Hectic Weekend for Mrs. Meir
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Hectic Weekend for Mrs. Meir

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Violent fighting broke out yesterday afternoon near the French Senate Building where Israeli Premier Golda Meir and other Socialist leaders were attending the Socialist International conference. Several hundred demonstrators chanting “Palestine will win,” and “Golda out,” clashed with exceptionally large police forces. Dozens of demonstrators were arrested and many injured by club-wielding riot police.

The demonstrators, led by such left-wing activists as Alain Geismar and Alain Krivine, both Jewish, were trying to march from the Cochin Hospital where Palestine Liberation Organization representative Mahmoud el-Hamshari died last-week to Luxemburg Palace. The demonstrators who were constantly charged and dispersed by police, claimed that Mrs. Meir was responsible for Hamshari’s death. The PLO representative died here last Tuesday from injuries sustained when a remote controlled bomb exploded in his Paris home Dec. 8.

No reporters were allowed inside the Senate Building but reports said that the fighting could not be heard by the delegates who were attending the session. (Finland’s Premier Kalvei Sorsa attended the conference despite earlier reports that he cancelled his appearance.) Mrs. Meir arrived at the Luxemburg Palace in a five-car convoy accompanied by police cars, motorcycle police and an ambulance complete with doctor and plasma. Hundreds of French police, some carrying machine guns and other pistols at the ready, surrounded the Senate Building when her car drove in. She arrived before the demonstrators managed to approach the building.

Since her arrival in Paris Friday, police took security precautions described as “exceptional” by police circles. Veteran reporters said that these precautions were more extensive than those taken during President Nixon’s last visit to Paris in the spring of 1969. The Embassy Building, one block off the Champs Elysees and the Ambassador’s home on Avenue Foch, were cordoned off by large police forces and traffic and even pedestrians were barred from approaching the buildings, which were surrounded by police, secret agents and wireless operators. Police sharp shooters were posted on the roofs of adjacent buildings.


Mrs. Meir did not leave her residence before driving to the Senate Building. It was at the Ambassador’s home that she received the president of the International League for Human Rights and former French Premier Pierre Mendes-France. Mendes-France, who was sick and has even withdrawn from the parliamentary race because of ill health, traveled to Paris from his home in the south of France in order to meet with Mrs. Meir.

After her arrival Friday, the Israeli Premier received French Chief Rabbi Dr. Jacob Kaplan and a number of Jewish delegations representing the local Zionist Federation, the French branch of the Israeli Labor Party and the Committee of the Representative Council of French Jews (CRIF). Problems concerning Jewish youth, communal acuties and Zionism were reportedly discussed. Mrs. Meir also explained Israeli policy.

A delegation representing the Franco Israeli Alliance and the Franco-Israeli Association, also called on the Premier. Jean Jecanuet, leader of the centrist opposition party, the Reform Party, was a member of the delegation. Others present included such “old friends” of Israel as former Premier Maurice Bourges-Maunoury, former French Ambassador to Israel Pierre Gilbert, former ministers Jacques Soustelle and Raymond Triboullet.

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