BRUSSELS (Feb. 18)
Former Israeli Premier Golda Meir described the Soviet government’s Jewish policy as irrational, illogical and defying understanding. Mrs. Meir, who is honorary president of the second World Conference on Soviet Jewry, told a press conference here today that she fails to understand what prompted the Soviet Union to turn the Jewish question into a major international issue.
She said she was certain that appeals to public opinion can and will help. “When I hear people saying that this (the conference) provokes cold war, I cannot help wondering what warm peace is like,” Mrs. Meir said. The former Israeli Premier stressed, however, time and again that Jewish action “is not directed against the Soviet Union or anyone else. It is directed towards and for the benefit of Jews.” She said, “What we want is to have the Russian Jews given the possibility to leave and to return to their country.”
Asked about those Soviet Jews who leave the Soviet Union, but prefer to go elsewhere, she said, “This certainly does not make me happy. They are free to go where they want, but I think it is good for them and good for us if they come to Israel.” She added. “In any case, no one can expect us to give up three million Jews, the Jews of Russia.”
Asked to sum up her thoughts on the Brussels conference. Mrs. Meir said, “I believe that as long as Jews don’t give up the struggle, the world will not give up the struggle on their behalf. People say the Jews are an obstinate and confident people and maybe they are partially right. As long as we Jews stand up and stand together, there is hope.”
Asked about the expulsion of Rabbi Meir Kahane, head of the Jewish Defense League, from the conference, Mrs. Meir said the Brussels event was not an “open door” conference but one set up by organizations with a set form and plan.