Israel’s 70th Birthday fills me with pride, and while I’m in Israel, the festivities have been going on around the world already. The 70th anniversary of the state of Israel is a time to celebrate, and while the day was May 14, 1948, a lot has changed.
Israel is the region’s only nuclear power, the economy is booming and the startup sector remains impressive.
And it’s heart-warming to see thousands from across the world celebrating with us. The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia had a “5-6-70 Israel” bash, where kids and adults alike were present. Over 2,400 people joined, and kids could be seen waving Israeli flags and painting their faces.
The community was strong, with skull ring jewelry on sale, selfie booths and Israeli celebrities and public figures standing as cardboard cutouts. Jake’s Kosher Smoked Meat provided food, along with many others, as the sounds of “Shalom Aleichem” filled the room.
Attendees were happy to show their Israeli pride, and many of them came from Israel to the States a decade or two ago. Pride was bursting at the seams when attendees discussed Israel’s contributions to the world. Science, technology and medicine remain key points for Israel’s strength on its 70th birthday.
Attendees also reminisced about Israel’s landscapes and markets they remembered exploring as kids.
Cairo celebrated a belated Independence Day celebration for the first time in over 10 years. The Israeli Embassy held the event last week under heavy security at the Cairo Ritz Carlton. Middle Eastern cuisine was provided by Chef Shaul Ben Aderet as hundreds attend, including influential Egyptians.
What’s special is that the Cairo embassy hasn’t held a celebration in a decade. Egyptian officials are often against events, and anti-Semitism is on the rise. Terrorist attack fears are also on the rise, making such events a potential hazard. Yet on Israel’s 70th birthday, fear is driven out for celebration.
United States Vice President Mike Pence is slated to give a speech on May 14 that many in the United States are preparing to hear. The speech will be in honor of Israel’s 70th Independence Day and will be held at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington.
The day is a day to remember our past, and while celebrations are taking place around the world, we’re also in the midst of conflict; conflict that I hope will one day turn to peace.
The U.S. Jerusalem embassy opened with extreme clashes. Palestine officials claim it’s the deadliest day since the 2014 Gaza war. At least 41 people are dead, and 1,800 have been wounded by Israeli troops. Palestinians are infuriated by the embassy’s move, which marks the US’s backing for Israeli rule over Palestine.
Violent riots have taken place, with over 40,000 Palestinians taking part, according to the IDF.
The Nakba commemoration sparked the protests, and it’s a trend I hope will one day be banished. But while the day may be filled with violence and protests, it’s also a day that the world celebrates. Peace talks continue, and maybe one day the protests will end and further celebrations will begin.