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Delegates of Nigeria, Burma, India and Japan Laud Israel at Rome Parley

October 31, 1961
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High praise for Israel was voiced here by delegates from Nigeria, Burma, India and Japan at the Congress of the Socialist International which concluded its sessions here. Moshe Sharett, Israel’s former Prime Minister and ex-Foreign Minister, led the Mapai delegation to the Congress attended by delegates from 40 countries, representing more than 11,000,000 members.

Mr. Sharett, along with Belgium’s Deputy Premier Speak, Guy Mollet, former Prime Minister of France; and Hugh Gaitskell, leader of the British Labor Party, was received at an official audience by the President of Italy. Later, Mr. Sharett addressed a Socialist mass demonstration here, speaking in French, and drawing great applause.

Especially warm was the tribute to Israel paid by the delegate from Nigeria; “Israel,” he said, “is a true bridge of understanding between Africa and Europe, as well as between Asia and Europe. In the achievements of Israel, we are astonished at what can be achieved in a short time by proper planning. Israel not only gives us practical help; she shows how to do things in a constructive way.” His remarks on Israel were applauded by all the delegates.

A member of the British delegation, commenting on the Nigerian speech, said: “This is the first time that an African delegate has spoken so clearly from an international platform about Israel’s role in the developing countries. This was a most interesting and courageous speech.”

While the Congress was in session, the Conference of Social Democratic Women also held its international meeting here. Israel was represented at this conference by Miss Esther Hurlitz, international secretary of Mapai; Mrs. Yehudit Simhonit, head of Histadrut’s international department; and Mrs. Minna Ben-Zvi, a member of the municipal council of Haifa. Seventy delegates to the Socialist International Congress were guests of Israel Ambassador Maurice Fisher, at a dinner tendered to the delegates.

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