Israeli PM turns down 70th Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony speech

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided not to participate in the annual torch-lighting ceremony marking Israel’s 70th Independence Day because his attendance would make it harder for bereaved families to visit their loved ones’ graves at Mount Herzl on Yom Hazikaron.
Netanyahu Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Channel 2 News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided not to take part in the annual torch-lighting ceremony that marks the beginning of Israel’s Independence Day, Channel 2 News learned Thursday.

Traditionally, the honor of the highest-ranking official at the ceremony is given to the Knesset speaker. However, in honor of Israel’s 70th Independence Day, it was decided to incorporate Netanyahu in the ceremony. It was also reported that if Netanyahu participates in the event, the government would save money because the visiting heads of state would attend the torch-lighting ceremony instead of a separate event.

However, Netanyahu was recently made aware that if he attends the torch-lighting ceremony along with the visiting dignitaries as planned, the required security measures would make it harder for bereaved families to visit their loved ones’ graves at Mount Herzl on Yom Hazikaron.



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