Netanyahu Suggests Israel Bring Back Military Parades on Independence Day

'That's the basis of our independence, those soldiers,' prime minister says at Independence Day event at President's Residence.

Israeli tanks at a military parade in Tel Aviv on Independence Day, 1959.
Moshe Pridan, GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested on Thursday that Israel will bring back the military parades on Independence Day.

Sitting with President Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot at an Independence Day event honoring 120 outstanding soldiers at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, Netanyahu recalled his childhood in the city.

Female soldiers march in the Independence Day parade in Jerusalem in 1968. That year's parade was the first broadcast by Israeli television.
Fritz Cohen, GPO
The final military parade in 1973, Jerusalem.

"There was something of a revival, of independence, and that came across in parades. There were military parades in Jerusalem. I remember seeing a cannon, I saw a tank for the first time. I saw soldiers. It moved me enormously."

"You know what, I have a proposal," Netanyahu said, turning to Ya'alon and Eisenkot. "My friends, let's renew the parades in Jerusalem. A military parade on Independence Day in Jerusalem - that's the basis of our independence, those soldiers."

When the event's host commented that a military parade could put a strain on Israel's budget, the prime minister said he was confident funds could be found for such proposal. "I'll take care of it," he said.

Military parades on were in Israel held annually for 20 years, between 1949 and 1968. The military parade on Independence Day in 1968 was the first broadcast by Israeli television.

A military parade was again held for Israel's 25th independence anniversary in 1973, the final year such a parade was held. 

Israeli Hawk missile units at an Independence Day military parade in Jerusalem, 1968.
Moshe Milner, GPO
An infantry unit marching in Tel Aviv on Independence Day, 1955.
Moshe Pridan, GPO
Tanks in Tel Aviv during the 1955 Independence Day military parade.
Fritz Cohen, GPO
Soldiers march in the Independence Day parade in Tel Aviv in 1962.
Daniel Rosenblum
The Israeli television's first broadcast: the 1968 military parade.