What is Israel Independence Day?
It is the day on which Israel earned its independence from Britain. It is also the day that marks the Israeli Declaration of Independence.
The Israel Independence Day is on Iyar 5th. It is usually in late April/early May.
Israeli Declaration of Independence:
On that independence day, the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, announced the reformation of the State of Israel, signing its Declaration of Independence.
If you are not interested in reading the full text of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, here I will give you an easy digestion of what is written there:
First it talks about the land of Israel and how important it is to the Jewish people from the religious and spiritual perspectives, then talks about the suffering of Jews in exile and their dream of returning home. Of course it didn’t forget Zionism’s biggest name, Theodore Herzl, and also the Balfour Declaration. It also briefed a paragraph or less on the Nazis and the Holocaust.
Then it talks about how early Jews made it back to the Land of Israel, and how they “made deserts bloom” and brought the Hebrew language back into life.
It, then, talks about the future of the State of Israel and how prepared the new nation is to face the challenges, it also promises Arabic-speaking citizens that their rights are untouchable, and that they are full citizens of the new state.
It finally talks about peace with neighboring Arabic-speaking countries and sends an open invitation to Jews in diaspora to immigrate to Israel.
The text of the declaration is available to the public, here is the full text of the document in English. And here is a snapshot of it in Hebrew, signed by David Ben Gurion.
Israel Day of Independence Law, 1949:
This law that was passed by the Knesset in 1949 (5709 in Hebrew calendar). The law says that “the Knesset proclaims that the fifth day of Iyar is Independence Day” and that it will be celebrated every year as a national holiday.
The law also states that if 5th of Iyar is Shabbat, then the Day of Independence will be celebrated on the 3rd of the month.
But if the 5th of Iyar is a Friday, then the Day of Independence will be celebrated on the 4th of the month.
And if 5th of Iyar is a Monday, then Independence Day will be celebrated on the 6th of the month.
The law says that the Prime Minister of Israel is the one to determine the waving of the flag of Israel, instructing labor and public service employees with their working hours on that day. The Prime Minister is also the one to determine what the symbols of the holiday are.
Here you can find the complete Law of Israel Independence Day on Knesset’s Official Website.
What to do on Israel Independence Day?
Though the law of Independence Day states that the Prime Minister of Israel is the one to answer that question, Israelis have long made their minds. Here are a few things that Israelis do on a typical Independence Day:
1: Waving the Flag of Israel! I know this might sound silly, it’s a no brainer thing, of course they wave the flags, but when I say flags, I mean tons of them! I believe Israelis own more flags than any other group of people on earth. Not sure what they do with them, but they own them!
2: Visiting IDF Camps! Israel is very secretive about its military power and activities, but not on Independence Day! May army camps open to the public on that day, allowing them to feel secure by learning about the latest Israeli technology in defense.
3: Barbeques! Israelis love to have meat on Israel Independence Day, they just go out and install their BBQ’s wherever possible.
4: Concerts and Movies: There are more music concerts and movies on TV on that day than any other day of the day. Unlike most Israeli holidays, this one is very secular, so people can finally let their hair down and enjoy together without any political or religious profiling.
More Pictures of the Israeli Independence Day: