NEW YORK (Sep. 21)
Premier Golda Meir completed a hectic round of conferences with President Nixon and key Administration officials and meetings with American Jewish leaders with a report last night to a nation-wide audience in which she declared that she was “convinced” that Israel would get the assistance it has asked for from the United States.
(Mrs. Meir arrived at Lydda airport today and said she would report later to the Cabinet on her visit to the United States. She added that though there was no “absolute identity” between the views of the United States and Israeli governments, “the gap is not too wide and one can easily live with it.” She also said that the friendship between Israel and the United States would continue despite differences in political positions and she thanked the United States authorities for the “friendly welcome” she received and for the “good spirit” in which the talks were held. She also praised American Jewry, adding that if anyone in Israel was afraid of being alone, she could give assurance that “many scores of Jews are backing us.”)
Mrs. Meir spoke last night before an audience of 3,000 at a dinner here sponsored by the United Jewish Appeal and the Israel Bond Organization. Her address was telecast by closed circuit television to Jewish audiences totalling an estimated 40.000 viewers in 19 cities. She said “I would like to say I am convinced–maybe I should say I am convinced–that we will get it,” in reference to her talks about needed help with President Nixon and Secretary of State William P. Rogers in Washington Friday. She met with the two leaders to ask for stepped-up United States deliveries of military equipment and financial aid for Israel which is rapidly depleting its foreign currency reserves to pay for military hardware. Mrs. Meir told intimates here privately, according to the New York Times, that she expected United States financial help to Israel to begin in the immediate future. The Times reported that Nixon Administration officials said recently that Israel would receive about $450 million in loans next year, more than half of it to re-finance old and recent arms purchase agreements.
Mrs. Meir also appealed in her address here last night, for more money from American Jews. She said the contributions and Israel Bond purchases of American Jews were needed not only “for itself but also to demonstrate American Jewish solidarity with Israel. She repeated Israel’s charge of cease-fire violations by Egypt and said the latter country would not have dared to violate the truce if it did not have the Soviet Union’s backing. “The fact that they (the Russians) dared break a promise they made to the American Government, that’s a terribly frightening thing not only for Israel but for the world,” she said. She claimed that the Kremlin was ready to sacrifice not only Israel but the Egyptian people “for their selfish imperialist aims.” Mrs. Meir said Israel was not fighting for victory or territorial gains but for peace within secure borders, “What your President has called ‘defensible borders,” she said. She repeated that Israel could not return to the Jarring peace talks unless there is a complete roll-back of the missiles Egypt installed in the standstill cease-fire zone.
(In an interview published in Paris today, Israel’s Deputy Premier Yigal Allon said Israel would sooner risk a dispute with the United States than agree to borders that it did not consider secure. The interview appeared in the weekly Nouvel Observateur. The paper quoted Mr. Allon as saying, “If Israel had to choose, we would choose security borders because a misunderstanding with Washington would be temporary whereas borders would be permanent.” Mr. Allon said further that Israel had the material resources to resist pressure from the U.S. “If and when they should take the form of political and economic sanctions, we have sufficient weapons and equipment to successfully conduct war with the Arab states for years,” he said.)
Earlier yesterday Mrs. Meir addressed a private meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. She reportedly told them that she was “flying home feeling better” as a result of her talks with President Nixon and Secretary Rogers. After addressing the Bond-UJA dinner, Mrs. Meir conferred at her hotel with Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban who had just arrived to attend the United Nations General Assembly sessions. She boarded a special El Al airliner at Kennedy Airport just before I a.m. for her return trip to Israel. Speakers who preceded Mrs. Meir at the Bond-UJA dinner included Edward Ginsberg, general chairman of the UJA, Samuel Rothberg, national campaign chairman of State of Israel Bonds, Abraham Feinberg, president of the Israel Bond Organization, Max Fisher president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, and Dr. William A. Wexler, chairman of the Presidents’ Conference.
The Israel Consulate said today that Mr. Eban was now scheduled to address the General Assembly on Wednesday. A spokesman for the U.S. Mission said Secretary of State Rogers had cancelled plans to address the Assembly, citing the Jordanian crisis and his pending accompaniment of President Nixon on the latter’s eight-day Mediterranean tour which starts next Sunday. The spokesman said that Charles Yost, United States ambassador to the UN, will speak in Mr. Rogers’ place, probably next Monday or Tuesday.