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Begin’s Independence Day Message

The following is the text of greetings from Premier Menachem Begin on the occasion of Israel’s 34th Independence Day which will be celebrated April 28:

From Jerusalem, our etemal and indivisible capital, I send my heartfelt greetings to the Jewish communities throughout the diaspora on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of Israel’s in dependence in Eretz Israel.

Yom Ha’Atzmaut — independence Day is a universal Jewish festival commemorating the victory of the few over the many, right over wrong, justice over might. After the most terrible catastrophe ever to have befallen our once homeless, and helpless people, and the heroic battle for national self-liberation in Eretz Israel, we have lived to see the day when the flag of Jewish liberty has been raised again in the land of out forefathers. This day shall forever be celebrated as one of the greatest in the annals of our ancient people, indeed of mankind.

Israel has remained faithful to its Declaration of Independence. We have brought home millions of our scattered sisters and brothers, we have built up the land and made it green, we have gained national vigor with each passing year, we have renewed our heritage. Not since the days of the Maccabees has Israel enjoyed such strength.

Five times our enemies launched war against us in their bloody attempt to destroy our independence. Five times we repelled the aggressors and won the day. The best of our sons sacrificed their lives so that we might celebrate this day. Their memory shall live on forever.

RESOLVED TO PURSUE PEACE

Israel’s unflinching resolve to pursue the cause of peace with security was consummated in the signing of the Treaty of Peace with Egypt. This mileslone constitutes, no doubt, a turning point in the history of our two countries and of the Middle East. We made great and painful sacrifices for the sake of that peace, as demonstrated during these very days.

Let the world note what the Jewish State did to break the cycle of warfare, sorrow and bereavement which had prevailed for more than three decades. And now we look to the future, hopeful and confident that the peace with Egypt will deepen and prosper and that the problems still outstanding will be overcome. For, better the difficulties of peace than the sufferings of war.

Elsewhere in our region and its periphery the convulsions and turmoil persist. Iraq and Iran remain locked in attritional bloodletting; the Iraqi aggressor, implacable enemy of Israel, is begged down. Jordan has sided with Iraq and Syria with Iran. Syria itself is seized by intemal bloody eruption, accompanied by fearful massacres. Lebanon remains in a state of strife, accupied by Syria and plagued by the so-called PLO which continues to amass weapons financed by Saudi Arabia and supplied by the Soviet Union and its satellites.

It is in this turbulent confext that Israel, stable, strong and faithful ally of the free and democratic family of nations, strives to pursue its goals of peace while remaining ever vigilant in protecting its national rights and its vital security in Eretz Israel.

Indeed, the challenges ahead are many but we have started a great new chapter of peace. We live by the faith that it shall yet grow and that here, in Eretz Israel, future generations will live together with our neighbors in equality, in human dignity, in freedom, in independence and in real security.

On this Day of Independence, we share the prayer that our fellow Jews in countries of distress will be rescued from their torment. We, Israel, shall continue to leave no stone unturned in the holy endeavor to bring them home. We shall.

We look towards a future of aliya from throughout the free world — thousands and tens of thousands of our Jewish brethren to share in the momentous task of rebuilding the land of our forefathers — for the glory of the Jewish people and of all free people

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