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Israel’s Anti-south Africa Stand at UN Troubles That Nation’s Jews, Draws Criticism

June 5, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel’s stand in the United Nations against South African policies is the cause of considerable uneasiness among South African Jews who fear a deterioration in relations between their country and Israel. These fears were increased last week when the South African Foreign Minister, Hilgard Muller, publicly criticized Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Yosef Tekoah.

Mr. Tekoah had declared, in the course of a General Assembly debate on the future status of Southwest Africa, that the Republic of South Africa forfeited its mandate over that territory because it violated the aims of the trust placed in it as the mandatory power. Dr. Muller accused Tekoah of trying to win the favor “of others” by “hostile utterances” on South African affairs, a procedure he said that was not likely to win South African friendship.

South African Jewish leaders also reacted adversely to the Tekoah statement, Maurice Porter, chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, said at its monthly meeting here that South African Jews read Mr. Tekoah’s speech “with surprise and regret.” He noted that the South African Jewish community was anxious for improved relations between the Republic and Israel and welcomed trends in that direction in recent months. He said he understood the special problems Israel faced in the UN but deplored any statements which might impede the restoration of harmonious relations between the two countries.

Muller’s remarks were made in reply to an appeal in Parliament by Etienne Malan for South African diplomatic representation in Israel. Dr. Muller said the matter of such representation was “being considered.” He observed that Israel had a legation in South Africa but that for some years it had not appointed a minister and the legation was directed by a charge d’affaires.

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