TEL AVIV (Feb. 1)
Mayor Harold Rudolph of Johannesburg arrived in Israel last Thursday on what the Tourism Ministry hoped would be a secret visit. But his visit became a public affair when the municipal council of Rishon LeZion issued a press release about his visit to that city in which a number of new immigrants from South Africa have settled. Rudolph, who is Jewish, is active in Jewish Federation activities in his city.
According to Maariv, which first published the story of Rudolph’s visit, the Tourism Ministry tried to persuade newspapers not to publish news of the South African’s visit in view of the tense situation surrounding relations between Israel and South Africa over apartheid and in view of the U.S. threats to restrict aid to countries not joining in the policy of sanctions adopted by the U.S. and Western European countries. Israel is the recipient of $1.8 billion a year in U.S. military aid and cannot afford either to alienate Congress or embarrass the Administration.