Christianity in the World Today

“Your name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

Thus in Genesis 32:28 the name Israel became associated with God’s chosen people, called earlier (in Genesis 12:1) to “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will show thee.”

Jews have always held that the “land,” with or without the name Israel, was in Palestine. In point of fact, there was no Israel as such between 721 B.C. and 1948 A.D. But for ten years now, the Jews have had a new autonomous Israel—in Palestine!

The end of the new Israel’s first decade prompted observances and varied tributes all over the world in honor of the blossoming desert country with an area comparable to that of New Jersey.

Many American newspapers saluted the tenth anniversary of Israel with editorials commending the state’s spirited progress. “Conceived in idealism and born in fire, Israel has already accomplished the impossible,” said the New York Times. David Ben-Gurion was called a “messianic” prime minister.

Both houses of the United States Congress heard speeches marking the occasion. Some 50,000 persons crowded into New York’s Polo Grounds for a “Salute to Freedom Rally” under auspices of the American Committee for Israel’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration. Protestant and Catholic clergymen participated in the event with Jewish rabbis. A New York luncheon by the American Christian Committee drew another 250 religious leaders and civic officials. A public observance in Washington, witnessed by a crowd of 2500 in Constitution Hall, was addressed by Senator John F. Kennedy, Catholic Democrat from Massachusetts, and Senator Clifford ...

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