Flap over Herzog’s Visit to W. Germany
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Flap over Herzog’s Visit to W. Germany

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Premier Yitzhak Shamir has come under fire from his Likud Herut colleagues for supporting President Chaim Herzog’s scheduled state visit to West Germany next year.

The Herut Party Secretariat adopted a resolution at a stormy meeting in Tel Aviv over the weekend demanding that the party’s Cabinet ministers oppose the trip and prevail upon Herzog to cancel it. Shamir was not at the meeting.

The trip, announced last month after Herzog’s return from a two-week tour to Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, has been attacked in both leftwing and rightwing circles. They say it could be interpreted as a symbolic forgiveness of the Germans for their Nazi past.

Herzog has argued that his three-day stay in the Federal Republic will focus on the Holocaust. He plans to attend a memorial service at the site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. His trip will reciprocate the visit to Israel last year by West Germany’s President Richard von Weizsaecker.


Meanwhile, Herzog’s Southeast Asia visit is having repercussions in Malaysia, where he did not go, and Singapore, where he was greeted by anti-Israel demonstrations. Malaysia is an Islamic country which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Singapore has, but is strongly influenced by its Islamic neighbors, Malaysia to the north, Indonesia to the west and south and Brunei to the southeast.

Charges of “Zionist interference” in Malaysia’s internal affairs were raised in that country’s English-language weekly Watan last week. It reported on an “Anti-Jew Day” speech by Mustapha Ali, the Islamic Party youth leader. He charged that the U.S.-based Asia Foundation is a “front” for American Jews and demanded that its office in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, be closed. He was quoted as saying, “Our determination is to destroy the Jews and also to stop all campaigns that are carried out by non-Jews who wish to obstruct the expansion of Islam.”

The Straits Times, an English-language daily in Singapore, reported that Mustapha Ali also charged that Singapore policy was influenced by a Jew, Alex Josey, the biographer of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, whom he formerly served as press spokesman. Lee warmly welcomed Herzog to Singapore last month.

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