NEW YORK (Apr. 17)
About 2,000 Israelis and American Jews attended a memorial service for fallen Israeli soldiers at Hunter College tonight on the eve of Israel’s 35th anniversary.
Naphtali Lavie, Israel’s Consul General in New York, said that Israel’s 35th anniversary of independence is “heavily charged with deep emotions of sorrow and grief” over the thousands of young men and women who lost their lives in Israel’s wars.
“In commemorating our fallen soldiers of all wars and battles we were forced to fight, we pay tribute to their honor and express our gratitude to these heroic sons and daughters of Israel who served as the silver platter on which the independent State of Israel was given to the Jewish people,” Lavie declared.
“It is their sacrifice which enabled our independence and granted the people of Israel a safe and secure life. Let their memory be cherished by all of us, the Jewish people in Israel and all over the world, and serve as a source of strength and confidence in our people.”
The memorial service was one in a series of events here marking Israel’s 35th anniversary. The American Zionist Federation held a public fair featuring Israeli merchandise and exhibits dealing with the nation’s government, banking, industry and high technology. The fair was held at the Minskoff Cultural Center. Thousands of Israelis attended a gala party tonight at the Underground Club in Manhattan, featuring Israeli entertainers. The party was organized by a private Israeli promoter, Itzik Turel.
Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, and Lavie will hold a reception tomorrow night at the UN’s delegates’ dining room for diplomats, Jewish leaders, public officials and notables. More than 1,000 guests are expected to attend.