Independence Day 2013 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The annual torch-lighting ceremony at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl marked the
end of Remembrance Day on Monday evening and touched off Israel's 65th
Independence Day celebrations.
There were 14 torch lighters in
this year's ceremony including Danny Shapira, formerly Israel’s chief
test pilot, noted historian Muki Tsur, Orthodox feminist and philosophy
scholar Tamar Ross and Beduin Achva Academic College president Elian
Members of Knesset in attendance included Leader of the
Opposition Shelly Yacimovich, Economics and Trade Minister Naftali
Bennett and Education Minister Shai Piron. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.
Benny Gantz was also present.
Speaker of the Knesset Yuli
Edelstein gave the opening address of the ceremony and lit the first
torch of the event. Edelstein emphasized the importance of civility in
Israeli political discourse. Edelstein said "Even when we argue we
should never desire the destruction of our opponent."
Ashurov came to the ceremony from Netanya with her mother, niece and
nephew. Ashurov made aliya from Azerbaijan 33 years ago when she was one
years old with her parents. This is her first time coming to the
ceremony. "I think that every year we pass in Israel is something special. We're still a young country and we're still learning from our mistakes," she said, adding she feels Israeli and not
Following a day of ceremonies honoring Israel's fallen soldiers
and victims of terror attacks, Israelis began to celebrate the country's birthday.
Free outdoor concerts were set to be held in cities throughout the country on Monday evening.
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