TEL AVIV (May. 11)
Israel started today to celebrate the eleventh anniversary of the founding of the State. Officially, Independence Day, the holiday celebrating the achievement of independence in 1948, does not come until Wednesday. But today there were preliminary mass meetings and rallies in many cities and settlements. Political and governmental leaders, from members of the Cabinet to municipal officials, addressed many of the rallies.
The planned four-power conference at Geneva was greeted tonight by Israel’s President, Itzhak Ben Zvi in a special Independence Day radio broadcast. “The new year of Israel’s independence,” said the President, “opens auspiciously on the international scene with efforts by the Great Powers to settle the grave problems unsolved by the war.
“From the depths of our hearts, we welcome these efforts for peace among the Great Powers, for no people have been interested in peace among the nations for as long a time as our long-suffering people,” the President said. He pointed out that it was the Hebrew prophets who first preached the ideal of peace to the Jewish people and to the world at large.
The beginning of Israel’s second decade, President Ben Zvi declared, “finds the country confident in its endeavors for a renaissance of the eternal people, and the strengthening of the Homeland.” He pointed out in his address that the general elections here, scheduled for next November, will give the electorate an opportunity “to reenforce the leadership of the State with new, young, fresh blood.”