TEL AVIV (Jun. 16)
A drama of unwanted refugees on the high seas is taking place in Far Eastern waters. The refugees are 66 Vietnamese, including women and children, who were rescued by the Israeli freighter, Yoveli after their own craft capsized. No country will admit them and the Yoveli, a tramp owned by Yehuda Ofer, of Haifa, has suspended her normal pursuit of trade until a haven for her passengers is found.
The ship’s owner, who already has lost a large sum of money on the voyage, had high praise for the Yoveli’s master, Capt. Meir Tadmor. “We Jews know what it’s like to be refugees and God forbid we should withhold aid from such unfortunate people or deliver them to the country they had escaped from,” he said. The Yoveli incident has historical parallels in the Jewish refugee ships turned back from Palestine by the British and the tragic voyage in 1939 of the German liner St. Louis whose 900 Jewish passengers were refused entry by Cuba and were returned to Europe.