JERUSALEM (Aug. 9)
British Ambassador Patrick Francis Hancock today visited Dr. Haim Yahil, director-general of the Foreign Ministry here, and asked that the Israel Government reconsider the British Government’s request that El Al Israel National Airlines be ordered to fly Dr. Robert A. Soblen from England to the United States.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman, announcing the half-hour talk between Mr. Hancock and Dr. Yabil, said the British Ambassador’s request would be conveyed to Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister. However, the spokesman added, there was no change in Israel’s position on the issue, as far as he knows.
There was open resentment here against the British pressures on the Soblen case. It was pointed out that Dr. Soblen had been expelled from Israel under an administrative order, and that that fact concluded Israel’s part in the matter. Emphasis was laid here on the view that Israel could not become “a party to Britain’s extradition procedures.” It was felt that Britain could resolve the deadlock by abandoning the fiction that Dr. Soblen “is not in Britain because he was never given an entry permit.”
Officials here were worried by the sharp reaction on the case in the American press, as well as by reports from the Israel Embassy in Washington, and Israeli Consulates, that some Jewish leaders are urging reconsideration of Israel’s position. Officials here feel those reactions stem chiefly from lack of appreciation of the facts and of Israel’s legal position. The Israel Embassy in Washington has been instructed to make a special effort to have the full information disseminated on this issue.
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, who arrived in Israel tonight, said at Lydda Airport that the Soblen affair was purely an internal Israeli affair which concerned only the Israel Government. “Jewish organizations and individuals in the United States or elsewhere,” he said, “have no right to intervene.”