Israel Displays Military Might in Independence Day Parade in Tel Aviv
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Israel Displays Military Might in Independence Day Parade in Tel Aviv

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Ninety jet military planes roared through Tel Aviv skies today while 100 tanks rolled through the streets here in Israel’s Independence Day military parade. An estimated half million Israelis, tourists and official guests watched the parade.

Eight French-Built Super-Mysteres, one of the world’s fastest jet fighters, and 28 French-built Vautors, top-rated fighter bombers, took part in the first display of Israel’s latest air acquisitions. The aerial display included 36 Mystere IV’s, French-built Ouragons, British Meteors, propeller-driven Mosquitos and Mustangs and various types of training planes.

The prominent guests, headed by former French Premier Guy Mollet, watched intently as the sky parade was succeeded by the ground ceremony in which a motorized column led the marchers past the reviewing stands in blazing summer heat. Hundreds of jeeps, carrying the colors and emblems of the Israel defense units followed.

A motor-cycle contingent led the way for the various types of tanks, which included 40 American Super-Sherman tanks with 76-mm guns, lighter Shermans, 40 French light tanks and half-tracks carrying armored infantrymen and reconnaissance jeeps carrying border police and paratroopers, the latter, as always, the most applauded paraders.

The marching infantry column consisted of 3, 000 men and women divided into units of six abreast. The units included air and sea cadets, the regular infantry, engineers, paratroopers, Druze. the women’s corps, border police, communications and military police and Israel police.


Taking the salute were President Ben Zvi. Premier David Ben Gurion, Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Chaim Laskov and regional commanders. Mrs. Chaim Weitzmann, widow of Israel’s first president, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, world Zionist leader and other dignitaries were on the reviewing stand. Other observers were members of the diplomatic corps, heads of the various churches and Arab and Bedouin leaders.

The Prime Minister opened the Independence Day observance with a message in which he foresaw the possibility that Israel’s population would be augmented by its third million in the country’s second decade partly through natural increase and partly through immigration. He expressed the hope that “certain countries” now banning emigration would eventually permit Jews wishing to come to Israel to leave without hindrance.

He said that in the “midst of a tempestuous sea of revolt, subversion and attempts at military and dictatorial domination by neighboring states, ” Israel “stands solidly with a regime based on human liberty and free elections.”

He said he was confident that the day would come sooner or later when a “true alliance” would arise between Israel and the Arab states in which Israel would be able to cooperate with the Arab countries in cultural, economic and political areas for the advance of the prosperity of the Middle East and the strengthening of world peace.

He warned the people that while Israel’s rapid progress was unprecedented in the annals of nationhood, there was no room for complete satisfaction. He said that eight per cent of Israel’s immigrants still lacked permanent housing and that about 20 per cent still lacked regular employment.


Half of the “illegal” immigrants into Palestine prior to Israeli statehood were brought on ships manned by American and Canadian volunteers, it was revealed here at the Independence Day celebration today. Furthermore, it was disclosed, the Israeli air force during the War of Liberation was manned chiefly by foreign volunteers, and 50 percent of all the overseas volunteers serving with the Israeli forces during that war were Americans and Canadians.

The figures were made public here as 200 former overseas volunteers joined Israel’s Independence Day celebration today. Tributes to those among the overseas volunteers who died while on duty to further Israel’s independence were voiced by three former volunteers from the United States: David Wahl, of Cleveland; Sonny Weintraub, of Baltimore; and Eliezer Whartman, of New York. The overseas volunteers called on the Israel Government to compile a special record, showing the services of Jewish volunteers on behalf of Israel’s independence.

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