This from Richard Silverstein, referring to original 2009 Haaretz article:
“Golda Meir became foreign minister in 1958. (…) Though in 1948 Israel was desperate to populate its territory with any Jews it could entice to make aliyah, by 1958 it could afford to be more particular in that regard. (…) She wanted a better quality of immigrant. So she wrote by diplomatic cable to Israel’s ambassador to Poland:
“A proposal was raised in the coordination committee to inform the Polish government that we want to institute selection in aliyah, because we cannot continue accepting sick and handicapped people. Please give your opinion as to whether this can be explained to the Poles without hurting immigration.
In other words, Israel no longer wished to accept all Holocaust survivors. It was happy to accept the professional class and those who could contribute to commerce, education and similar professions. But it no longer wished to take those who would be a burden on society (in their view).
Considering the immense suffering the survivors experienced and the level of mental and physical torture they’d undergone, you’d think Meir wouldn’t have the temerity to consign them to oblivion in a Polish backwater. But she did. Her considerations were the same that drove Ben Gurion to declare that he’d prefer to save half of European Jewry if they made aliyah, than to save all knowing they’d resettle in the Diaspora. Zionism to them was a cold, hard, brutal calculation. Another striking aspect of her memo is the use of the word “selection.”
As I don’t have the original Hebrew, I don’t know what word was used in it. But anyone with any experience of the Holocaust would know the dreaded word selektzia used by the Germans to choose who among the Jewish victims would live or die. (…) She would have known the meaning and implication of it. Unconscionable perhaps, but unsurprising, no.