Israel President Leads Celebration of 50th Anniversary of Tel Aviv

Three thousand prominent Israelis, led by President Ben Zvi, Cabinet Ministers, Knesset deputies and members of the diplomatic corps, assembled in the Mann Auditorium here tonight to mark the 50th year of the founding of Tel Aviv, Israel’s first Jewish city.

Tel Aviv’s most notable resident, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, in a message expressing regrets that he could not be present because of a pressing engagement, recalled the early days of the city. In a letter to Mayor Haim Levanon, the Prime Minister said he was a member of the small group “which still remembers Tel Aviv as a wilderness of sand with abandoned vineyards here and there.”

The Prime Minister said Tel Aviv occupied one of the “foremost places among the marvels of the creative activities in the life of the community before statehood.” He hailed Meyer Dizengoff, the founder and first mayor, “who always advocated the cause of Jewish labor. Indeed, Tel Aviv is the only town to be built by Jewish labor.”

“As one of Tel Aviv’s taxpayers, I am confident that all Tel Aviv citizens rejoice no less than I do that after the expulsion of the Arab invaders and the liberation of new Jerusalem, we succeeded in moving the Knesset and the Government from Tel Aviv to the historic capital, Jerusalem,” he added. He lauded the Tel Aviv residents whose sons leave the city to join groups settling along the borders and in the arid zones.

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