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French Press Supporting Israel and Critical of Libya Arms Sale Harassed

Pressure is being applied to French newspapers that are critical of France’s arms embargo against Israel and its sale of Mirage jets to Libya. According to informed sources, some newspapers which support Israel are being subjected to harassment by over-zealous tax inspectors.

At a Cabinet meeting today President Pompidou attacked Republican leader Michel Poniatowski for his criticism of France’s deal with Libya. He said members of the coalition government should weigh their remarks before speaking out.

President Pompidou was reported to have complained bitterly about the attitude of French newspapers at a luncheon with journalists recently. He reportedly referred to Israelis in a derogatory manner and accused them of deliberately seeking to humiliate France by spiriting away five gun-boats which, he asserted, France intended to deliver to Israel anyway.