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Johnson, in Independence Day Message, Urges Israel to Seek a Just Peace

President Johnson today hailed Israel on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, as a state that has set “an outstanding example of how people of widely disparate backgrounds can achieve a thriving democratic nation.” He also expressed confidence that Israel will work toward a just peace acceptable to itself and its neighbors. The words were contained in a message of congratulations to President Shazar of Israel as preparations were underway for the nationwide Independence Day celebrations on May 2. President Johnson’s message read:

“I am pleased to extend to you and to the people of Israel my congratulations and those of the people of the United States on the 20th anniversary of your independence. During this brief period of time, the State of Israel has made great strides, socially, economically and politically. It has set an outstanding example of how people of widely disparate backgrounds can achieve a thriving democratic nation. But three times during these 20 years war has broken out. The Middle East remains beset by violence and hatred. These are trying times – times in which patience and cool judgment must prevail. My warm wishes to your people on this milestone of statehood therefore is accompanied by my confidence that your government will devote all its energy to the effort to reach a secure, just, and lasting peace – acceptable and beneficial both to Israel and to her neighbors.”

President Shazar, in a message to the people of Israel, hailed the past year as Israel’s finest, noting that “our eternal capital, Jerusalem, was unified, the Western Wall once again became the shrine of prayer for our people everywhere and the ancient holy cities, the resting places of the Patriarchs and Prophets, once more were open to them.” He praised the people of Israel for their outstanding accomplishments and the Jews of the world for their unfailing support. He closed his message with a prayer for “peace, serenity and security.”

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