Purim Celebrated Throughout Israel with Parades and Services

Israel celebrated Purim in traditional manner this weekend, reading of the Book of Esther being observed at all synagogue services throughout the country last night, while parades, highlighted by floats and costumed children, featured the observances in all cities and settlements. President Zalman Shazar, who is on a short visit to Tiberias, attended services at the Kiryat Shmona Central Synagogue.

A feature of many parades were floats depicting the peace mission to Egypt staged last week by Tel Aviv restaurateur Abie Nathan, who flew from Herzliah to Port Said in an effort to interest Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser to hold peace talks with Israel. Mr. Nathan was sent back to Israel the next day in his own plane. Costumed children, released from their schools since Thursday, led most of the festivities.

Mr. Nathan, who has been idolized by many Israelis as a hero since he made his flight to Egypt, was the guest of honor of the all-Arab City of Nazareth during the weekend. Nazareth Mayor Abdal Aziz Zuaby welcomed him when he entered the city. Hundreds of Arabs greeted Mr. Nathan warmly, shouting the word “peace” in Arabic. He addressed crowds in the court yard of the Church of the Annunciation and from the balcony of a mosque.

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