Israel at 60

'Boycott' fails to ruin Turin's book fair in honour of Israel

May 16, 2008

Calls for a boycott had little impact on the Turin Book Fair, which honoured Israel and Israeli authors last weekend on the Jewish state’s 60th birthday.

Thousands of book-lovers flocked to hear some of Israel’s top authors present their works at a long roster of public readings and round-table talks.

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Israeli flag fails to fly at Scottish celebration

By Simon Rocker, May 16, 2008

Organisers of the main celebration of Israel’s 60th anniversary in Scotland last week decided not to raise the Israeli flag for fear of provoking pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

Ten years ago — for Israel’s 50th — the flag was raised on a flagpole in a ceremony outside the premises of East Renfrewshire Council where the event had been staged.

But after discussions between local organisers and the council, the decision was taken not to repeat the exercise this time. The 60th event was held at the same venue, in the south of Glasgow.

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Israel 60 Gala rocked by protesters

By Alex Kasriel, May 16, 2008

Solidarity hardened among the 7,500-strong crowd at the Israel 60 Gala in Wembley Arena last week after a surreal incident occurred moments before the show began.

While they waited for the entertainment to start, a massive cheer rang out as around 30 police swarmed into the audience and wrestled a group of anti-Israel protesters to the ground.

Four men and one woman were led from the building where they were arrested for public order offences and released on bail.

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Milliband tribute ahead of Israel trip

By Daniella Peled, May 16, 2008

Foreign Secretary David Milliband delivered an unscripted tribute to Israel’s achievements and search for peace at the Israeli embassy Independence Day Party this week. Expressing his delight at participating in the celebration, held at a central London hotel with 2,000 invited guests, Mr Milliband praised Israel’s free press and achievements in agriculture and technology.

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Ajex's North-East to take part in Israel's 60th anniversary events

May 9, 2008

Members of the Newcastle and North-East Branch of Ajex are to take part in Israel’s 60th anniversary events. The branch standard is to be paraded in  Israel and two plaques will be presented: one to the Parachute Brigade, of which Newcastle and North East Branch member David Bell is being made an honorary member, and the other to Kibbutz Ein Gedi.

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Queen’s mazeltov message

May 9, 2008

The Queen has sent her congratulations to the government and people of Israel on its 60th anniversary.

In a letter to President Peres, she wrote: “It gives me particular pleasure to send my congratulations on the celebration of the 60th anniversary of your independence. I extend my best wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the government and people of Israel in the coming year.”

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Peres rejects Hamas talks

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 9, 2008

President Shimon Peres reaffirmed Israel’s refusal to deal with Hamas in a special press conference for Israel’s 60th anniversary.



Peres speaks at the conference

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Youthful slant to Ilford party

By Craig Silver, May 9, 2008

A sell-out 300-plus crowd was in a party mood at Jewish Care's Sinclair House on Wednesday evening as the Redbridge community marked Israel’s 60th birthday.

Film, discussions and guest speakers lined-up for Northwood's Israel 60 celebrations

May 2, 2008

Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue is running a six-week programme of events commemorating Israel’s 60th birthday.


The weekly sessions include films, discussions and guest speakers, including Leo Baeck College principal and historian Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein, whose subject was the challenges now facing Israel. The programme culminates with a celebration party.

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IDF chief at camp tribute

May 2, 2008

The March of the Living, an annual gathering of young Jews at Auschwitz, will be led by IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi this week in honour of Israel’s upcoming 60th anniversary. Some 10,000 participants will vow to fight all forms of genocide and discrimination at the ceremony, due to take place at the site of the former camp on Thursday.

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