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Israel is No Longer Isolated at the United Nations, Golda Meir Says

October 16, 1961
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

“Israel is no longer isolated and lonely,” Mrs. Golda Meir, Foreign Minister of Israel, told a gathering of 1,500 persons at the Conference of Farband-Labor Zionist Order today. “True, our’s is the only nation that is not part of a ‘family’ based on race, language or religion, nor are we a part of any mutual defense alliances. But we have numerous friends among the member-nations of the United Nations and we are no more alone than are any of the others,” she emphasized.

“We cannot go into the UN with the feeling that we have any substantial number of votes in our pocket,” she declared, “but which nation, even among the giants, is in that position today? We have our troubles, to be sure. In this we are not exceptional. But we cherish our friendly relations and mutual respect with scores of nations.”

She ascribed this largely to Israel’s attitude that there is no such thing as “higher nations and races, and lower ones.” There is no backward people, she said, nor one that cannot, given the opportunity, provide for itself and stand on its own feet. In the cooperation that Israel extends to the newly emerging nations in Africa and Asia, she pointed out, Israel is not in a position to render substantial material aid, but sends to them qualified people to help them in the shortest period of time to take care of their own needs.

Turning to the question of peace with the Arab world, Mrs. Meir declared that “unfortunately this does not depend on how ardently Israel desires such peace. Only about a month ago Nasser’s radio in Cairo asserted that it would not matter even if Israel were to agree to take back 300,000 Arab refugees. As long as Israel exists, it said, even if confined only to Tel Aviv, the Arabs will not make peace with it. We hope and wish for peace with the Arabs, nonetheless,” she stated, “but we cannot be unmindful of the Arab threats.”

Israel’s most urgent need right now is “the third million” in its Jewish population, Mrs. Meir declared. “Only when we will be strong, only when the Arabs will realize that they cannot annihilate us, will they be ready to make peace with us. So long as they believe that they can push us into the sea, there will be no peace. We cannot compare with them in number. But a third million of Jews settled in the Negev, working in Israel’s expanded industry, enjoying the highest level of education and scientific skills, will be the best guarantee that peace will come.”

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