Premier Yitzhak Shamir paid special tribute to Israel’s rapid advances in science and technology in his message on the eve of Independence Day, May 4, marking the start of the 40th year of the sovereign Jewish State.
“I express profound satisfaction that our nation is among the few in the world capable of designing, creating and manufacturing an aircraft, a tank or a CAT-scanner, which are considered among the very best in the world,” Shamir said.
“The technological excellence that we have achieved in our essential military development extends also to every level of our scientific and economic progress. As a result, we can see progress in our advance towards economic growth and independence,” Shamir declared. “We have travelled a long and difficult road to reach this stage of some prosperity, well-being and greater opportunities for every family in this nation.”
The Premier credited the citizens of Israel, civilian and military, “for their efforts and for their historic contribution to the establishment, the development and the security of our country. They have defended our independence through five wars and a continuous battle with the Arab terrorists.”
COMMITMENT TO STRUGGLE FOR REPATRIATION
“The people who constitute the Israel Defense Forces are of such quality as to make up for lack of quantity. Their excellence and dedication are a match for the vast quantities of modern equipment in the hands of our enemies. This advanced defensive capacity–largely created by our own people–prevents war and deters aggression,” Shamir stated.
“As we move into the fortieth year, we renew our total commitment to the struggle for the repatriation of our brethren from Syria, Iran, Ethiopia, and other places of distress. It is unacceptable and intolerable that in the fortieth year of the existence of the Jewish State there should be Jews suffering because they are Jews, that Jewish communities should be held hostage, or that Jews should be regarded as homeless refugees.
“The most important result of the great transformation that occurred nearly 40 years ago is that the Jewish State is here to speak up for and to protect every Jew throughout the world,” Shamir said.
The Premier urged “greater unity within the nation; the toning down of the internal debate, the reduction of internal strife, an emphasis on the positive aspects of our society…”
He also referred to the upcoming anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, “celebrating that unforgettable day, 20 years ago, when the dividing wall was pulled down and Jerusalem was liberated, reunited and restored to all her majesty and glory as the nation’s capital.”
Shamir appealed to Jews the world over “to make the year ahead a year of aliya, a year of pilgrimage to Eretz Israel. Come and see what your people has accomplished in this land. Bring your children and their children, that they may realize what still remains for them to do in the years that lie ahead.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.