NEW YORK (May. 4)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin in a special Independence Day telephone message from Israel today to Israel Bond leaders in 65 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, paid tribute to those who were sacrificed in the cause of Israel’s freedom and stated that “the debt of the Jewish world to them has no measure. In their name we have built a better, an even stronger and a more beautiful Israel.”
In talking to the many hundreds of top echelon community leaders who participated in the phone conference, Rabin declared that the Israel Bond program enables “fellow Jews of America to join with us in the practical work of building, developing and strengthening Israel.” In extending his “gratitude and greetings,” the Premier said:
“We do not have the fantastic oil wealth of our Arab neighbors. Nor do we have their rich natural resources. But we do have you, and it is your commitment that enables us to build the factories, the plants, the roads and the railways that enable us to produce more, export more and offer jobs to more immigrants as they come.”
Rabin added that “as Jews we measure strength not only in terms of tanks and planes but first of all, in terms of spirit. This above all has been the weapon that has enabled us to do great things together–to overcome every obstacle in our path as we rebuild the Jewish State.”
Sam Rothberg, general chairman of the Israel Bond Organization, said the cross-country telephone hookup with Rabin marked the opening of the peak phase of the spring drive in both the U.S and Canada to meet Israel’s pressing financial needs. The major goal of the drive will be enlisting subscribers in the higher brackets, such as members of the Prime Minister’s Club. covering purchases of $25,000 and over, and founding members of the Ambassador’s Society of Trustees, representing subscribers of $10,000 to $25,000 each.
MESSAGES FROM JEWISH LEADERS
In other messages marking Israel’s 28th anniversary, Mrs. Rose Matzkin, president of Hadassah, said “Israel’s Independence Day is a day of rejoicing for Jews in the diaspora as well as those who live in Israel. This day gives us the opportunity to review the past 28 years and to look forward to the years that lie ahead.” Hadassah, she added, “joins all those who believe that Israel will not only endure but will fulfill the ancient prophecy of becoming ‘a light unto the nations’ as it seeks security and peace.”
Frank R. Lautenberg, general chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, stated: “On the 28th anniversary of Israel’s independence we confront the challenges that lie ahead with the vigor of a people re-born and the spirit of a civilization that has endured for 4000 years. American Jewry stands as one with the people of Israel in rejoicing in Israel’s independence and in vowing to preserve and protect Jewish liberty wherever Jews live.”
Dr. Joseph P. Sternstein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, stated: “The future of Israel and world Jewry is secure and those who now offer gloom-filled prophecies will be shown to be in error provided we recognize that we are a besieged people and act accordingly and provided that we insist on the right to determine our own fate.”
Meanwhile, the Israeli Consulate in New York today held a memorial service for the soldiers who fell in Israel’s wars. The service was held at B’nai Zion Synagogue and was attended by Israeli officials, and their families in the city. This is the only official Israel-sponsored event to be held in New York during Independence Day this year for reasons of budgetary austerity.