Menu JTA Search

Israelis Ready Elaborate Welcome for Nixon Group

Israeli and American officials are working feverishly on the most elaborate preparations in the nation’s history for the 25-hour visit of President Nixon this Sunday. The first of more than a dozen U.S. government transport planes have already landed bringing tons of communications equipment, bullet-proof cars and other paraphernalia for the President’s visit.

A team of 50 American technicians were occupied today installing telephone hook-ups at the King David Hotel where the Nixon entourage will occupy three entire floors. Local news media are making much of the fact that the famed “Hot Line to Moscow and the awesome telephone by which the President can order a nuclear war will be located in Israel’s capital, if only for one day.

The most intensive preparations are going on a Ben Gurion Airport which will be converted into a private airport for the Nixon party hours before and after the scheduled arrival Sunday and departure Monday. American and Israeli personnel are directing the air traffic planning operation that will bar all commercial flights from Israel’s international air terminal during the crucial hours. Regular police, border police, secret police, CIA and U.S. secret service men are already patrolling every inch of the airport and the route Nixon’s motorcade will follow to Jerusalem.

CHILDREN TO GREET PRESIDENT

Nixon is to be greeted by flag-waving school children at the entrance to Jerusalem. He will be given a State Dinner by President Ephraim Katzir Sunday night in the Chagall Hall of the Knesset which will be attended by 350 Israeli guests. The 136 newsmen accompanying the President’s party and Israeli journalists will be allowed to watch over closed circuit television in an adjoining room.

Political preparations are also underway. The Cabinet is scheduled to meet at the end of the week to review the practical and political aspects of the Nixon visit. It is expected that while in Israel, Nixon will formalize long-term U.S. economic and military aid.

(President Nixon arrived in Salzburg last night and conferred this morning with Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky. He flies to Cairo, his first stop in the Middle East, tomorrow. When Kreisky called on Nixon at Klesheim Palace, the government guest house, the President recalled his stopover in Salzburg on the way to his first Moscow summit meeting in 1972 which he said contributed to world peace. He expressed hope for a similar success on his trip to four Arab states and Israel, saying that “every nation in the world has a stake in this journey.”)

NEXT STORY