PARIS (Mar. 9)
Romain Gary, the well known author and former French diplomat, revealed today that he has received hundreds of letters from French Jews urging him not to take a stand on France’s dispute with Israel in order to avoid possible anti-Semitic repercussions. M. Gary, who is half Jewish, said in a letter published in the weekly Figaro Litteraire that French Jews who raised the spectre of anti-Semitism over support of Israel were themselves cooperating with anti-Semitism and encouraging racist feelings. He said the letters he had received were in response to his letter, published in Le Monde last week, urging respect for everyone’s right to an opinion. “To refuse to take a stand so as to avoid complications is the surest way to invite grave complications,” he said. He said persons who used the threat of anti-Semitism to stifle opinions were themselves anti-Semites. “I cannot believe there are many of this sort, for to believe that anti-Semitism can exist in France is not to believe in France himself,” M. Gary wrote.