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Tension Continues to Mount on Eve of Mrs. Meir’s Visit to Paris

January 12, 1973
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

French circles have reconfirmed today that none of the foreign premiers due to attend the Socialist International Conference will have any contacts whatsoever with the French government. These circles referred to President Georges Pompidou’s press conference Tuesday to stress that the premiers of Austria, Denmark, Israel and Sweden are coming to Paris as members of their political parties and not as heads of government.

It is understood that, contrary to past practice, they will not be greeted by a senior member of the Foreign Ministry upon their arrival here. Pompidou, at his press conference, termed the premiers’ presence in Paris during this pre-electoral period as “highly inopportune and interference in French internal affairs.” His ire was reportedly provoked by the presence of the Israeli Premier Golda Meir who, Gaullist party officials fear, might help bring Jewish voters to the opposition Socialist-Communist coalition.

Mrs. Meir is expected to arrive here tomorrow afternoon aboard a regular El Al plane. Her exact arrival time is being kept a closely guarded secret, as French police and Israeli security officials, fear a possible terrorist attempt. The Israeli Premier is due to attend a small oneg shabat party tomorrow given by the Israel Embassy staff. On Saturday morning she is due to meet with former French political personalities from the “golden days” of Franco-Israeli friendship.

After attending the Socialist International Conference Saturday afternoon, where she will be greeted by Senate President Alain Poher – himself an opposition leader – she is due to attend a party for local community leaders. She is expected to return to Israel Sunday afternoon.


All details on Mrs. Meir’s stay are kept a closely guarded secret. Besides the risk of an Arab terrorist attack, police also fear pro-Arab and extreme left-wing demonstrations during her stay. Both Arabs and Zionists plan, for instance, to demonstrate Saturday afternoon in front of the French Senate Building, where the conference meets. Tension has been further increased by the death of Palestine Liberation Organization representative in France, Mahmoud el-Hamshari. The Union of Arab Students organized today a “solemn guard” round his body which lies in the morgue of the Cochin Hospital. The Union and 12 extremist leftwing organizations also plan a public meeting for tonight to protest his “killing.”

The Arab ambassadors in Paris were received this morning by the French Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Andre Bettencourt. They called for better protection for Arabs living in France and for the release by the police of the results of their investigation into Hamshari’s death. The death of Hamshari has practically cancelled out comment on the attack against the Jewish Agency building here. Practically none of the local papers continue to report or comment on the attack and police have imposed a complete blackout on the results of their investigation so far. The Jewish Agency building was wrecked Tuesday by a powerful bomb.

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