Unable to compile the usual Update this week so just a few items about the week’s main events. Atzmaut Sameach! HRG
Israel on Tuesday evening and Wednesday, Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day), honoured the nation’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror with memorial services, visits to cemeteries and nationwide sirens at 20.00 pm and 11.00 a.m. before transitioning from mourning to joy as nightfall on Wednesday ushered in the country’s 74th Independence Day.
On Yom HaZikaron, President Isaac Herzog gave an address at a ceremony at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem in which he urged Israelis to continue developing the country in a spirit of unity. Read more here
In a first for any Arab nation, Israel’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, led a ceremony to commemorate Israel’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday evening. Read more here
After a sombre Remembrance (Memorial Day), Israel’s torch-lighting state ceremony, held on Mount Herzl, celebrating the country’s 74th Independence Day and honouring extraordinary citizens and others who have contributed to the country and Jewish communities,
began on Wednesday evening. The torch lighters were:– Kalman Samuels, founder of the Shalva organization- Yael Srar, the head of the lobby for the war against sexual abuse- Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoram Yair, chairman of Yahad – United for Israel’s Soldiers- Mika and Ori Banki, the parents of Shira Banki who was murdered at the Jerusalem Pride Parade in 2015- Idan Kleinman, the chairman of the IDF Disabled Veterans Organization- Elizabeta Sherstyuk, a Jewish Ukrainian who heads the Chesed Chaim Humanitarian Aid Center- Asael Shabo, a survivor of a terrorist attack and Paralympian- H., the commander of Israel Police’s counter-terrorism unit- Dr. Simcha Gathon, director of the Center for the Legacy of Ethiopian Jewry, and Angel Alon who provided a foster home for 217 babies and children- Munir Madi – founder and head of the pre-military preparatory school “Kerem-El” in Daliyat al-Carmel- Rita, a famous Israeli singer- First Lieutenant Hadar Cohen, the commander of the Olot company at the Michve Alon training base. Embedded video of the ceremony in this article. Read more here
In an annual highlight on Thursday morning and early afternoon, Israeli Air Force aircraft flew over much of the country.Read more here
A 3 minute video from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs marking Israel’s 74th Birthday. Throughout their long history, the yearning to return to the Land of Israel has been the focus of Jewish life. Independence Day is a celebration of the renewal of the Jewish state in the land where the jewish people began to develop its distinctive religion and culture some 4,000 years ago. View here
Herb Keinon: Historical perspective means not only putting the country in the wider perspective of Jewish history, where its existence after 2,000 years of a most bitter exile is nothing short of a modern Jewish miracle. But it also means putting it in the narrower perspective of Israel’s 74-year-old history: looking at where the country was 10, 20, 30 years ago, and where it is today.
Only those unrealistically nostalgic for a pristine and morally pure Israel that never did, nor could, survive and exist in the real world, especially the real Middle East world; or only those so ideologically jaded that they seem fitted with a pair of glasses that only allows them to see the country’s warts, can look at Israel at 74 and not be amazed by what has been accomplished in just 26 years short of a century. Read more here