PARIS (Mar. 5)
Marie-Josephine Pontillon, one of Israel’s earliest and staunchest friends in France, died here Sunday night, aged 60. She was the wife of Socialist Senator Raymond Pontillon, also known as one of Israel’s closest supporters and a personal friend of Israeli Premier Shimon Peres.
Mrs. Pontillon, affectionately known as “Mariejo” started helping Israel in the fifties obtain French-made arms and technological help. She served at the time as one of French Socialist Party Secretary General Guy Mollet’s closest aides. She also served as a go-between at the time of the 1956 Suez operation when French and Israeli forces fought as allies against Egypt’s Colonel Nasser.