TEL AVIV (Nov. 3)
President Itzhak Ben Zvi, Cabinet members, diplomatic envoys from foreign missions and a large number of distinguished Israelis and non-Israelis attended tonight a memorial for Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first President who died five years ago.
Chairman of the function at the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovoth was Eliahu Elath, Israel Ambassador to Britain, who spoke of the late world Zionist leader as having achieved a unique place in Jewish history as the “Prince of exile” and first President of the reborn State of Israel. He characterized the late Dr, Weizmann as a statesman, realist, man of science and, above all, one who believed in the moral forces at the foundation of every great human act.
Ambassador Elath described Dr. Weizmann’s activities in World War I days which resulted in the publication of the Balfour Declaration (whose 40th anniversary was marked yesterday.) The Israel diplomat, a veteran of years of service in Britain, asserted that despite differences between the Israel and British Government’s on various occasions, relations between the two states “repose on the friendly British public attitude toward Israel.”
The impact of Dr. Weizmann’s personality and aspirations on the younger generation of Israelis who had no personal contact with the late President during his years of fighting for a Jewish State was underlined in an address by Moshe Shamir, a leading figure among the young Israel writers. Mr. Shamir called Dr. Weizmann’s meeting with the Emir Feisal immediately after World War I “one of the most decisive and boldest acts on the part of any Jewish leader to achieve Jewish-Arab understanding.”
Sephardic Chief Rabbi Itzhak Nissim, who was invited to participate in the memorial, refused on the grounds that it had not been arranged in a Jewish tradition and expressed the hope that future memorials for Dr. Weizmann would be planned in a more Jewish spirit.