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(Updated) Happy 65th Birthday to Israel!

Posted by Dr. Fay on April 15, 2013

Today Israel celebrates the 65th anniversary of its Independence Day.  We at SPIB want to wish our Mideast ally and friend a happy Independence Day!

The modern State of Israel represents the culmination of 4000 years of Jewish history, beginning with God’s covenant with Abraham.  It also represents the fulfillment of prophecy.

Here is a  video from the official You Tube page of the State of Israel.

Video retrieved from Israel.

The Times of Israel staff reports on Israel’s Independence Day celebrations and the Memorial Day for Israelis lost in combat and to terrorism that preceded it:

Fireworks skyrocket over a music and dance performance at Mt. Herzl on Independence Day. (photo credit: image capture from Channel 10)

Fireworks skyrocket over a music and dance performance at Mt. Herzl on Independence Day. (photo credit: image capture from Channel 10)

Israel on Monday evening officially transitioned from Memorial Day, one of sorrow and remembrance, to Independence Day celebrations. Civilian dignitaries and military brass attended the country’s closing memorial ceremony at Jerusalem’s Mt. Herzl, in which 12 torches were lit commemorating the 12 tribes of Israel.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein opened the Independence Day ceremony saying that he never dreamed as a child that he would stand beside Theodor Herzl’s grave as a member of Knesset.

“I didn’t dream — not because I didn’t dare, and not because I was afraid. As a child I barely knew the State of Israel, I didn’t dream to be a part of it,” he said.

He noted that 26 years ago to the day he was released from a Soviet prison after serving time for seeking to immigrate to Israel. ”Today… my heart is filled, it is bursting its banks, full of prayer and thanksgiving,” he told the crowd.

The theme for 2013′s ceremony, chosen by the Ministerial Committee for Ceremonies and Icons, was the national legacy and the preservation of national cultural assets for generations to come. Fourteen honorees, selected for their cultural work, lit the 12 ceremonial torches.

Fireworks erupted over Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and cities across Israel moments after the final torch was lit, accompanied at Mt. Herzl by a musical and dance performance.

Earlier on Monday, a two-minute siren brought the country to a halt as Israel continued its Memorial Day events in remembrance of 25,578 war and terror victims.

Speaking at the official state ceremony for Israel’s fallen, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who lost his brother Yoni in the 1976 Entebbe raid, said he had been asked how to cope by children he met recently who had lost parents in wars or terror attacks.

“I answered honestly that I don’t know how to advise on how to manage with a loss like that. I told them that the death of my brother toughened me,” he told those gathered at the military cemetery at Mount Herzl. “We know that there is no real relief or comforting.”

Netanyahu also said Israel would continue to fight but also work toward peace.

“We will continue to work to make peace with our neighbors and to defend our land,” he said. “From the day of Israel’s birth great forces tried to destroy her. They never succeeded and will never succeed.”

Some 1.5 million Israelis were visiting cemeteries and memorial sites for services Sunday evening and Monday. All in all, 23,085 members of the country’s security forces died while in active service since Israel’s 1947-8 War of Independence, along with those who fought in Zionist pre-state militias going back to 1860.

Memorial Day began on Sunday night with a one-minute siren at 8 p.m. and an official ceremony at the Western Wall.

The day commemorates, in addition to servicemen and women, the 2,493 civilians who were killed in terror attacks.

Speaking at a ceremony for terror victims, Netanyahu said violence against civilians had been a constant challenge for the Zionist enterprise, surrounded by enemies who sought to kill or maim.

“We will not give in or surrender. We will pursue the terrorists relentlessly and we will strike them in any place. Terror is not from heaven, it is a mortal act,” he said. “Our willpower is greater than their willpower. We will never be like the murderers who do not hesitate to slaughter innocent people. We will not teach our children vengeance and hatred.”

Read more.

UPDATE:

Here are two additional videos shared with us by our friend Jack.  The first one is especially inspiring.


Video retrieved from standwithus.


Video retrieved from standwithus.

Unity Coalition for Israel International (UCI) posted this powerful video by Yishai Fleisher yesterday.

UCI Celebrates Israel’s 65th Independence Day with Yishai Fleisher

Yishai Fleisher – UCI Exclusive Video,  April 15th, 2013


Video retrieved from Esther Levens.

Israel is 65!

Yishai Fleisher, Israel’s only english-language broadcast radio talk show host, and featured weekly on UCI’sVoices From Israeluc4i.org/voices. He visited Kansas City recently and had the opportunity to speak with Unity Coalition for Israel founder, Esther Levens, about the unique nature of tiny but fierce country in the Middle East. He pointed out that Israel is the only state that secures freedoms for both its Jewish and Arab citizens as well as for many other Arabs in its keep.

“Freedom? That’s our middle name! The preposterous attempt by the media and the United Nations and many other groups to paint Israel as the one pariah state, the apartheid state, is the biggest FARCE in the world today – where Israel is exactly the opposite – the one state (in the Middle East) that guarantees freedoms. And the states around us! THEY are the states that have instituted apartheid!” – Yishai Fleisher

Yishai is also the founder of Kumah, a nonprofit organization in Israel and the United States that works to educate the public about Israel. It’s mission is to dispel myths and stereotypes about Israel and the Middle East, enhance connection to Israel through media projects, and to strengthen the Jewish character of Israel through renovation of historic sites (The Tomb of Yishai and Ruth in Hebron and Jewish property on the Mount of Olives), publications, legislation for the Knesset, and Aliyah activism.

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