NEW YORK (May. 3)
Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller has proclaimed May 11 as “Israel Independence Day” in New York State. His proclamation noted that Israel created a “new member of the family of free nations in the world.” The establishment of Israel, he stated, was a “consummation of decades of struggle and heartache and centuries of aspiration which often appeared to be futile.” The rebirth of Israel, Gov. Rockefeller added, signified the end of the dispersion of the Jewish people and a “new status for Jewish people throughout the world.”
He observed that the establishment of Israel was also of “great value and significance” to those who are not Jewish “since the stability of Israel offers the possibility of permanent peace in the Middle East.” Gov. Rockefeller declared that “the capacity of the people of Israel to defend themselves from attack has, on two occasions, been nothing short of brilliant. The valor of this nation today is an inspiration to the entire world and a cause worthy of the support of free men everywhere.”
At the same time, the Student Ad Hoc Committee for Israel Independence Day, an independent group representing students from college campuses in the New York metropolitan area, announced an Israel Birthday “Be-In” for May 10 in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow in Manhattan. Mel Galun, spokesman for the group, said this event was the first of its kind. “It has been designed to attract youth by accenting the ideals with which young people identify, such as love, peace, freedom from oppression and the joy of creation, thereby stressing themes compatible with the tastes of today’s youth,” Mr. Galun said. Various exhibits, such as Jewish Student Underground Newspapers, will be presented. Rolls of white paper and paint will be made available for those who are artistically inclined. Felafel, an Oriental delicacy, will be distributed free as long as the supply lasts. Participating in the program are such groups as Rhinoceros. Four in the Morning, the Ha’atzaad Harishon Black Jewish singers and dance group, the Reverend Fred Kirkpatrick of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.