Israel turned 60 today

8 05 2008

 

Israel celebrated the 60th anniversary of its creation today with fireworks, air force flyovers and street parties, but the atmosphere of heady jubilation was marred by doubts over future security and prospects for peace with the Palestinians.

A security crackdown sealing off the West Bank and Gaza and marches by Palestinians marking the expulsion of some 760,000 inhabitants as part of what they regard as the “Nakba” – the catastrophe – was a stark reminder of the uncertain future of the Jewish State.

Across the country, Israelis held barbecues in backyards and public parks and attended parachute jumps, a Bible quiz, concerts and the inauguration of a footpath around the Sea of Galilee.

The Nasa astronaut Garrett Reisman, the first Jewish crew member on the international space station, sent a greeting from space to the people of Israel. “Every time the station flies over the state of Israel, I try to find a window, and it never fails to move me when I see the familiar outline of Israel coming toward us from over the horizon,” the American-born astronaut said

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