JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel opened its 70th anniversary festivities with song, dance and fireworks, albeit under the shadow of an Iranian threat.
Israel's national celebration wove a theme of technological progress and survival through seven decades of its modern history. They told the story of the Jewish people from Moses to the early pioneers, through the Holocaust to the planting of the land growth of technology. They said the rebirth of their nation was where prophecy became their reality and the answer to their prayers.
Prayers Lifted Up on Israel's 70th Anniversary, Photo, CBN News, John Waage
"We pray to God to return to Jerusalem, His city and now in 1948, 70 years ago, Jerusalem, His city became available to us," Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Auman said.
"The Jewish prayers always talked about returning to Zion, returning to Jerusalem and here we are 70 years despite all the things that have happened and the threats from Iran they talk about, there's still the technology and the things going on that do seem quite miraculous," Jerusalem-based photographer and author Sharon Alshul told CBN News.
Earlier, a siren wailed throughout the country as Israelis stood silent and remembered their fallen through their many wars and terror attacks. The commemoration and celebrations took place despite threats from Iran. An Iranian spokesman blamed Israel for an attack on an Iranian base inside Syria and warned that Iran would retaliate. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would face the Iranian threat.
Celebrating at the Kotel (Western Wall), Photo, CBN News, John Waage
"Today too we are not deterred from a struggle against those who strive to annihilate us because we know how to defend ourselves with our own forces, which is the essence of independence," he said.
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"We all appreciate the strong alliance with the United States," Netanyahu continued. "We all welcome President Donald Trump's historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as our capital and to transfer the embassy of the strongest power in the world to it. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, America."
The celebration ended with a rendition of the song "Halleluyah" for the things that were and the things to come.