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Military Censor Released Revised Version of Book by Matti Golan

The Israeli military censor has released for publication a revised version of Matti Golan’s book on the negotiations conducted in 1974 between Secretary of State Henry A, Kissinger and Israeli leaders that led to the cease-fire agreements and the disengagement agreements with Egypt and Syria. The original version was barred by the censor two months ago and the manuscript and all pertinent notes were seized, raising a furore among Israeli journalists and others.

The release of the book was announced by the author at a hastily convened press conference today. Golan, a political correspondent of Haaretz, said he had learned only a half-hour earlier of the censor’s decision and was, in fact, about to lodge another protest over the delay. He said that when he submitted his revised version last May, he was promised a decision within a week.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH TRIUMPHANT

But today the writer was jubilant. “I believe today, as I have always believed, that Israel is a free, democratic country which exercises freedom of speech, though I had some reservations about the banning of the book and the way it was done,” Golan told his fellow journalists. He denied that he had applied any pressure on the censor to release the book or that he had contemplated at any time violating Israeli law. He also denied that there was pressure from the United States to ban publication of the book which has two tentative titles: “Confrontation and Separation” or “Kissinger in the Middle East.”

When the banning of the book was made public American newspapers reported that it contained secret verbatim transcripts of private conversations between former Premier Golda Meir and Kissinger during which the latter allegedly made indiscreet remarks about other world leaders; Today, Golan said, “None of these statements appear in my book and I don’t know if Kissinger made any of the remarks mentioned. The word ‘Ford’ was not mentioned in the book, neither as a car nor as a President,” Golan said.

Golan said the book dealt with the political negotiations between Oct. 6, 1973, the day the Yom Kippur War broke out, and May 31, 1974, the day the disengagement agreement was signed with Syria. He said it had six parts describing the American airlift; the cease-fire; the Kilometer 101 negotiations and the six-point agreement; the Geneva conference; the disengagement agreement with Egypt and the one with Syria. The book will be published here by the Schocken Press, owners of Haaretz. Golan said he had a contract with Bantam Books in the U.S. granting English publication rights if they can match the best offer he receives.

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