Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day)

Background: Today (May 10th) is Yom Ha’atzmaut, or Israel’s Independence Day is May, which commemorates the day David Ben Gurion declared Israel and independent state based on UN Resolution 181. The state was recognized immediately by the United States, the Soviet Union, and many other countries except for the Arab states, seven of which (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia), declared war, invading Israel and starting the 1948 Arab-Israeli War (known as the War of Independence in Israel, and al-Nakba, or “the Catastrophe” by Arabs). The outcome was an Israeli “victory” resulting in many deaths on both sides, but Israel remaining independent (obviously). Yom Ha’atzmaut follows the Jewish Calendar and its date therefore changes every year.

Impressions: There are many events during Yom Ha’atzmaut. The major cities have parades and street parties, and many air force bases are open to the public. I got to go to both. What’s most noticeable about the day is the amount of patriotism that arises. Israel is a pretty patriotic country already but during this week (and the week before), the streets and cars and filled with flag. If you walk down the street you’ll see at least five cars with flags on the windows, flags hanging from the buildings, and people humming the HaTikva. I was told that in the past (as in up until a couple of years ago), Israelis would also fly the American flag (I’ve even seen some today), but then they realized it doesn’t make that much sense.

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~ by jonathanmtsai on May 10, 2011.

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