Independence Day ceremony: Netanyahu to deliver short speech, Edelstein to attend

After threatening to boycott the traditional torch lighting ceremony, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein has apparently agreed to attend the event even though Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver a short speech in person.
Netanyahu Photo Credit: Hillel Maeir/TPS

It appears that a compromise has been reached between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. According to a Hadashot news report, Edelstein will attend the torch lighting ceremony that will kick off Israel’s 70th Independence Day even though Netanyahu will deliver short remarks in person.

Last month, Edelstein said that he would not attend the event if Netanyahu delivers a speech, arguing that an address by the prime minister would politicize the ceremony.

On Thursday, it was reported that President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernández will participate in the traditional torch lighting ceremony. Hernández is expected to light a torch along with a representative from Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (Mashav).

While right-wing politicians welcomed Hernández’s participation, the head of the left-wing Meretz party called for the cancelation of his invitation. The MK called the decision to invite the leader an excuse intended to enable the participation of Netanyahu.

In a letter sent to Culture Minister Miri Regev, Tamar Zandberg accused the Honduran government of committing serious human rights violations against its citizens. “Honduras is one of the most corrupt and dangerous regimes in the world for its citizens,” Zandberg stated in her letter. “Reports say the civil police, the military police and the Honduran army were involved in a series of serious human rights violations, harassment, torture and extrajudicial killings.”



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