NEW YORK (Dec. 22)
Former Israeli Premier Golda Meir declared last night that while friends of Israel, in a show of “even-handedness,” urge both Israel and the Arabs to take risks for a Middle East peace in reality it is only Israel that would be risking her security and sovereignty by pullbacks in the Sinai and the Golan Heights.
Mrs. Meir said those who ask for movement should be asked “movement for what? If it is for peace, then the answer is yes. If it is that we go back to where we attacked without any attempt for peace, then the answer is no.”
She made these remarks to an overflow audience of more than 1700 Jewish leaders from the United States, Canada and Mexico who attended a dinner last night at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel honoring Sam Rothberg; General Chairman of the Israel Bond Organization. Mrs. Meir, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, who presided at the dinner, and Louis H. Boyar, honorary chairman of the National Campaign Cabinet of Israel Bonds, presented Rothberg with the First Founder’s Award of the Israel Bond Organization.
The citation praised Rothberg for “three decades of incomparable leadership, devotion and labor in behalf of the Jewish people” and for “his contribution to the era of Jewish rebirth and reconstruction as a principal founder of the Israel Bond program and as a leader in every other major phase of Israel’s social, economic and cultural development.” The dinner also marked the 25th anniversary of Israel Bonds. Mrs. Meir, Rothberg and the late David Ben Gurion participated in a conference in Jerusalem in September, 1950 at which the decision to float the first Israel Bond issue was taken. Rothberg was the first national chairman.
JEWS ARE NOT ISOLATED
Rothberg said last night that he became involved in Jewish affairs after seeing children in Displaced Persons camps in Europe in the winter of 1946. He said he then promised that “this will not happen to my children.”
Noting that the Arabs have now declared war on the entire Jewish people, not just Israel, Rothberg called for strengthening Israel’s economy through contributions to the United Jewish Appeal and the purchase of Israel Bonds. “Israel can only depend on Jews and it is up to us to make Israel’s economy strong.” he said.
A similar message was presented by Frank R. Lautenberg, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, who said that “U.S. foreign assistance will not replace Jewish giving.” He called for “more than generosity,” saying “obligation and sacrifice” were needed. Among others who participated in the program were Michael Arnon, president and chief executive officer of the Israel Bond Organization, and Julian B. Venezky, national chairman for regions.
Both Mrs. Meir and Rothberg noted that they had also participated in Israel Bond dinners in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami and the crowds in those three cities along with last night’s overflow audience, proved that Jews are not isolated.
Mrs. Meir met with President Ford at the White House on Friday for 40 minutes. The meeting was her second during the Ford presidency. The White House said they discussed the Middle East generally and bilateral relations specifically. Participants included Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, the President’s Assistant for Security Affairs, and Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz.