Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 25, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
.Wednesday, April 25, 1973 THE LCTHBRIDGE HERALD 43 The story of the birth of a nation Israel planning lavish parade on 25th anniversary By MARCUS ELIASOX JERUSALEM (AP) Pale and emaciated from years in concentration camps, bar family wiped out by Nazi bes- tiality, Donia Rosen stared over the rail of a rusty refu- gee ship at the port of Haifa. It was 1948, Donia was 17, and the streets were patrolled by British troops with Arabs and Jews sniping from the rooftops. Today. Half a is one of the quietest cities in Israel Most of its Arab population has fled. Elderly Jews sun them- selves in the cafes on Mount Carmel, sipping tea and watching the bustling harbor, which handles more than five OTllion tons of cargo a year And today Donia Rosen, an attractive blonde of 42 in charge of a government office tracing Gentiles who helped Jews in the Second World War, worries that Israel is losing its serse of values and joining the rat race of the West Avishai Amir has few wor- ries about Israel's future. Amir is a name for a native-born Israeli, taken from the country's prickly but sweet cactus plant. He was born in the same year as Israel, 1948, and grew up in war, austerity, and a sense of economic uncer- tainty. Israel celebrates its 25th an- niversary May 7 with a m'Jlion parade reflecting a self-confidence that soms- times borders on arrogance Two thousand troops with 200 tanks and guns march in Jerusalem, past the walled Arab city that contains the Jev.nsh Wailing Wall, cantered in the 1957 Arab-Israeli war, aiJ through ths newer sec- tions where stunningly de- si g n e d university buildings and museums underline the sncient past and imaginative future Yaccv Kirschen of New York, a 35-year-old artist, cr.ee drew cartoons for Play- boy and now writes Israel's only comic strip, Dry Bones. The strip attacks the bureauc- racy, the inefficiency and the irritants of life in Israe1. al- though Kirschen insists life is pleasanter and more natural than in New York. PUOGRESS AMAZING "Sure, Israel could be bet- says Kirschen. who lives in the new desert city cf Arad and led the town's first dem- onstration, against housing problems. "But the Hebrew language has been restored to everyday use, the Jewish peo- ple are being ingathered as the Bible said, and Tel Aviv is a thriving city. It's all amazing." Jewish people have lived in what now is Israel since about 1200 BC. The land has been conquered by various other countries. The modern Ziowst move to create a homeland in Pales- tine was led by Dr. Chaim Weizmann. It was given impe- tus by the Balfour declaration of Britain in 1917, supporting a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. After the First World War Palestine came under British mardate. But about four-fifths of the land was detached in 1922 to form Trans-Jordan, now Jordan. In 1947 the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into two in- dependent steles by Oct. 1, 1948. Israeli and Arab. When Britain pulled out of Palestine and David Ben-Gur- ion proclaimed Israel inde- pendent May 14, an- nix-ers-ary date changes be- cause of the Jewish calendar state had no real gov- ernment, no civil service, no official army. It was bank- rupt. Thousands cf homeless Jews were arriving. Arab troops invaded from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Leba- non, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Israel was armed only with smuggled guns. "I was working on a farm, but I spent the war making bombs and bullets in a fac- says Donia Rosen. Other young Jews went straight from the immigrant sh'ps into battle. BEGAN TO BUILD The Jews won the war, barely. The Arab state be- came a part of Jordan. With food rationed and immigrants jammed in had Jews then, 2 8 million Israelis began build- ing apartments and schools, planting trees, developing in- dustries and organizing one of the world's crack armed forces. Towns and settlements stand where there was only desert before 1948, and the Is- raelis have planted so much greenery that the climate is changing, becoming more humid. "I fought in the war and moved to Beersheba in 1949." says Herbert Ben-Adi, a Yu- goslav Jew, now 68. "There were 50 families and Beer- sheba was an abandoned Arab town. Only one Arab stayed behind, as a coffee maker for the Israeli military governor. "My wife and I were as- signed to a two-room Arab house with a mud floor, no doors, no windows, no water or sanitation, no electricity. At the time we had im- migrants living in tents out- side town." AKABS HOUSED Today Seersheba boasts its own university and a popula- tion of most housed in trim apartment buildings. New immigrants move straight into modern housing. An industrial complex for chemicals and textiles has re- placed the tents. Bedouin Arabs of the surrounding de- sert are being gradually housed in apartments. The entire state budget for 1849 was million. This year it is billion, almost one-third of it for defence. Since the state began, Jews around the world have con- tributed about billion and Israel bonds have raised an- other billion. Exports have soared and the balance of payments deficit has dropped to billion. "There was no butter and littie meat when I was says Amir. "Six of us lived in a house in the sand dunes north cf Tel Aviv" now the city's most fashionable quarter NOW RUNS FACTORY Amir's Russian father was a construction laborer then and his mother worked in a textile factory. In 1951, they bought an apartment and a motor scooter. Now the father runs lus own dry goods fac- tory. Amir, a reporter for the Maariv newspaper, is paying his way through university in Jerusalem, where he shares apartment. He drives a 13- year-old car that cost him In 1956 Israel won another war, the Suez campaign Amir and his baby sister went into the shelters for Arab air raids thzt never came. The Israeli kidnapping trial and execution of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmano in 1932 made Amir aware of what other Jews had endued. "We were numbed. At school we stopped playing at limchtime to hear the trial on the radio. We were all about 13." As day after day of testi- mony recalled the gas ovens, "we began to understand why our parents feared for cur survival." GERMANS CONTRIBUTE "Hanging Eichmann couldn't atone for Germany's says Miss Rosen, but West Germany was doing its best. Since 1952, Bonn has given about 50 billion marks Jewish war victims. Like all Israelis over 19, Amir was in the military dur- ing the lightning war of 1967 and he headed a ground crew at an air force base. "We worked and worked without a stop. Loading bombs, refuelling, at three 1SREAL Concluded on Page 44 42 month wearout guarantee DELUX SAVE to 19.99 WWSOUJ loir irambsr moaOa. 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