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Israel Applauded by Miners

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An estimated crowd of 100,000 coal miners gathered here for the annual gala of this north England town gave a resounding ovation at the mention of the State of Israel, when Israeli Ambassador Gideon Rafael was introduced. He was one of the few foreign guests at the colorful event, together with U.S. Ambassador Elliott Richardson.

Some of the miners later came up to shake the hand of “The Ambassador from the Holy Land.” They recalled the warm friendship for the Zionist cause of the late Durham miners’ leader, Sam Watson. Later, at a reception attended by Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Foreign Minister James Callaghan and leader of the House of Commons Edward Short and Mrs. Short joined in with the Ambassador and Mrs. Rafael in a rendition of “Hava Nagila.” Rafael also met with the chairman of the National Coal Board, Sir Derek Ezra.

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