Mrs. Meir Says Assimilation May Cause Large Segment of Jews in the West to Disappear
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Mrs. Meir Says Assimilation May Cause Large Segment of Jews in the West to Disappear

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Premier Golda Meir expressed fear last night that there were prospects for the disappearance through assimilation of large segments of Jewry in the western world. Speaking to delegates attending the Third World Convention of Polish Jewry Federations, she blamed parental indifference to the quality of Jewish life in the home and the lack of Jewish education given to their children.

Mrs. Meir quoted statistics that 40 percent of American Jewish college students married out of their faith and declared: “Is it for this kind of a development that so many people laid down their lives? I ask you, what will happen in a generation or two? What will be the outcome of their children? For whom have we built our state? Surely not just for the 700.000 Jews in Israel when it was founded through the 1948 war.”

She said Jews had “no right to remain indifferent and accept the situation as it is. The Jewish nation never accepted it and I, as an Israeli would never consent to such a situation.” Mrs. Meir said it was a mystery to her that two-thirds of the current aliya to Israel consisted of Russian Jews “who have to struggle so hard to get an exit visa while Jews from the free world can simply go and buy a ticket for the plane and come over.”

Speaking in Yiddish, Mrs. Meir said that in her earlier years, “we were aplkorsim–dissenters –from Jewish Orthodoxy but we knew what we were dissenting from. This was much better than today’s ignorance when young people do not know why and what they are against.”

Leon Dultzin. acting chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, told the opening session that the memory of the Jews annihilated in the Holocaust could perpetuated by bringing in to Israel mill lions of Jews for settlement.

Stefan Grayek. chalrman of the federation’s Israel branch, expressed concern over the heritage of Polish Jewry and the need to preserve it for coming generations. He said the survivors also protested the ban by Polish authorities on visits by Polish Jews to Israel and against attempts by contemporary Polish historians to erase the memory of Jewish victims and resistance fighters in the war against the Nazis.

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