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Premier Meir’s Office Denies Receiving Complaint over Pro-nixon Bias

Premier Golda Meir’s office denied today that any protests had been received from supporters of Sen. George McGovern over alleged politicking for President Nixon on the part of the Israel Embassy in Washington. The denial was in response to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau chief, Thomas Ross yesterday that Myer Feldman, a White House aide during the Kennedy administration now working for McGovern, had protested directly to Mrs. Meir.

According to Ross, “key advisers” to the South Dakotan seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination were disturbed that alleged pro-Nixon bias on the part of the Israel Embassy might result in a wholesale defection of Jewish voters from McGovern. Ross said complaints were also lodged with the Embassy. The Prime Minister’s office said no approach of any kind had been received by Mrs. Meir from Feldman or from any other source close to Sen. McGovern. (A spokesman for Sen. McGovern’s campaign headquarters in New York told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that there was “no truth” in the report that Feldman had complained to Premier Meir and said he had “no idea” how it got started.)

(In Washington today, Israel Embassy spokesman Gad Ranon told the JTA that no complaints “whatsoever” had been received by the Embassy. Ranon referred the JTA reporter to today’s statement by the Premier’s office in Jerusalem. Shaul Ramati, the Israeli Consul General in Chicago was quoted by the Sun-Times today as denying on behalf of Mrs. Meir that she had received “any such communication either in writing or orally from Myer Feldman or anyone else.”)

The episode arose from an interview recently given by Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Yitzhak Rabin, broadcast over the Israel State Radio. Yuval Elizur, the Washington Post correspondent in Jerusalem, filed a story last Sunday claiming that Rabin had “indicated” in the interview that “he would favor President Nixon’s re-election” next Nov. Rabin called a special press conference at the Embassy Sunday where he charged that the Post story had “misquoted” him and had taken his radio remarks “out of context.” He called the Elizur story an attempt to damage relations between Israel and the US. The Foreign Ministry said here yesterday that it found nothing objectionable in Ambassador Rabin’s remarks.

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