Israel readies for 70th anniversary in song

Rivlin, Culture Ministry release new videos in celebration.

March 26, 2018 03:49
1 minute read.
Gali Atari (L) and Eden Ben-Zaken (R) duet the classic song "Hallelujah".

Gali Atari (L) and Eden Ben-Zaken (R) duet the classic song "Hallelujah".. (photo credit: RAFI DELOUYA)


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Israel is planning all sorts of ways to honor its upcoming 70th anniversary – and that includes, of course, through song. On Sunday, two new videos were released as the country gears up for all the celebrations coming next month.

The Culture and Sports Ministry officially released a special updated version of the song “Hallelujah” – which landed Israel first place in the 1979 Eurovision competition. The new song, which was recorded two weeks ago, is a duet between Gali Atari, who originally performed it at Eurovision, and current pop superstar Eden Ben-Zaken. The pair are slated to perform the song at the official state celebrations in Jerusalem next month.

מנהלת חגיגות ה-70 השיר הללויה (Credit: Debby Communications/YouTube)But, not to be outdone, President Reuven Rivlin is also working on his musical chops.

On Sunday Rivlin announced that he had partnered with the social music initiative Koolulam to create a nationwide joining together in song with Naomi Shemer’s “Al Kol Eleh” (Over All These Things). Rivlin, in partnership with the Social Equality Ministry and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, is inviting 12,000 citizens to join him – and singer Shlomi Shabat – on April 9 to record the song at Menorah Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. קולולם עושים את יום העצמאות ה70 למדינת ישראל (Credit: קולולם Koolulam/YouTube)

In the promo clip, Rivlin is struggling to write a speech before he realizes he’d much rather express himself through song.

“Song is something that brings people together,” he said. “Instead of giving a speech and speaking and speaking, blah blah blah, maybe I should just...” and the president breaks out into song, eventually gathering the rest of his office to join him.

“Let’s sing together,” the president declared. “Religious, secular, Arabs, Jews, soldiers, women, men, children... let’s put aside everything that divides us and do together what connects us and brings us together – it’ll be fun!”

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