MELBOURNE (Apr. 26)
The Australian government has rejected an application for entry by Eddie Zananiri, a leading member of the General Union of Palestinian Students which is affiliated to the PLO. Zananiri. 29. is a GUPS vice-president and president of its international relations bureau. The Minister for Immigration, Michael Mackellar. rejected the application for “security reasons” on the recommendation of the Crime Intelligence Bureau of the Australian police.
Under the Labor government led by Gough Whitlam, Zananiri was admitted to Australia last May when he came on a lecture tour of student campuses. His visit led to a series of clashes between Jewish students and PLO supporters and in the ensuing violence some students were hospitalized with serious injuries.
Zananiri had given as a reason for his application his desire to marry a Melbourne woman, Gail Cotton, secretary to Bill Hartley who is an extreme left-wing member of the Labor Party’s national executive and a leading spokesman for the PLO in Australia.
Although government officials are not expressing doubts on the relationship between the Melbourns ## they were conventual that his presence in Australia would enable the PLO to have a permanent representative based here and that his activities, particularly at the universities, would again arouse community divisions.
The Zananiri application is the first test case of the attitude towards the PLO by the government of Fraser whose Liberal-National Party coalition ousted the Labor Party from government in a landslide victory last December. While in opposition. Fraser had opposed White lam’s willingness to allow PLO officials to enter Australia.
Jewish students and community leaders have been further encouraged by the news of Zananiri’s rejection which they see as evidence of the Fraser government’s efforts to express a more pro-Israel policy than its predecessors in Canberra.