Military Maneuvers End Third Maccabiah; Israel Wins First Prize, U.s., is Fourth
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Military Maneuvers End Third Maccabiah; Israel Wins First Prize, U.s., is Fourth

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Displays of Israel’s military defenses were featured last night at Ramat Gan Stadium at ceremonies marking the close of the Third World Maccabiah. A group of 60 trained parachutists was dropped from planes hovering over the huge crowd that turned out to witness the concluding exercises of the Jewish olympics.

Five of the well-trained paratroopers who landed in the arena marched to the reviewing stand where Premier David Ben Gurion and other guests were present. The Israelis presented the Premier with a message declaring that “we will carry the fighting to enemy territory in the event of war.”

The realistic military maneuvers carried out by the Israelis included serial dogfights and highly-trained combat troops performing under simulated battle conditions. Following a colorful parade of Maccabee contestants from all parts of the world, Premier Ben Gurion awarded the first prize cup to Israel, which had run up a score of 708.5 points. Britain won second prize, with 328 points, South Africa was third with 246 points, and the United States stood fourth, with 230 points. Canada placed fifth with 62.5 points.


In an address delivered following presentation of the cups, Premier Ben Gurion declared: “The nation’s pioneers have established Israel’s independence, repulsed and defeated her numerous enemies and flung open the gates of the country to the entire nation wherever it is to be found. But they have only begun–the road to complete redemption is still long and hard. They call to every young Jew who is inspired to pioneer the wastelands, to every Jewish capitalist able to participate in constructive enterprises, to every Jewish scientist who aspires toward research in fields of nature and of thought–to arise and come.”

He expressed the hope that when the athletes returned for the fourth Maccabiah, “you will be able to compete with Israel sports organizations not only in athletics and games but equally in use of the Hebrew language and knowledge of the Book in its original tongue. This Book contains the soul of Israel and the Hebrew language has been the medium of expression of Jewish thought for 4,000 years. Jewish sport is inconceivable without mastery of both.”

He told the athletes they were not regarded as guests, “but Diaspora emissaries to the homeland and the homeland’s emissaries to Diaspora.” He said they must carry with them, when they returned to their countries, “the message of rebirth to Jews of Diaspora.”

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