NEW YORK (Nov. 13)
Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, called last night on the United Nations to act in accordance with its Charter by ensuring that there is no war, no threat of war and that all disputes be handled through peaceful means and by direct negotiation.
She spoke on Israel’s Foreign Policy at Yeshiva University here to a youthful overflow audience exceeding 1,300 members of the faculty, student body and alumni.
Mrs. Meir, who was given an enthusiastic reception, said the UN must have the moral courage to call for peace not only in speeches but in resolutions and by advocating peaceful negotiations.
She added that Israel had the same rights and obligations as every other nation, yet Israel remained the only country in the world openly threatened with destruction by her neighbors even in statements in the United Nations. These threats are the declared aim and objective of the Arab Governments, she said.
At the same time, the Israel Foreign Minister emphasized, Israel’s policy was essentially a desire for peace with all countries and primarily with its neighbors. She pointed out that it was no longer possible for anyone to win a war, stressing that Israel’s security was based on its capacity to deter a war rather than win one. Israel, she added, must be so strong that her neighbors will not want to attack her.
Mrs. Meir drew attention to Arab policies aimed at surrounding Israel by boycott and blockade and a wall of hatred and belligerency which Israel “must jump over” to find friends. Because Israel believes in coexistence, Mrs. Meir continued, it had never asked any state or any statesman to take a stand against the Arabs.
She said the Jewish people throughout the world share the joys and sorrows of Israel, and within Israel itself, the people’s unity of purpose is its chief asset; any developments which tend to introduce internal discords are bound to have their repercussions both at home and abroad, she concluded.
In an interview today on a network television program, Mrs. Meir said peace will come eventually to the Middle East because the Arab peoples want peace and will demand it. “Our Arab neighbors,” she said, “are not only the Arab rulers but the people suffering from malnutrition, disease and other ills which, the people know, will eventually be subject to more effective cooperative effort resulting from peace in the area.”
Asked whether Israel felt it could continue living in an area surrounded by hostile states, she replied: “We are ready to defend ourselves if necessary. Our neighbors know that now we are strong enough.”