Birth of Israel

On this day: Chaim Weizmann elected

By Jennifer Lipman, May 16, 2011

Two days after David Ben Gurion declared Israel's independence and the surrounding Arab armies attacked, the fledgling state voted in its first president. He would not be officially sworn in until the following February

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Berlusconi: Italy won't support unilateral Palestine

By Jennifer Lipman, May 13, 2011

Silvio Berlusconi has promised that Italy will not recognise a Palestinian state if one is declared without agreement with Israel.

The Italian Prime Minister, speaking during a Yom Ha'atzmaut event in Rome, was quoted pledging that Italy would "absolutely not" accept a unilateral declaration.

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Pally crowd celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut

By Jessica Elgot, May 12, 2011

An appropriately coloured haze settled on London's Alexandra Palace on Tuesday night as 1,000 guests ate, sang and danced on Israel's 63rd birthday.

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Israeli visitors enjoying new Magic Moments

By Jennifer Lipman, May 12, 2011

Showing off her new necklace, Nofar Valal explained why the gift from her British host family meant so much. "You see these two hearts? One is for the diaspora, one is for Israel. Together we are one big family."

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Demo in Dublin, taking off in Newcastle

May 12, 2011

The Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign protested outside the Dublin hotel where the Israel Embassy hosted an Independence Day party for diplomats, Irish government officials and Jewish community members on Tuesday. The demonstration passed off peacefully and there were no arrests.

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JNF and ZF provide Electric atmosphere

By Jennifer Lipman, May 12, 2011

Camden's Electric Ballroom was turned blue and white on Monday evening as more than 600 students and young professionals came out to celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut with Young JNF and Israel Connect.

The atmosphere was as sparkling as the glowsticks and glitter tattoos liberally distributed by the organisers.

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Great Scots: We are up for a party

By Stephanie Brickman, May 12, 2011

Glasgow's celebration was kicked off by a blast from the shofar from Rabbi Danny Bergson, whose musical skills saved the day last year when the volcanic ash cloud prevented the scheduled Israeli performers from travelling.

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Redbridge keeping up its 'proud tradition'

May 12, 2011

Young and old joined forces at Jewish Care's Redbridge Jewish Youth and Community Centre as a 250-plus crowd celebrated Yom Ha'atzmaut.

Drawing on more than 30 years' experience of Independence Day events, Nettie Keene observed: "Every year these celebrations get more enjoyable. There is a great community spirit and solidarity. It's a fantastic and fun night to be a part of."

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Hall of Fame: Arnold Schwarzenegger

May 12, 2011

"I would like to wish Israel another 63 years of great joy, peace and a thriving economy.

"I've had the pleasure of being there many times and have seen it from a bodybuilding point of view, from a tourist's point of view, from an entertainer's point of view, from the governor's point of view. I'm looking forwards to going there many more times."

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On this day: Israel joins the UN

By Jennifer Lipman, May 11, 2011

Almost a year after David Ben Gurion declared independence for the Jewish state; Israel was welcomed into the global club.

With something of a fraught relationship between the two since, it was nonetheless a positive step. Twelve countries voyted against welcoming the 59th members, including Afghanistan, India and Iraq, while nine, among them Britain, Denmark and Greece, abstained.

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