Peres with flag 521 (do not publish again).
(photo credit: Flash 90)
This year, thanks to modern technology, the whole world can join in Independence
Day celebrations in Jerusalem.
President Shimon Peres decided that a
significant segment of the celebrations taking place at Beit Hanassi on Tuesday
morning will be webcast from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Israel time. The webcast is being distributed by the Ministry for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora.
program includes a practice that was introduced last year and was so favorably
received that it is getting an encore – albeit with a partial change of
The morning celebration at Beit Hanassi always includes an air
force flyby as well as the ceremony in which the President’s Prize for
excellence is distributed to 120 outstanding soldiers from different branches of
the IDF and from various units within those branches. There is also a parade by
The immediate families of the soldiers are invited, and
for them the experience is both exciting and emotional. It is even more so for
the parents of foreign-born lone soldiers who specially come to Israel for the
occasion. Speeches are delivered by the president and the chief of General
staff, followed by a response by one of the outstanding
Interspersed with the formalities is entertainment by an IDF
band and a group of soldier singers.
Last year, a new element enhanced
the entertainment when the president, the prime minister, the defense minister
and the chief of General Staff each chose his favorite song to sing with the IDF
and the crowd gathered on the lawns of Beit Hanassi.
The songs were all
related to the state’s independence and each of the dignitaries explained why he
had chosen it and how it impacted on his personal history.
this year will be even more vibrant with the addition of professional singers
Miri Mesika, Harel Skaat, and Kobi Aflalo.
From the vast store of
nostalgic Israeli songs, Peres chose “Hen Efshar” (Yes, it’s possible), which he
will sing together with Mesika. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu chose
“Yerushalayim shel Zahav” (Jerusalem of Gold), which he will sing with Aflalo,
and Defense Minister Ehud Barak selected “Hinneini Kan” (Behold I’m Here), which
he’ll sing with Skaat.
Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz opted
to sing with the IDF entertainment troupe and will sing a medley of songs that
are part of the Independence Day repertoire of most Israeli
In addition to the webcast
, the morning’s events will be broadcast live on
Channels 1, 2, 9 and 10, Israel Radio’s Reshet Bet and Reshet Gimmel, Army Radio