Israel’s 60th Birthday

Israel unveils plans for $28 million 60th birthday bash by Dave
April 7, 2008, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Birthday Budget, Israel, Israel at 60 Celebration, Ruhama Avraham | Tags:

Birthday Bash, a.k.a. disgusting celebration of 60 years of ethnic cleansing, plans are unveiled.

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel rolled out its plans for this year’s 60th anniversary celebrations Sunday, promising aerial displays, concerts and a nationwide laser light show in a package with a $28 million (¤18 million) price tag.
At a news conference to announce the events, Cabinet minister Ruhama Avraham Balila said some of the budget would go on projects which would last far beyond this year’s Independence Day celebrations, including a 1,200 kilometer (750 mile) trans-Israel bicycle trail, a footpath circling the Sea of Galilee and renovation of war memorials around the country.
Some of have already begun, while others run through September.
A stream of world leaders and other VIPs are to visit Israel for the birthday celebrations, with U.S. President George W. Bush scheduled to arrive on May 14, she said.
Israel declared statehood in 1948 after Britain ended 31 years of U.N.-mandated rule over Palestine. The date is marked in Israel according to the Hebrew calendar and falls this year on May 8.
One project is a youth drive to collect 1.5 million marbles, representing the number of Jewish children who perished in the Nazi Holocaust. The marbles will be encased in a monument to the dead children near Tel Aviv.
«We hope that when children see what one and a half million actually looks like, rather than as an abstract number, it will really bring home the reality of what happened,» said Haim Goldberg, head of the steering group for the anniversary observances.

While Independence Day is marked with by fireworks and dancing by Jewish Israelis, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and many of the 1.4 million Arabs who are Israeli citizens see the founding of the Jewish state as a tragic event which they call it al-Naqba, Arabic for «the catastrophe.
Avraham Balila acknowledged the sensitivity of the commemoration for Israeli-Arabs _ who make up about one fifth of the country’s population _ and said this year’s program would include a workshop on coexistence for Jewish and Arab youngsters and a Bedouin festival in the rundown Bedouin desert town of Rahat.


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