Israel Celebrates Its National Day

Israel Celebrates Its National Day

New Delhi, May 23 (TNA) The Embassy of Israel in India celebrated the 76th National Day of Israel on Tuesday, in New Delhi. This year’s celebration, themed around "Israeli Heroism," was a poignant reminder of the resilience and courage of the Israeli people since October 7th. Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Foreign Secretary of India graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.

Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Naor Gilon said, “This Independence Day is complicated and painful, but our resolve is strong. While we mark this Independence Day, our thoughts are with the 128 loved ones who are still held captive. Their immediate release remains our sincere hope and ongoing mission. I take this occasion to salute the heroism of people of Indian descent: Meera and Sabitha, caregivers from Kerala, who saved an elderly couple during the terror attack; and Romi (6), an Israeli child of Indian descent, whose parents were murdered in front of her, tried to protect her little sister – Lia (3) during the attack. They have shown extraordinary courage and a strong spirit, inspiring the entire nation of Israel.”

“From October 7, both the government and the people of India stood on the side of Israel. And this we will never forget. The amount of support we get here is nothing short of amazing. It’s a testimony of the extraordinary relations between the Indian and the Jewish people,” he added.

Speaking at the event, Foreign Secretary Kwatra said, "We join the people of Israel to celebrate this momentous occasion. It is deeply inspiring that the extraordinary journey of a nation that has not only survived and thrived against all odds, but also transformed itself into a flourishing landscape of innovation, advancement, and growth. Over the years, our partnership has grown exponentially and is marked by mutual respect, understanding, and collaboration across various sectors.”

“The terror attacks on October 7 have left us all shaken. India itself is a victim of cross-border terrorism and has a zero-tolerance approach to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. There can be no justifications for acts of terror. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the hostages and innocent lives lost in these heinous acts,” he added.

The 76th National Day is a testament to Israel’s unyielding spirit and the strength we draw from our unity and shared values.

The evening’s program included playing the national anthems of Israel and India and a special video message by H.E. Isaac Herzog, President of Israel. As a symbol of solidarity and hope, Ambassador Gilon along with the guests, released 128 yellow balloons for the urgent release of all 128 hostages still held captive. The event featured a memorial wall dedicated to the kidnapped, underscoring the collective call for their safe return.

Adding to the cultural tapestry of the evening, renowned Israeli chef Shaul Ben-Aderet curated a special menu that blended Israeli cuisine with Indian flavours, delighting the attendees with a unique culinary experience.

Furthermore, the Embassy of Israel donated 60 VR headsets for an upcoming project “Disha,” in collaboration with the SAARD organization. VR stations were set up during the event, providing guests with an immersive tour of the holy city of Jerusalem and bridging the distance between the two nations through technology.

The News Agency