Thousands of Israelis gather up and down the country to sing in celebration of Israel’s 70th anniversary as part of a project called Kooloolam. Here the song is ‘Chai’, which was popularised before her tragically early death by the Yemenite diva Ofra Haza in 1983 (with thanks: Malca)
Israel is marking its 70th birthday with celebrations around the world. It has a lot to celebrate: it has turned from a poor and developing into a developed nation, a world leader in so many fields.
What is unprecedented – and often overlooked – is the enormous challenges it has faced to ingather Jews from East and West, North and South and integrate them in Israel’s vibrant and colourful society. Most of those Jews came with nothing, yet were accepted without condition.
The state still remains embattled and under existential threat. By any yardstick, however, and whatever the social and cultural tensions, Israel has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams.
Happy birthday Israel ! יום הולדת שמח