Exiled Greek Composer Continues Battle Against Regime in Israel

Mikis Theodorakis, the world-famous composer who is in exile from his native Greece, is carrying on his campaign against the “regime of the Colonels” during his current visit to Israel, a campaign which drew a flat denial today from Defense Minister Moshe Dayan of an alleged promise several years ago to the composer to help him in his anti-government effort.

The composer came to Israel to participate in the annual drama and music festival and has spent some of his time meeting with leftist groups in Israel at which he has expressed his opposition to the Greek regime. One of the meetings was held at the home of Amos Kenan, a dissident Israeli journalist. There the composer reportedly said that several years ago, Gen. Dayan promised him help in creation of a Greek underground. Theodorakis, said then to have been a member of the Communist Party, told the meeting at Kenan’s home that he had brought the purported Dayan offer before his colleagues and that they rejected it. A spokesman for Gen. Dayan said the Defense Minister had never met the composer and had accordingly never talked about such a proposal.

Another unusual development stemming from the composer’s visit was a public declaration to him last Friday from Yitzhak Ben Aharon, Histadrut secretary general, that Israel’s laborers were ready to provide “any material act” that would help the composer “in your struggle to free Greece from the reign of dictatorship.” Political sources here expressed astonishment at the commitment but they added that as leader of Israel’s workers, Ben Aharon could express his opinions as he wished.

The Histadrut official also told the composer: “Don’t hesitate to tell us to do so.” The occasion was a visit to the Histadrut headquarters by the composer. Ben Aharon also told the composer that he hoped the present Greek regime would end and that the Greek nation, like Israel, would live in independence and freedom. He described Israeli laborers as being “in the first line of national freedom and social struggle.”

NEXT STORY