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Huge Army Demonstration Marks Israel’s Independence Day

The most ancient and the most modern means of transportation today vied with each other as attractions at the mammoth Israel Army show held here, just five miles from the demarcation line between Israel and Jordan, in connection with Israel’s Independence Day.

More than 100,000 Israelis, tourists and foreign diplomats witnessed Israel’s new Camel Corps and its latest jet aircraft go through their paces as the Jewish State celebrated its sixth birthday. Practically every one of the town’s 20, 000 population, plus thousands of recent immigrants from 40 countries who have been settled in villages and settlements throughout the area crowded the main street to watch the hour-and-a-half show.

Overhead jet planes, Mosquito fighter-bombers and smaller craft stunted through various battle maneuvers. On the ground, a smartly marching infantry column, followed by paratroopers, camel and horse cavalry led off the parade. In the line of march were various units: officer cadets, border police, women’s corps, youth units, medical personnel, signal units, military police and engineers and reservists from many kibbutzim–the backbone of the regional defense system. The mobile units included trucked infantry, tanks, half-tracks and artillery.

President Ben Zvi, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Moshe Dayan and Defense Minister Pinchas Lavon took the salute of the marching troops. On the stand, too, was Premier Moshe Sharett. David Ben Gurion, former Premier and Defense Minister, was not on the stand for the first time since the Jewish State was established. He was seated among the crippled and disabled veterans in their wheel chairs, a short distance from the reviewing stand. During a break in the marching, the Premier and Mr. Ben Zvi descended to seek out and embrace him.

SHARETT PAYS TRIBUTE TO U.S. FOR AID TO ISRAEL

Beside representatives of every nation having diplomatic relations with Israel, Gen. Vagn Bennike, United Nations truce supervisor and members of his staff, witnessed the parade. At a reception last night tendered by President Ben Zvi for the diplomatic corps, British Ambassador Sir Francis Evans, speaking for the entire corps, said: “In the name of all of my colleagues, I greet you and Israel, wishing you the best of health and friendly relations between Israel and our countries, and peace to all. “

In a radio broadcast to the nation last night. Premier Moshe Sharett paid tribute to the Jews of the world and to the United States for the assistance they have given in Israel’s six years of statehood. The strong bonds between the Jewish people everywhere and Israel is the central fact of the life of the Jewish people and intensification of those bonds is the principal aim of Israel’s foreign policy, he underlined.

The common destiny of the Jewish people of the entire world is a decisive fact of our times, he continued, “and anyone who ignores it cannot adequately understand the course of Jewish life. ” He invited every Jew in the world to come to Israel, pledging that Israel will never “turn its back on any Jew knocking at its doors.”

In an obvious comment on the course of recent State Department policy on the Middle East, he declared:

“The great powers compete with each other to acquire the friendship of the Arab peoples by injuring Israel. They strengthen the enmity to Israel on the one hand and damage the prospects of peace on the other. The realities that we have created and consolidated and that we regard as the immutable basis of our life as a state and our international status are attacked from time to time from unexpected quarters in the international arena. “

(In New York, hundreds of Israelis today celebrated Israel’s Independence Day at a party in the Israeli Consulate addressed by the Israel Minister for Religious Affairs and Social Welfare, Moshe Shapiro, and by Israel Consul General Avraham Harman.)

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