Golda Meir, Tongue in Cheek, Hopes for ‘great Difficulties’–immigration of Russians

Premier Gold Meir said yesterday that she “sincerely” hoped Israel would soon face “great difficulties” in absorbing a big immigration” “that of Soviet Jews.” Many in Israel have expressed hope for Russia’s release of its Jewish community. She spoke at a meeting of hundreds of immigration and absorption workers which marked “Twenty Years of Immigration And Absorption Day.” She said the workers were, after the armed forces, “our greatest strength.”

Mrs. Meir also asserted that if, after 20 years, the leaders of 14 Arab nations with millions of dollars at their disposal could not solve the Arab refugee problem, it was because they did not want to solve it and preferred to use helpless human beings as political weapons.

Louis A. Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, told the meeting that the efforts of the workers over the past 20 years had changed the face of Israel. He said that 97 percent of all Jews in Arab countries now lived in Israel, as did most Jews from Communist countries, with the exception of Soviet Jewry.

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