NEW YORK (Nov. 6)
A record amount of $15.1-million in advance Israel Bond commitments for 1978 was obtained at a national dinner here in honor of Golda Meir under the auspices of the Israel Prime Minister’s Club, which she founded when she occupied that office.
The dinner on Thursday evening was followed by a special pre-opening performance of “Golda,” the play about Mrs. Meir’s life, with the Israeli leader and approximately 1,000 Israel Bond subscribers in attendance. Purchases of Israel Bonds at the dinner ranged from $500,000 to $25,000. Anne Bancroft has the title role in the play which it to have its official Broadway opening on November 14. Mrs. Meir, who is here on a private visit, was heavily guarded by police and security men, particularly at the theater.
Addressing the dinner, the former Premier stated firmly that the world should “let us decide our fate.” Mrs. Meir declared that “we have one purpose and that is the continuity of the Jewish people and we have never wavered in our belief that we would be free in our own homeland.” In an obvious reference to recent discussions with the United States, she said that “we know better what is good for us” and no one could make Israel’s freedom “dependent on the wishes of Arafat.” She added, “Even if the PLO recognizes us, we still won’t be safe.”
Asserting that Israel is not prepared to accept international guarantees of her security, Mrs. Meir asked: “Who can guarantee the guarantors?” She noted that Israel was one of the first countries to warn the world against the spread of terrorism and hijacking. She was happy, she said, that Israel’s spectacular rescue mission at Entebbe had paved the way for the recent West German action which freed the passengers of a plane hijacked to Somalia.
Although “there is something basic in our friendship with the United States,” Mrs. Meir questioned the right of any power to “endanger” Israel’s future. She told the audience of U.S. and Canadian Jewish leaders: “We are fighting as one, together. And we will win the battle, too.” Sam Rothberg, general chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, presided at the dinner.