Mrs, Meir: ‘we Shall Not Volunteer to Die So the Rest of the World May Live’

Former Premier Golda Meir, speaking at a dinner in her honor here Friday, told British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and the world that “we shall not volunteer to die so that the rest of the world may live.” Joe Gormley, chairman of the Labor Friends of Israel, which sponsored the dinner, presided. Many Cabinet members and other British leaders, as well as 100 Members of Parliament, attended the event.

Mrs. Meir, who was given a standing ovation at the start and close of her address, said that during the Yom Kippur War, President Richard Nixon, “not known as a member of the Socialist International, sent us arms, while countries ruled by our socialist friends” did not cooperate. Declaring that “Masada will not happen again,” Mrs Meir said, “We abhor war but we also know how to defend ourselves. We shall not volunteer to be sacrificed so that the rest of the world may live in peace.”

The Jews are not going to be a minority in their country, she stated. “Two million more Jews in Israel, and the whole situation will be transformed,” Mrs. Meir said. “We shall have peace in the not too distant future. I do not know whether I shall live to see it, but most of you will.”

Referring to the anti-Israel and pro-Palestine Liberation Organization resolutions approved by the UN General Assembly, Mrs. Meir said. “We are deeply disappointed with our friends–from our enemies we expect nothing–who abstained when the vote was about the destruction’ of Israel, for this is what the Assembly resolution was about.”

SAID ‘NO’ TO HIJACKERS

Prime Minister Wilson disclosed that in the recent hijacking of a British Airways plane, “the gunmen put a condition to us, which reached me at the Cabinet emergency room,” that “we must express grovelling regret over our contribution to the establishment of Israel and we must publicly repudiate the Balfour Declaration.” Adding that 20 British lives were at stake. Wilson declared “I did not summon the Cabinet. I said ‘no’ at once.”

He also said that some British Jews expected him to join in public protests against the treatment of Soviet Jews. He said such Jews should realize that sometimes more could be achieved by quiet diplomacy, adding that “our part in the rescue” of the Soviet dancers, Valery and Galina Panov, “has not been insignificant.” Wilson, who addressed the gathering as “fellow friends of Israel,” also said that “Resolution 242″ of the Security Council “remains the cornerstone, as far as we are concerned. There is only one addition. Resolution 338. which provides for direct negotiations between the parties.”

The Prime Minister added that “the Palestinian problem must be settled as part of any lasting agreement” and that while the Arab summit at. Rabat “made the situation more difficult, we must not be put off by resolutions, from wherever they come,” a reference to the pro-PLO resolutions approved by the General Assembly. Declaring that “we have to leave it for the moment to the superpowers,” he said. “we are at all times ready to contribute our share to the peacemaking process and I believe we can make a significant contribution.”

Gormley told the dinner guests that peace in the Middle East could come only by negotiation “but Israel must be sure of her safety and her borders before we have peace. We are not merely lukewarm friends of Israel. We shall fight her political battles with her until justice and peace come to Israel and the Middle East as a whole.” Gideon Rafael, the Israeli Ambassador, said “Israel stands once more in solitary watch and facing an onslaught.” He added that “the ramparts, which we are manning are the front lines of freedom” and that “the suppression of freedom, yours and ours, is the real objective of the so-called freedom fighters.”

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