LONDON (Nov. 23)
Jan Christian Smuts, former Premier of South Africa, hailed the emergence of Israel as “one of the most amazing developments in all human history.” He spoke at a dinner honoring Dr. Chaim Weizmann, President of Israel, on the occasion of his 75th birthday. More than 400 prominent persons, including Lord Chancellor Viscount Jewitt and Anthony Eden, attended the dinner which was presided over by Sir Herbert Samuel, the first British High Commissioner for Palestine.
“Hitler and everything he stood for has gone under and the state of Israel has become an answer to Hitler,” Gen. Smuts said. “It is an incredible reversal and almost an incredible ending for one of the most terrible crime stories in the whole of history.”
Gen. Smuts cited the importance of the Balfour Declaration and the history of the Palestine Mandate as stages in the process of Jewish national revival. He compared Dr. Weizmann with Moses and David and urged Israel never to forget that “it was Britain that first took Dr. Weizmann by the hand and that grip should never relax.”
He also pleaded that the “smaller differences” which developed between Israel and Britain prior to establishment of the Jewish state be forgotten. “The historic comradeship between Israel and Britain should continue unbroken for the fruitful service of mankind,” he added.
(From Tel Aviv it was reported that Premier David Ben Gurion, accompanied by members of the Cabinet and the Knesset, together with other high government officials, will pay a call at the President’s home at Rehovol Sunday to congratulage him and express best wishes. Regular classes in the schools will he interrupted so that pupils may hear their teachers lecture on the highlights of Dr. Weizmann’s caress.)