President Shazar: Egypt’s War Against Israel Does Not Diminish Spirit of Israelis

President Zabman Shazar of Israel will tell his countrymen tomorrow that “almost a thousand days of nameless assault constantly claiming victims” since the June, 1967 war have failed to diminish the spirit and courage of the people. In remarks prepared for his Independence Day address, released here tonight, Mr. Shazar extolled the “extraordinary vitality” of the nation’s economy and Israel’s continuing achievements in science, education, culture and scholarship. He noted that despite the ongoing undeclared war, immigrants continue to stream in “from affluent as well as distressed lands and from places cut off from us.” But the Israeli chief of state also touched on negative aspects of life in the country. “As for our own society, on its fringes we find indifference and complacency which must be checked before it is too late,” he said.

“There is still a wide and shameful gap between extravagance on one hand and debasing poverty on the other,”President Shazar declared and continued: “In urban streets and in old and new quarters of settlements our eyes are still revolted by wretched housing and neglected areas. We have not been spared the harmful phenomenon of drug-taking or the effects of corruption and delinquency–agonizing problems for which, with a sense of urgency, we must find swift and practical solutions.” President Shazar said, “Precisely because the times and our tasks are so grave and fateful, it is incumbent upon us to concern ourselves with healing and purifying our way of life.” He said, “despite the incitement and the hostile deeds aimed at us, both near and far, despite the overriding compulsion to continue to defend ourselves and the future of our people with utmost courage, let us not weaken in our intellectual and political efforts to reach a firm and honorable peace with our Arab neighbors.”

NEXT STORY