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South African Premier Attacks Israel for Recall of Envoy; Israel Mum


The Foreign Ministry here refused today to comment on an address made in Johannesburg yesterday by South Africa’s Prime Minister Hendrik F. Voerwoerd, in which he denounced Israel for recalling Simcha Pratt, its Minister to Pretoria.

The latter was taken from his post last week, officially after he had completed his tour of duty, and sent to New York, where he is now a member of Israel’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. It was indicated that his post would not be filled, thus leaving the Israeli mission to South Africa in the hands of a charge d’affaires.

Addressing a political rally, the South African Prime Minister said: “The present Government of Israel need not seek help from South Africa, when their day of need arises. ” Linking Israel’s move to the United Nations votes–which Israel had favored–sharply criticizing South Africa for its apartheid policy, the Premier added: “I can do nothing but deprecate this action.” If Israel thinks that its action will win support for Israel from African and Asian nations, in a possible conflict with Egypt, he declared, “then Israel is building on sand.”


Dr. Verwoerd told his followers that they must not act against South Africa’s 116, 000 Jews because of Israel’s position. “It would be unfair, ” he stated, “to take revenge on them for what others have done to South Africa, for the Jews of South Africa suffer most for this. Jews of South Africa are citizens of this country. They have shown how they regret and deprecate this act by Israel.”

Reiterating that no anti- Jewish feeling need arise in South Africa, the Premier said “we are all human. ” He noted that “some” people were inclined to attack the Jewish community in South Africa when occasionally a Jew is seen among “Afro-Asian agitators.”

While Israel’s Foreign Ministry would make no comment on Dr. Verwoerd’s denunciation of Israel, it was assumed here that a reply would be voiced by Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, when she addresses the UN General Assembly next Wednesday.

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