Breaking from tradition, PM to speak at 70th Independence Day ceremony

For the very first time, the main speaker at the annual Independence Day ceremony in Jerusalem will not be the Knesset Speaker, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose to break from tradition and deliver a speech on Israel's upcoming 70th birthday.
Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, on which the Independence Day ceremony is annually held Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90/Channel 2 News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to give a speech at the 70th Independence Day ceremony, making him the first Prime Minister in Israel's history to do so.

Traditionally, the role of the main speaker at the annual torch-lighting ceremony on Independence Day is given to the Speaker of the Knesset.

A formal invitation to the ceremony from Netanyahu's office has been sent out to multiple heads of state. Netanyahu has reportedly also spoken personally on the phone with some of them.

The decision was made despite the objection of Yuli Edelstein, the Knesset Speaker, who pushed for two separate ceremonies.

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