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Communist Demonstrations in Nazareth Irk Arab Leaders in Israel

May 22, 1958
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A steady stream of appeals is being received by Premier David Ben Gurion’s office from Christian and Moslem Arab leaders in Israel asking energetic action to end Communist-inspired demonstrations and disturbances in all-Arab Nazareth and other Arab communities, the Premier’s office reported today.

The Arab leaders, in letters, cables and personal calls, have indicated concern that the Israel public will attribute the Communist-organized troubles to the entire Israel Arab population. Experts on Arab affairs here said that at the present time, not even pro-Nasser Arabs in Israel were giving active support to Israel Communists who, they said, draw their support mainly from the least respected elements in the Israel Arab population.

However, the experts added, the nationalist elements among the Israel Arabs were watching closely how firmly the Israel Government will act to curb such Communist-led demonstrations. Lack of a firm reaction might encourage the nationalists and even induce them to join hands with the Israel Communists, the experts said.

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee discussed today a report of the security division on the Communist-led Arab riots in Nazareth, May Day. The committee forwarded to the Cabinet a set of recommendations on this matter, but the nature of these suggestions was unknown.

It was not disclosed whether the committee discussed the role of two members of the Knesset in the disturbances, though some deputies were reported in favor of temporarily lifting their Parliamentary immunity to permit prosecution for allegedly inciting Arab demonstrations.

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