Israel Celebrates, Reflects at 60

'Yes, there are flaws ... but behind the flaws a wonderful country is hidden,' speaker says
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2008 4:11 PM CDT
Israelis watch a light show projected on the Old City wall in Jerusalem, Thursday, April 24, 2008.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
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(Newser) – Thousands gathered across Israel today for the nation’s 60th Independence Day celebration, the Jerusalem Post reports. At one ceremony, lawmaker Dalia Itzik first remembered the 22,437 Israelis killed in conflict since 1860. "Friends, you are not, and you will never be alone. We will never be able to pay off our debt to you."

Despite the country’s continuing “flaws” Itzik urged hope for Israel’s future: “behind the flaws a wonderful country is hidden." Fireworks displays and other festivities will continue the celebration into the night. However, threats from Hezbollah and other militant organizations hang over the festivities, with security forces locking down the West Bank through midnight tomorrow.