NEW YORK (Oct. 23)
Prime Minister Shimon Peres called on American Jewish youth to come to Israel on aliya and participate in the building of the Jewish State.
“The building of the Jewish State is not over, and the future of Israel depends on aliya,” Peres told more than 3,000 Jewish youth at a rally at Hunter College under sponsorship of Telem, the Movement for Zionist Fulfilment, and the Students Zionist Council of the U.S. Peres was received enthusiastically by the audience whose members interrupted him occasionally with applause, especially when he called for aliya.
“Let’s start aliya from here and now, when the choice is free,” Peres told the audience, adding that aliya to Israel should not be only a result of anti-Semitism and oppression of Jews, such as the case in the Soviet Union or Ethiopia.
INTERRUPTED BY HECKLERS
From the beginning of his address, Peres was interrupted by hecklers among the audience who shouted “Free the Jewish underground in Israel,” referring to the extremist rightwing members of the Jewish underground recently sentenced to prison terms after being convicted for acts of violence against the Arabs of the West Bank.
At one point, Peres retorted to the shouting by declaring, “In Israel justice will prevail, not pressure.” At another point, when a heckler brought up the name of Rabbi Meir Kahane, leader of the Kach movement, Peres retorted to the applause of the audience “Kahane is not a danger, he is a shame.”
Continuing, Peres stated, “The definition of Zionism is to buy a ticket on a plane or a ship and go to Israel.” He said Israel was in need of young people to continue to build a just, free and creative society.