Weizmann on Visit to Jerusalem Reviews Military Parade; Claims City for Israel
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Weizmann on Visit to Jerusalem Reviews Military Parade; Claims City for Israel

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A parade of the Israeli forces in the Jerusalem area was reviewed here last night by President Weizmann on his first visit to the city since the establishment of the state of Israel. The parade was led by Israeli commander Col. Moshe Dayan and members of his staff. Earlier, he was tendered a reception at the Jewish Agency building and toured the city in the company of prominent civic, military and communal leaders.

In an address at the reception, Dr. Weizmann laid claim to Jerusalem for Israel, insisting that it was “inconceivable” to establish a Jewish state and at the same time detach from it its “spiritual center and historical capital.” In addition to “our historical connections and the fact of our numerical preponderance among its inhabitants, a new link has been forged–our heroic defense of the city in the past year. All this gives us the right to claim that Jerusalem is and shall remain ours,” he declared.

“Where were all those who indulge in such fine phrases about the spiritual associations of the entire civilized world” when the ancient Jewish quarter of the Old City with its ancient synagogues “was reduced to rubble by Arab gunfire, and was desecrated and defiled after surrender?” he asked. He also asked: “Did they lift a finger to protect its man, women and children against Arab shrapnel which rained death day and night upon our homes for months?” He also pointed out that there was no protest from the countries of the world when “Jews were denied access to the Wailing Wall, our holiest shrine.”

Continuing, he declared: “When you defended Jerusalem against have and destruction you fought not only for your own, or your nation, but for civilization as a whole and for what Jerusalem means to civilization.

“Had it not been for your heroic defense who known what would have remained of its non-Jewish values. We are anxious to see these values effectively protected and we are agreeable that special arrangements be made for the Old City with its Holy Places. We would like to see this sacred some beautified so that worshippers coming from all parts of the world will derive joy and inspiration from their pilgrimage there. However, there is no reason why arrangements for the Old City should he extended to the new one, which is without holy associations and which sprang up in recent years as a result of Jewish efforts.”

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