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Mrs. Meir, Panther Leader in Verbal Clash at Convention of Moroccan Jews

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Premier Golda Meir and Black Panther leader Edi Malka engaged in an impromptu exchange at the opening session of the convention of Moroccan Jews today. The convention, held at the Tel Aviv University hall, was attended by 200 delegates representing Jews of Moroccan origin in Israel and other countries. Mrs. Meir was interrupted by Malka as she addressed the convention on her government’s efforts to bridge the social and economic gaps in Israel.

Malka asked Mrs. Meir why she came to the convention and cried out, “I am a Moroccan.” Mrs. Meir retorted, “I am Jewish,” to which Malka shouted, “I am a Jew and a Moroccan and a Black Panther.” Mrs. Meir observed, “that’s that” and terminated the exchange. She prevailed upon the convention organizers not to throw Malka out of the hall.

Mrs. Meir told her audience that the government was fully aware of the needs of its low income citizens and was doing whatever it could to provide them with decent housing and communal facilities. “But we are at war and this fact cannot be changed by those who preach that it is Israel which holds the keys to peace,” she said. She praised the contributions of North African Jews to the up-building of Israel, even before the State was established.

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