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Photo: GPO
The original declaration of independence
Photo: GPO
Israel to reenact declaration of independence for jubilee
In honor of Israel's 70th Independence Day, actors portraying Ben Gurion, other members of People's Council will congregate in Tel Aviv's Independence Hall to reenact declaration of independence; reenactment to be streamed live on Facebook, displayed on huge screens in Rothschild Street.

The state of Israel's declaration of independence will be reenacted in full this coming Independence Day, marking the country's 70th—or platinum—jubilee, including actors portraying the original's ceremony's participants, Yedioth Ahronoth has learned.

 

 

This undertaking marks the flagship project of the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage and the World Zionist Organization (WZO) for the country's 70th Independence Day. The plan as it stands is to reenact the independence declaration event, which took place May 14, 1948, in Independence Hall—situated in Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard.

 

Therefore, exactly as it transpired during the actual event, an actor portraying future first prime minister David Ben Gurion will inaugurate the final meeting of the People's Council, soon to become the Provisional State Council.


Actors will reenact Israel's Declaration of Independence (Photo: GPO)
Actors will reenact Israel's Declaration of Independence (Photo: GPO)

 

The ceremony will kick off with a rousing rendition of HaTikva, Israel's future national anthem, after which "Ben Gurion" will read from the Declaration of Independence itself.

 

When the declaration concludes, an actor playing Rabbi Yehuda Leib Maimon will recite the Shehecheyanu blessing, recited during momentous or special occasions.

 

The 25 members of the People's Council will then do the honors of signing their names to the bottom of the parchment containing the declaration—first Ben Gurion and then the rest of the council's members alphabetically. In order to remain close to the historical script, the meeting will then conclude with another singing of HaTikva.

 

According to the plan—which has already been approved, budgeted and launched—the Israeli public will be called to arrive en masse to Tel Aviv's Rothschild Street, which will be dressed up for the occasion.

 

The entire street will be closed to traffic, decked out in festive flags and affixed with enormous screens showing the reenactment. The identity of the actors portraying Ben Gurion and the rest of the council's members has yet to be decided.

 

Jerusalem and Heritage Minister Elkin (L) and PM Netanyahu will speak at the reenactment (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
Jerusalem and Heritage Minister Elkin (L) and PM Netanyahu will speak at the reenactment (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

 

In addition, Minister Ze'ev Elkin, whose ministry spearheaded the reenactment, will speak at the ceremony. The ministry also intends to invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak.

 

Unlike the original event, however, this time Israelis will not have to remain glued to their radios to take in the announcement, as the entire reenactment will be streamed live on Facebook, so that not only Israelis may watch it but every supporter of Zionism anywhere in the world may do so as well.

 

The above was not the sole reenactment planned by the ministry and the WZO for Israel's 70th, however, as reenactments of the construction of a "Homa u'migdal" ("Wall and tower") community and the docking of an "immigrant ship", from which the British Mandate-era refugees will disembark.

 

"Reenactment is an immense tool allowing us to involve the public and allow it to share the experience, especially as it pertains to the younger generation," said Vice Chairman of the WZO Yaakov Hagoel.

 

Minister Elkin added, "We've created the event to allow Israel's citizens to experience the enormity of that historic event and the ambiance in the country on the day of the Jewish state's birth. Preserving and disseminating the legacy of Zionism is one of our generation's most important undertakings."

 

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