New York City Marks Israel’s Anniversary; Mayor Lauds Jewish State

New York’s Mayor John V. Lindsay today proclaimed this week “Israel Independence Week,” at ceremonies in City Hall, where he hailed the 18th anniversary of Israel’s rebirth. Presenting his proclamation to Michael Arnon, Israel’s Consul-General in New York, and to leaders of the American Zionist Council, the umbrella organization of all Zionist groups, Mr. Lindsay said:

“The great importance of the rebirth of the free and independent State of Israel, as evaluated by all freedom-loving people, is the building of a new homeland as a sanctuary for Jews who suffered oppression, injustice and tensions at the hands of tyrants, and the pledge of Israel to stand aligned with the free and democratic world in total commitment to the preservation of liberty and human dignity.”

The Mayor voiced his tribute “to the valiant people who established the State of Israel and the many citizens of New York City whose heritage rests in the renowned and ancient land.” Mr. Arnon presented to the Mayor an Israeli medallion in token of today’s celebration. Later, Mr. Arnon conducted a reception at the Israeli Consulate-General, attended by several hundred guests, many of them non-Jews and representatives of foreign consulates in New York. A similar reception, primarily for members of diplomatic missions to the United Nations, was held by Ambassador Michael Comay, Israel’s permanent representative at the U.N.

A resolution lauding Israel on its attainment of the 18th anniversary of its founding will be adopted tomorrow in the chamber of the New York City Council. Council President Frank O’Connor will preside at that session and will present a resolution in the spirit of “Israel Independence Week” as proclaimed by the Mayor.

JEWISH AGENCY AND AMERICAN ZIONIST COUNCIL HOLD RECEPTION

The American Section of the Jewish Agency and the American Zionist Council held a joint reception today to mark Israel’s Independence Day. The reception, attended by leaders of the Zionist movement and of other Jewish organizations, was addressed by Mrs. Rose Halprin, chairman of the American Section of the Jewish Agency, who stressed that the 18th anniversary of Israel’s independence is of special significance because “it is the year of ‘Chai,’ eighteen, which in Hebrew means life.”

“No word is more meaningful to Israel than ‘chai,’” Mrs. Halprin said, “because Israel, more than anything else, is life. It is life to the more than a million Jews — survivors of the Nazi holocaust, refugees from impoverished Africa and Asia — who have made Israel their homeland in the eighteen years since its establishment. It is life for the Jews of the Diaspora who, from the cultural vitality of Israel, derive the sustenance that is so mighty a force in the never-ending battle against the assimilative forces that are concomitant of the free society in which we live. And it is life for the millions more who will come to Israel in the future.”

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