Tel Aviv (Jul. 19)
Dr. Moshe Sneh, leader of Maki, the independent Communist faction, confirmed today that several of its members have been the objects of “feelers” from Soviet diplomats as to Israel’s attitude on improving relations with the Soviet Union. Sneh’s faction is act oriented to ward Moscow or any either Communist capital. He said today that one of his colleagues, Esther Vilenska, was approached while attending a Budapest Communist Party Congress by a former Russian diplomat in Tel Aviv named Kotov, who is now a member of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee. According to Sneh, similar approaches were made to Yosef Lipsky, editor of “Frei Israel,” the U.S. Communist Party’s Yiddish organ in New York. Lipsky, he said, was approached by a Russian UN delegate, Tchurillin, who was also once stationed in Israel. He said both diplomats asked identical questions, how relations between Israel and the USSR could be improved. According to Sneh, they both listened to the replies but made no comment. “It seems they wish to make an impression that they want the renewal of relations without making any tangible move in this direction,” Sneh said.