed to Armand Berard, its Ambassador to the UN, that “Jewish gold” was involved in Gen. Charles de Gaulle’s defeat last month at the polls, Foreign Minister Abba Eban said in a radio interview. He commented that France had replied that the statement was never made.

Mr. Eban declined to try to forecast what position France would take on the Mideast after its Presidential election. He said that “immediately after a new Government is formed in France, we will present it with our appraisal of the situation and our demands for an essential and basic change in relations.”

He expressed satisfaction with what he called Premier Golda Meir’s plan to propose a limited but significant proposal for rehabilitation of Arab refugees under Israel control. Details of the proposal have not been made public. Mr. Eban voiced support for collective compensation as part of the solution to the refugee problem, saying it would be more effective than compensation to individual refugees.