Thousand at Rites Memorializing Weizmann; Marking Balfour Day at Rehovoth, Israel
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Thousand at Rites Memorializing Weizmann; Marking Balfour Day at Rehovoth, Israel

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Thousands of persons, including delegations of overseas Jewish leaders, met this evening at the memorial plaza near the grave of Dr. Chaim Weizmann here, for an event which this marked the 50th anniversary of the issuance of the Balfour Declaration and the 15th anniversary of the death of Israel’s first president.

Among the leaders at the gathering were President Zalman Shazar, Premier Levi Eshkol, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, British Postmaster General Edward Short, Lord Rothschild and Lord Sieff of Britain, Latin American Jewish leaders, and members of the faculty of the Weizmann Institute. Meyer Weisgal, president of the Institute, presided.

Lord Rothschild called for a “new declaration for the Middle East to be issued by the international community” but one which would “also have the means to back it — a declaration which would insure the peace, progress and development of the Middle East.” He urged Israel not to evacuate Arab-occupied areas as long as there was no peace and security.

“Israel wants peace,” he told the assemblage, “and Israel would be ready to fight again if necessary to ensure it.” He warned the world that peace in the Middle East was more important than space competition. He declared: “To hell with Venus or Mars. It’s either peace in the Middle East or a charred world after a nuclear third World War.”

President Shazar spoke of the life of Dr. Weizmann, “the Zionist who worked all his life for Jewish and Zionist causes.” Before the meeting, the participants visited the Weizmann grave to pay homage to his memory. Lord Sieff announced that a historic research department will be established at the Weizmann Institute named for Lord Balfour.

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