Humphrey Parkway Dedicated
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Humphrey Parkway Dedicated

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This is just the type of memorial dad would have loved, “said Minnesota State Senator Hubert Humphrey ill, eldest son of the late Hubert Humphrey, Democratic Senator from Minnesota and one-time. Vice. President, as he surveyed the Humphrey Parkway through the American Bicentennial forest in the Jerusalem hills last Friday.

Humphrey, his wife, his two brothers and their wives cut the ribbons opening the parkway after on impressive dedication ceremony in which Premier Menachem Begin praised their late father “as a great man and a good man….One of the righteous gentiles.”

Humphrey, in a warm and folksy speech reminiscent of his father’s style, stressed that the parkway and the entire Bicentennial Park is developing as “a people’s park.”–where residents of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv can come for rest and recreation for that reason particularly, he said, it was a fitting memorial for Hubert Humphrey who had “loved people.”


Begin, in a short and moving address, said Hubert Humphrey “loved liberty and justice and labored for them all his life. He wanted them to triumph not only in his great country but all over the world. All his life he was a friend of Israel… semper fidelis…always faithful….He stood by us through the most difficult times. He really loved Israel. The Jewish prople never forgets the good bestowed by its friends. For many, many years he was the first, the best and the most devoted friend of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.” Begin added this was not meant to diminish from the friendship of others.

The ceremony was held in brilliant sunshine at a scenic spot along the parkway. After days of rain and blustery winds, the Jewish National Fund, creators of the park, whose American section developed the Humphrey Parkway project, was relieved at the change in weather that came just in time for the ceremony. The Israel police band played a lively medley of Israeli and American music before and after the speeches.

U.S. Ambassador Samuel Lewis recalled the last meeting between Humphrey and Begin, at which he had been present, only weeks before the Senator died. “The translucence of the man’s life shone in his every word.” the envoy said. “He loved Israel like he loved no other foreign nation” and he had been deeply buoyed by speaking with Begin who was bringing peace to the nation. The parkway,” said Lewis, was “a great memorial to a great American.”


Apart from its function as a scenic driveway through the heart of the Bicentennial Park, the Humphrey Parkway will serve as an important, artery linking half a dozen of the moshavim in the Jerusalem hills with the Tel Aviv area; reducing by some 30 kilometers the existing, winding roads.

As such, said JNF chairman Moshe Rivlin, in his address, the parkway will be a vital boon to the economic development of these villages. Rivlin recalled Humphrey’s participation, in the early 1960s, at a JNF dedication of a Hubert. Humphrey Forest not far from the parkway though of that time, neither the Bicentennial Park nor the parkway had been conceived. The Senator had been truly moved by that experience, Rivlin said.

Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization Executive, said the parkway was a “debt of honor, love and respect for a leader who personified vision and action.” Button Joseph, former president of the Anti-Deformation league of B’nai B’rith, who led a delegation of American donors and friends for the dedication, said of Hubert Humphrey. “No one in public life ever made himself so close or so available to Israel and the Jewish community.”

Shimon Ben-Shemesh, director general of the JNF, presented facsimilies of the parkway to the Humphrey family. Samuel Cohen, executive vice-president of the JNF in the United States, praised Paul Zuckerman of Detroit, Joseph and others for their efforts in realizing the parkway project. Yosef Getreuer, head of the JNF-American section here, conducted the ceremony. He pledged that the parkway would be finally paved and finished before the summer holiday period.

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