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Bibi’s & Arab Israelis' Yom Ha’atzmaut greetings

  • HaAtz bibi
WATCH or READ: Independence Day a 'Renaissance of National Culture' PM’s message was a dedication to human rights. "We've built a robust and healthy democracy, where freedom is sacrosanct and human rights are enshrined in our laws for all. We've built a society in which all Israel's citizens are equal under the law, Arab and Jew alike." Also read Israeli-Arab Aharish’s speech at ceremony: “This is our country, we have no other.”
by ANT KATZ | Apr 23, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a special video greeting on Wednesday night, in honour of Israel's 67th Independence Day.


READ BELOW: Israeli-Arab journalist had to stifle her tears

In the message, which was broadcast during the annual Independence Day event on Mount Herzl, Netanyahu spoke about Israel as a source of pride.

"Independence Day is an occasion for genuine celebration," he said. "Jews celebrate the rebirth of our national freedom in our historic homeland, the Land of Israel. We celebrate the fact that our people are no longer stateless and powerless, but are once again masters of our own fate.

"We celebrate the fact that Jews everywhere enjoy the rights they were denied for so many centuries: the right to make aliyah and be part of the modern state of Israel.

"We also celebrate Israel's many achievements," he added. "We've integrated into our society immigrants from all four corners of the earth. We've successfully defended our freedom against attacks by hostile neighbours."

"We've literally made the desert bloom, building a vibrant and dynamic high-tech economy," he added. Netanyahu also stressed Israel's true dedication to human freedoms.

"We've built a robust and healthy democracy, where freedom is sacrosanct and human rights are enshrined in our laws for all. We've built a society in which all Israel's citizens are equal under the law, Arab and Jew alike.

"We've witnessed a real renaissance in our national culture. We take pride in Israel's achievements - and even though there is still much work to be done, on this day we can unite and celebrate in Israel's many successes."

Israeli-Arab journalist Lucy Aharsih stifles tears

At points it seemed that Israeli-Arab journalist Lucy Aharsih was stifling tears as she delivered her address before lighting a torch at the Independence Day ceremony in Jerusalem on Thursday.

Aharish was presented by the host of the ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem as "an example of the end of days reality when the wolf will live with the lamb, and there will be coexistence with peace in our country".

Speaking in Hebrew Aharish said she was lighting the torch to honour all human beings who had not lost hope for peace and for "the innocent children who live in this land, for whom we have continually promised a better future; for those who are no longer with us and who fell victim to hate at the hands of those who have forgotten that we are all born in the image of one god. 

"To the honour of the Mizrahim and the Ashkenazim, the religious and the secular, the Arabs and the Jews and to the honour of the people of this land who remind us that we don't have another country; to the honour of the Israelis, and all human beings, and to the glory of the State of Israel."

Toward the end of her speech Aharish said in Arabic: "This is our country we have no other."   

Born to Muslim parents from Nazareth, Aharish grew up in Dimona. She has been a fixture on Israeli television in recent years, serving as a host on newscasts and talk shows for Channel 10, Channel 2, and others.

The honour to light one of the 12 torches at the ceremony is bestowed upon citizens who have made significant contributions to the state. 

Earlier this week a far-right Jewish extremist movement Lehava (whose Hebrew acronym stands for “preventing assimilation in the Holy Land”), requested a police permit to stage a demonstration in Jerusalem against Aharish's participation in the ceremony. The group decided to cancel the demonstration due to police imposed limitations, Channel 2 reported on Wednesday.

The head of the group, Benzi Gopstein, said that the protests were meant to persuade the Israeli authorities to cancel Aharish’s participation due to her being “an anti-Zionist who is not loyal to the state".

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