P. 210

And as always, the rally would not be complete without the singing of "Hatikva," which was heard according to the testimonials of the time all the way to the Old City.
This rally however, exceptional though in the number of its participants, could not equal the gathering of the tens of thousands in the day following the historical resolution in the UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947. Such a number of joyous people Jerusalem had not seen, either before or since.
Ostensibly, Jerusalemites had nothing to be happy about. The UN Resolution excluded Jerusalem from the territory of the proposed Jewish state and placed it at the center of a Corpus Separatum that belonged neither to the Jewish state nor to the Arab state that was proposed at the same time, and which was to be administered by a special UN mechanism. At the time, there were 100 thousand Jews in Jerusalem, a majority of the city and one sixth of the total Jewish Yishuv in the Land of Israel.
Nevertheless, Jerusalem overflowed with happiness immediately at midnight, once the UN Resolution was known, as had been the case in the other cities, colonies, kibbutzim and moshavim throughout the Land of Israel. The journalists seemed to have competed with one another in describing the tremendous joy in Jerusalem. The celebrants were joined, surprisingly, by British soldiers who arrived unarmed, toasted the Jewish state and the children climbed onto their armored vehicles, which had practically been considered "enemy vehicles" the day before. This was an unfamiliar phenomenon until then: British soldiers participating in a huge Jewish celebration.
It is appropriate to present the pathos and joy-filled report of Gavriel Tsifroni, a reporter for "HaBoker" Newspaper in Jerusalem:
Hebrew Jerusalem was wrapped in a spirit of freedom. The yearning for independence was manifested in the turmoil of the masses, who were excited to their very souls over the news of a Jewish state – even if it was divided and even if the eternal city was still outside of it – and indulged in the euphoria of their triumph.
That is how Jerusalem saw twenty hours of celebrations, the likes of which even the elderly could not recall. One of the city's notable persons best defined his feelings so: "I can hear the Messiah being unbound."
Jerusalem, which was divided into congregations, celebrated both jointly and separately. The masses flowed to the National Institutions Building, a flow that continued for many hours. The transition from grief to joyousness was everywhere. Not only were children taken out of their beds and even carried by their mothers. Fathers pleaded with the children: Remember this! I have seen the elderly crying like children and everywhere I heard the words: "Congratulations Jews, we have won!"

   208   209   210   211   212