JERUSALEM (May. 22)
A group of academicians and journalist associated with the Socialist-Zionist New Outlook magazine, cancelled their departure for Egypt yesterday after receiving a request from their Egyptian hosts to defer the visit which was arranged some time ago.
According to members of the delegation, the Egyptians made the request because Egypt was in the midst of a controversial referendum on President Anwar Sadat’s proposed measures to outlaw opposition groups in light of Egypt’s serious domestic difficulties. According to reports from Cairo today, Sadat won a 98 percent victory.
Members of the group said they hoped to go through with the planned visit in a week or two. They include Prots. Shimon Shamir, Shaul Friedlander and Yehoshua Arieli, all prominent political scientists and writers David Shaham and Simha Flapan. They had been granted permits to leave for Egypt by the Interior Ministry last week. The visit would have marked the first personal contacts between Israeli and Egyptian intellectuals since peace talks were broken off in January.