NEW YORK (May. 18)
A senior Israeli diplomat told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he has no doubts that Ashraf Ghorbal, Egypt’s Ambassador to the United States, did advocate the extermination of all traces of Judaism in the Mideast in an interview published earlier this year in Marchar, a right-wing periodical published in Buenos Aires, Aba Gefen, a former Consul in Argentina and presently the director of cultural affairs at the Israel Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, said that “Ghorbal was only echoing the view of his boss, President Anwar Sadat.”
According to Gefen, Sadat declared last year in Al Hassin mosque in Cairo, on the occasion of Mohammed’s birthday, views basically similar to that which Ghorbal expressed in Marchar, Sadat’s remarks, Gefen said, included the statement: “The most splendid thing that the Prophet Mohammed did was to drive the Jews out of the Arabian peninsula…Jerusalem is our property. We shall retrieve it from the hands of those of whom it is written in the Koran: They will be brought low and made wretched…”
The Ghorbal interview in Marchar, which was conducted by the magazine’s editor, Patricio Kelly, has been repudiated by the Egyptian Ambassador and by Alejandro Ocilla, the Argentine Ambassador to the United States who introduced Ghorbal to Kelly in Washington where the interview took place. Ghorbal has asserted that no interview occurred and that he and Kelly met for only two minutes. Kelly, in his article, maintained that the two men met for 90 minutes.
(See full stories concerning Ghorbal’s statements and interview in the Daily News Bulletin’s April 2, April 21 and April 24.)
INTERVIEW CANNOT BE DENIED
Gefen contended that the interview is a “fact which cannot be denied.” He said that he had read the interview in Spanish and said he knows Kelly personally from the days he served as an official in Argentina between 1963-1967. According to Gefen, Kelly was in those years in close contact with the Egyptian Embassy in Argentina and with Hussein Triki, the Arab League representative who was later expelled from Argentina for fomenting public disorder with his anti-Jewish activities.
Gefen, who was one of the leaders of Brichah and came to Palestine a few months before the creation of the Jewish State, and is currently in the U.S. on a lecture tour as part of Israel’s effort to gain public support for its policies, said that collaboration between Arabs and local anti-Semites in Argentina is presently very much under way. He identified Kelly as one of the local anti-Semites.
“I believe that the Egyptian Embassy in Buenos Aires had arranged the Kelly-Ghorbal interview,” Gefen said, adding: “This sort of interview is very good stuff for Argentina; a place where anti-Semitism is on the rise. As long as the content of this interview was kept within Argentina no denial was issued. But at the moment the Jewish Telegraphic Agency published it in the United States and elsewhere, Ghorbal probably realized that his remarks would be seen in the broad context of Arab propaganda which has adopted the Nazi propaganda style and other methods of Nazism as demonstrated by the nefarious acts of the Palestinian murderers.”
Gefen also had harsh words to say about the nationally syndicated columnists, Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, who charged last month that the JTA and the world Jewish press was engaged in what amounted to a conspiracy to defame Ghorbal. “Evans and Novak’s charges are part of Arab propaganda,” Gefen said, “There is no doubt in my mind that they distorted the facts deliberately. Their attack on JTA put them in line with all those elements, diverse as can be held together by their hatred of Jews under the guise of anti-Zionism.”