20,000 New Yorkers Celebrate Chanukah at Israel Bond Festival
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20,000 New Yorkers Celebrate Chanukah at Israel Bond Festival

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A dramatic salute to the men and women who are building modern Israel was the key-note tonight of a colorful city-wide Chanukah Festival that brought to $11,500,000 the total of Israel Bond investment funds raised in the Greater New York area during 1956.

More than 20,000 persons purchased $4,500,000 in Israel Bonds to attend the sixth annual Festival at Madison Square Garden. The demand for tickets to the celebration was so great that the Festival will be repeated twice, Monday, December 10 and next Monday, December 17, at Madison Square Garden in order to accommodate thousands of additional Israel Bond buyers who were unable to gain admission last night.

In greetings to the Festival, which commemorated the victory won by Judah Maccabee and the people of Israel over their enemies 2,100 years ago, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion of Israel declared in a cable from Jerusalem that the action of the Israel army in occupying Sinai had written “a glorious new chapter in history, with the few, acting with justice, defeating the many whose purpose is evil. The barbaric expulsion and arrests of Jews in Egypt bares to all the world the Hitlerite character of Nasser’s dictatorship.”

Mrs. Golda Meir Foreign Minister of Israel, who was guest of honor at the celebration, told the Festival audience that Israel’s action in occupying the Sinai Peninsula was not for territorial expansion. “We went into the Sinai Peninsula for only one reason,” she asserted, “to drive the danger of attack and destruction further away from the borders of Israel.”

The Government of Israel has now “obligated itself to comply with the direction of the United Nations to withdraw its forces from Egyptian soil,” she said; “But we have a right, I think a duty to ask, and it seems to me that the U. N. has a duty to answer, what is going to happen in the Sinai Peninsula after the Israel forces withdraw. Must it again become a base for the armed forces of Egypt with arms sent to them from the same quarters from which they received weapons during the last year and a half? Must it again become a base for attack in a desire for the destruction of the State of Israel? These are the questions my government has put to the United Nations.”

Dr. Israel Goldstein, chairman of the Chanukah Festival Committee, who presided, declared: “This demonstration of sympathy and support for Israel should be a source of great encouragement to the men and women of Israel to know in their time of crisis that the largest Jewish community in the world gives them its moral and material support in such enthusiastic measure.” The Chanukah Festival, which was dedicated as a seventieth birthday tribute to Prime Minister Ben Gurion, opened with the traditional and moving kindling of the Chanukah candles.

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