Prime Minister Boris Johnson has led congratulations from the UK to Israel for the Jewish state’s 74th Independence Day.
In the tweet, Boris wished Israel and his ‘friends’ President Herzog and Prime Minister Bennet ‘a very happy Independence Day,” adding, “The UK has always stood by Israel and its right to live as any nation should be able to – in peace, prosperity and security.”
The UK has always stood by Israel and its right to live as any nation should be able to – in peace, prosperity and security 🇬🇧🇮🇱
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 5, 2022
After two years of disruption due to the pandemic, celebrations returned to normal for Israel’s Independence Day, which began with the iconic Israeli Air Force flyover circled the skies over most of the country giving Israelis in various communities the opportunity to see the air force.
צה״ל ציין את יום העצמאות ה-74 למדינת ישראל במטס, משט דרומי ובסיסים פתוחים למבקרים בהם ביקרו למעלה מרבע מיליון אנשים.
המטס חלף מעל עשרות ערים ויישובים, בהשתתפות 103 צוותי אוויר ו-60 כלי טיס של חיל האוויר – ביניהם, בפעם הראשונה, מטוס מאוייש מרחוק מסוג ״איתן״ >> pic.twitter.com/aKn4o3C8mK
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) May 5, 2022
Other events Thursday include the annual International Bible Quiz in Jerusalem and torch lighting ceremony at Mt Herzl.
In a special video address, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett hailed the spirit that has transformed Israel from a small nation in the desert into a modern technological leader.
“The story of Israel is a story of hope, a story of human spirit, a story of surviving against all odds. It’s a story of a nation that built something from nothing, a scattered people returning to our ancient homeland,” Bennett said.
“What’s the secret to our strength? It’s our people, our passion, our spirit of Am Yisrael. No matter the horrors we faced, we never lost our hope; No matter who tries to dehumanize us, we never lost our humanity; No matter who tries to destroy us, we’ll never be defeated. We will always prevail,” he said.
During the flyover, President Herzog addressed the pilots over the radio saying, “To all Air Force pilots and soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces in the air at sea and on land, on the 74th anniversary of Israel’s independence, I wish you a happy Independence Day!”
For many Israelis, Independence Day was celebrated by visiting parks and nature reserves, spending time with family and enjoying barbecues.
It follows a sequence of commemorative days that offer a poignant reminder of the modern State of Israel’s journey. Independence Day follows two consecutive commemorations: Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, is followed by Yom HaZikaron, or Memorial Day, which honours those who died in defense of the Jewish state. Only after these two commemorations does Israel celebrate its independence on Yom Ha’atzmaut, or Independence Day, which immediately follows.
We call upon the UK Government to officially recognise Jerusalem is Israel's capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem.