After Day Of Mourning, Israel Transitions To Independence Day


netanyahu2[Video below.] In a televised message, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said that without the IDF soldiers who fell and those wounded, “we would not be here.”

The prime minister thanked the IDF soldiers. He said that when you look around, you see how unique Israel is in the region – “a vibrant democracy.”

He also thanked the torch lighters at the memorial event at Mount Herzl. “You are all groundbreaking, and the citizens of Israel appreciate that,” he said.

The prime minister wished everyone a happy Independence Day, and said the 67th anniversary of the state of Israel inspires “great pride.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein then addressed the crowd at Mount Herzl. He said the location at the military cemetery reflects “price of blood we didn’t stop for a moment from paying.”

The Speaker praised the strength of the Israeli home front during the summer war, but said that this year more people have been questioning whether life in Israel is too hard to bear.

“There is no room for this kind of discourse,” he said.

Edelstein said that economic issues are important, and will be addressed in the upcoming Knesset, but asked, ‘Since when has living in Israel been a matter of checks and balances?”
He said the election brought to light fractures in Israeli society. During the election, it was “us or them,” he said.

“We must leave here saying, ‘It’s us, all of us,’ he said. ‘In my eyes, everyone is equal,’ he said.

The Knesset speaker urged Israelis to get rid of their prejudices.

He then lit the first torch.

Arab Israeli journalist Lucy Aharish then lit a torch. A visibly emotional Aharish spoke of a better future, and dedicated her lighting to her family, to IDF soldiers, and victims of terror who died due to “baseless hate.”

She spoke briefly in Arabic.

Danny Gold, the inventor of the Iron Dome, lit the next torch. He dedicated it to his Holocaust survivor parents, to the soldiers, the IDF, Shin Bet, and police and Rafael Industries. He said that the home front who stands bravely as rockets fall “are the Iron Dome of Israel.”

Rafi Mehudar, who developed an irrigation system, lit a torch. Alice Miller, who appealed the High Court after denied entry to the Air Force and paved the way for female pilots, lit the next torch. She dedicated it to the “women who heal society” with their wisdom.

Dr. Gavriel Iddan was honored next for his electro-optical innovations in medical technology. Then Dr. Marta Weinstock-Rosin for her contributions to developing drugs to slow dementia caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Supermarket chain owner Rami Levy took the stage next.

“I was a dyslexic kid who was not diagnosed,” he said. “I was taught that the sky is the limit.”

He said that he started in a stall in the Mahane Yehuda market, and now has 2 million customers.


{Times of Israel blog, Israel}


  1. to 1 &2: Do you fail to notice the Shas on the Prime Minister’s shelf. You are self-righteous bigots who make a mockery out of Judaism.