JOHANNESBURG (May. 15)
Thousands of South African Jews participated in celebrations marking Israel’s 25th anniversary. An estimated 14,000 attended a rally at the Milner Park Stadium here arranged by the South African Zionist Federation. A crowd of 10,000 gathered at the Goodwood Show Ground in Cape Town for an Israel display arranged by the Western Province Zionist Council. Other celebrations were heavily attended in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and other cities and towns across the country.
Addressing the rally here, the Israeli Consul S. Hover expressed his country’s appreciation for South Africa’s support for a Jewish homeland dating from the Balfour Declaration. He noted that South Africa was one of the first nations to recognize Israel in 1948.
Julius Weinstein, chairman of the SAZF recorded the Jewish community’s appreciation of the friendship which Israel has received from successive South African governments over the past quarter century, including the present government. He noted that South Africa’s Jewish community was proud of its contributions to Israel through the volunteers who took part in its War of Independence and the olim who have settled there.
Among the most distinguished of the latter are Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban; Michael Comay, Israel’s present Ambassador to Britain; and Louis Pincus, chairman of the World Zionist and Jewish Agency Executives. Weinstein noted that South African Jewry has consistently raised more funds for Israel per capita than any other diaspora community.