JERUSALEM (Sep. 25)
Premier Shimon Peres called on world Jewry Thursday night to unite behind Israel to enable her to meet the challenges of peace, aliya and economic growth.
Addressing more than 5,000 people at the Western Wall, among them 1,500 American Jews participating in five United Jewish Appeal missions to Jerusalem, Peres vowed that Israel will never stop its efforts on behalf of Soviet Jews.
“The fate of Soviet Jews is on the top of our agenda,” Peres declared. He said he raised the issue during his meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze at the United Nations in New York Monday. “We won’t give up until Soviet Jews will come to Israel, and they will come,” Peres declared.
The Premier said that Israel would continue its efforts for peace. He appealed to the Arab countries to meet Israel at the negotiating table, without preconditions.
The gathering at the Western Wall was preceded by a 45-minute march through the streets of Jerusalem. The UJA leaders were joined by delegations from deprived neighborhoods all over Israel that are beneficiaries of Project Renewal.
The march and the gathering at the Western Wall marked the conclusion of the opening phase of the 1987 UJA/Federation Campaign. The largest of the UJA missions was the Presidents Mission, which had about 700 participants.
Martin Stein, national chairman of the UJA, and Marvin Lender, chairman of the President’s Mission, called the mission “a great success.” They said it proved again that “we are all one people with one destiny.” The UJA hopes to raise $750 million in 1987, compared to $690 million raised in 1986.