The Tel Aviv Municipality announced on Sunday that it will not hold a fireworks show on the eve of the 74th Independence Day of the State of Israel. This, according to mayor Ron Huldai, is out of consideration for former soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“We are attentive to the feelings of the hearts of the public and after much thought and many difficulties in reaching a decision, which also included a comprehensive survey, I decided that this year there will be no fireworks at the Independence Day ceremonies,” Huldai said.
“One of the things that influenced the decision were appeals from soldiers with PTSD asking to cancel the show, as well as consideration for the population of people with disabilities. I hope next year we will find an environmentally friendly and equally, if not more, impressive alternative.”
Culture and Sports Minister Chili Tropper welcomed the decision. “I would like to congratulate Ron Huldai and the dozens of heads of local authorities, who joined my decision to cancel the fireworks at the torch ceremony, and made the right and valued decision to embrace our soldiers.
“This is the practice of a society that has solidarity. I call on the heads of the authorities who have not yet done so – it is not too late to do so.”
Tel Aviv’s decision was preceded by many other cities, amid widespread protests by PTSD sufferers.
Among these are Kiryat Ono, Hatzor HaGlilit, Ramat Gan, Herzliya, Ra’anana, Eilat, Binyamina-Givat Ada, Shlomi, Mateh Asher, Nahariya, Shlomi, Kiryat Motzkin, Pardes Hanna-Karkur, Ramat Hasharon, Netivot and Ramle.
In Haifa, it was decided to reduce the fireworks displays “significantly.” “We all have a duty to consider the other and make sure that everyone can enjoy the celebrations of our country’s independence,” the Binyamina-Givat Ada local council said.
Meanwhile, the Beersheba municipality decided to hold the fireworks show this year. “This will be the last one in this format,” it stated. “Starting next year, we will prepare in advance for the preparation of a suitable and appropriate alternative that will create an experience for all residents.”
The show in Jerusalem will also take place as planned.