Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin on Thursday said that minority groups must be represented in the Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. The list of torch-bearers for this year's ceremony was released Wednesday, and included only Jews.
"There are groups in Israel who have linked their destinies and their lives with the Israeli society and they are full partners in the Zionist project and in defending the existence of the State of Israel," Rivlin said. It is impossible not to represent that reality in the official government ceremony celebrating Israel's independence, he added. "We are not talking about a symbolic issue but rather about real life, and we cannot deny that."
Rivlin asserted that despite the names of the Independence Day torch-bearers were already published, they surely can be fixed so that minorities can participate in the ceremony. "I trust and am sure the committee charged with organizing the ceremony will find the right way to do so."