Menu JTA Search

Katzir: Concern for Israel is the Center of Jewish Life

President Ephraim Katzir, in his Rosh Hashanah message to Jewish communities abroad, hailed the interim agreement between Israel and Egypt as the “first steps towards the establishment of Israel’s place in the region of which it is a part….” He said, “The interim agreement, if faithfully executed, may change the political climate, shifting the emphasis in this area from battle to the work of peace. With that hope we enter 5736.”

In his message which covered the events of the past year, Katzir noted: “In the year 5735 Israel and indeed Jews throughout the world faced economic and political difficulties and the challenges of complicated new international and internal arrangements which, for all their stringency, may we trust, be breaking the way to a liveable and creative future. With the death of ex-President Zalman Shazar at the beginning of the year and of Pinhas Sapir, architect of Israel’s economy, close to the end of the year, a symbolic end seemed to have come to the first pioneering chapter of Israel’s life and of worldwide Jewish aspirations.”

Katzir welcomed the “much more understanding communication between Israel and the Jewish communities of the free world,” adding: “There is involvement of both heart and mind and true partnership in concern for Israel as the center of Jewish life. On a recent visit to the United States I sensed this clearly and felt not only Jewish closeness to Israel but the genuine friendship of a very great part of the American people.”

The President also spoke of the “anguish of Syrian and Soviet Jewry” and noted that “without the Zionist revolution, the remnant of Jewry our of Europe and the communities of the Moslem lands could not have been saved, and a new lease on life could hardly have been granted to the spirit of our people.”

Katzir also noted that the past year was the 30th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps. He declared: “The victims of the Holocaust and the fallen heroes of our wars, have left us the moral imperative to create a nobler society, to preserve and enrich our tradition, to work with Jews everywhere towards those aims, toward peace.”

NEXT STORY