Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day)

  • Israel Reforms Economy on Eve of Independence Day

    Israel has taken another big step toward a free- market economy. Under the sweeping reforms announced Tuesday, foreign currency restrictions on Israeli individuals and businesses would soon be scrapped. The reforms will enable Israelis to freely invest abroad in such areas as land and real estate for the first time ever. Israeli citizens will also… More ▸

  • Israel Marks Independence Day Amid Gloom over Peace Process

    Israel held its 49th Independence Day celebrations amid an unpromising climate for restarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The state ceremony at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl on Sunday evening opened with the theme, “100 years of Zionism,” to commemorate the century that has passed since the first session of the Zionist Congress was held in Basel, Switzerland, to set… More ▸

  • Gauche Gaffe Causes French Brass to Shun Israel Independence Day

    The Israeli Embassy’s Independence Day reception was snubbed last week by French officials, apparently because the new Israeli envoy committed what the host government considered a breach of protocol. No senior member of the French government showed up, nor did anyone from the opposition. Ambassador Yehuda Lancry, who replaced eight-year veteran Ambassador Ovadia Soffer, apparently… More ▸

  • Dutch Celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut

    Israel’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Michael Bawly, tried something different on Yom Ha’atzmaut this year, apparently with great success. Instead of the usual Independence Day reception at the Embassy May 7, the Israeli envoy arranged a concert in the vast new concert hall in The Hague, featuring young Israeli musicians. Instead of several hundred guests,… More ▸

  • Israel Somberly Observes Memorial Day, then Shifts Gears for Independence Day

    The mood in Israel was somber on Yom Hazikaron Wednesday, despite the thousands of blue-and-white flags flapping from utility poles, building and cars in preparation for the joyous celebration of Israel’s 44th Independence Day the following day. More than 50,000 family and friends of Israel’s war dead gathered under gray skies at 40 military cemeteries… More ▸

  • Israel Celebrates Yom Ha’atzmaut with Traditional Picnics and Hikes

    Beaches and picnic grounds were packed Wednesday as hundreds of thousands of Israelis enjoyed mild weather and sunny skies on the 41st anniversary of their independence. The sunbathers and picnickers included many religious Jews who made the most of the secular holiday. The Orthodox do not travel on the Sabbath and religious holidays, which are… More ▸

  • Tehiya Wants Singer Excluded from Yom Ha’atzmaut Ceremony

    Popular singer Chava Alberstein has become the Jane Fonda of Israel. The right-wing party Tehiya is furious that the dovish vocalist has been chosen to be one of the torch lighters in the traditional ceremony opening Israel Independence Day festivities Tuesday night. Members of the party held a demonstration Sunday on Mount Herzl to protest… More ▸

  • Rightwing Politicians Hold Israel Independence Day Rally in West Bank

    Rightwing politicians denounced the idea of an international conference for Middle East peace at an Independence Day rally in the West Bank settlement of Ariel Monday. Gush Emunim activists marched around Jericho and vowed to “swallow up” the Arab town with a Jewish settlement on the ancient site. But apart from those events, politics were… More ▸

  • Independence Day in Israel

    Israelis celebrated the 38th anniversary of their independence Wednesday without incident but mainly indoors. Unseasonably chilly weather discouraged the usual mass exodus to beaches and picnic grounds. Thousands of residents of the northern border town of Kiryat Shemona participated in Independence Day festivities. Local leaders said it was a gesture of defiance after a Katyusha… More ▸