Israel Celebrates 66 Years of Independence

Israelis flock to public parks for barbecues; Israel Air Force holds annual flyover.

new-hdc-logo
Haaretz
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Israelis barbecuing in Tel Aviv on Independence Day
Israelis barbecuing in Tel Aviv on Independence Day Credit: Moti Milrod
new-hdc-logo
Haaretz

Israelis across the country flocked to public parks and hiking trails on Tuesday to celebrate Independence Day with barbecues and other leisure activities.

Earlier Tuesday, President Shimon Peres kicked off the day with the annual sing-along at the President's Residence in Jerusalem. As part of the event, the president gave awards to distinguished Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

On Monday night, the festivities officially began with the official Independence Day ceremony and torch-lighting ceremony, in which, for the first time, all the torch-lighters were women.

66th Independence Day ceremony in Mount Herzl, May 5, 2014.
Israelis barbecuing in Tel Aviv on Independence Day
Then-president Peres at the Jerusalem ceremony May 6, 2014.
11 of 11 |
66th Independence Day ceremony in Mount Herzl, May 5, 2014.Credit: Emil Salman
1 of 11 |
Israelis barbecuing in Tel Aviv on Independence Day Credit: Moti Milrod
2 of 11 |
Then-president Peres at the Jerusalem ceremony May 6, 2014.Credit: Haim Tzach / GPO
Independence Day celebrations 2014

In his last public greeting as president on Monday, Peres called on Israelis to "be proud, but never satisfied" and to make peace with their neighbors.

"I remember the first days [of Israel] and the dream we had," Peres said in his YouTube address on the eve of Independence Day, "and I have to admit that the dream was too small when I see the reality that was born out of it."

In addition to the sing-along, the Israel Air Force held its annual flyover on Tuesday morning. Israelis looking up were able to see the IAF's F-15s, F-16s, C-130s, Gulfstream-5s, Beechcraft King Airs, Boeing 707s, and Sikorsky CH-53 helicopters. The IDF also opened a number of its bases to visitors.

Also, the international teen Bible quiz took place in the Jerusalem Theater on Tuesday morning. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Shay Piron attended the event in which 16 teenagers from around the world competed to determine which of them is the most knowledgeable.

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism