One of the planned attractions for Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations will be a cross-country motorbike ride, as hundreds of Harley-Davidson riders, including dozens from the US, Canada and Australia, will make their way from Metula, in the country's north, to Eilat in its south.
The ride was initiated by the Israeli motorbike federation, which invited its American, Canadian and Australian sister federations to participate.
Getting the Canadian delegation to come to Israel proved slightly more complicated than anticipated, requiring the intervention of the Foreign Ministry, the Israeli Consulate in Toronto and Minister Ruhama Avraham (Kadima), who heads the organization of the anniversary's events.
Only after Avraham and the Foreign Ministry intervened, the Israeli Customs agreed to allow the bikes in the country free of taxation or guarantee payments.
The delegates sponsor themselves, with each biker spending about $9,000 to 11,000 on the trip. If all goes well, some 700 bikers are expected to take part in the ride.
"We want to salute the State of Israel, as well as do our part in changing its (international) image," Gideon Lee, an Israeli-Canadian biker told Yedioth Ahronoth. "Besides, we think Harley-Davidsons go very well with the scenery."