Rome (Oct. 31)
A spokesman for the Arab Socialist Union, Egypt’s only political party, has invited the self-styled Black Hebrews of Dimona to settle in Egypt. Lufti El Kholi, head of a socialist delegation here, told Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent Livia Rokach that the invitation was on a personal plane, not an official offer from the Egyptian government. He added, however, that the tendency of his party was to oppose “any kind of racism in the Middle East.”
He said that on that basis “we shall collaborate with Israeli progressive elements, too, against any form of anti-Jewish racism including any policy which asks to expel Jews from Israel.” The Dimona blacks face expulsion from Israel when their tourist visas expire. The group which hails from the United States has become a source of friction. They are not recognized by Israeli authorities as Jews and recent statements by their leaders have been anti-Jewish and anti-Israel.
El Kholi also said that his party was opposed to “anybody who does not want to recognize the necessity of finding a solution to the Palestinian problem and thus practices anti-Arab racism.” He is visiting Rome in connection with a planned conference of socialist parties from various countries to map “roads to peace” in the Middle East.
The conference would be held in Bologna with representatives of socialist factions in Israel and the Arab countries invited to participate. El Kholi told the JTA that he was satisfied with preparations so far and expected the conference to take place. It would be the first official meeting between Israelis and Arabs of similar political inclinations.