Israel embassy uses Facebook to celebrate independence day

A video grab of Israel's Facebook Independence Day celebration hosted by Israel's Deputy Ambassador to Kenya Eyal David (right) and Culturalist Shani Gev-bouzaglo on April 30, 2020. PHOTO | FAUSTINE NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The 50-minute lively video event kicked off with the national anthem of the start-up nation which was sang by children from Uganda.
  • Israel's President Reuven Rivlin said not even the coronavirus could stop Israelis in different countries from celebrating the day they achieved the liberty to self-determination.
  • President Kenyatta's message, which was read by Israeli Ambassador to Kenya Oded Joseph, reiterated the historical cooperation between the two countries.

The Embassy of Israel in Nairobi used Facebook to celebrate the country's 72nd independence day in a way that drew attention and admiration from users, even as Covid-19 directives against social interaction remain in force.

The 50-minute lively video event, hosted by the Deputy Ambassador Mr Eyal David and Culturalist Shani Gev-Bouzaglo on April 30, kicked off with the national anthem of the start-up nation which was sang by children from Uganda.

The Nairobi office, which handles all diplomatic matters in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Seychelles aired key messages from President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Ambassador Barry Faure, the Seychelles Foreign Affairs minister.

Through the Israel In Kenya Facebook page, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin said not even the coronavirus could stop Israelis in different countries from celebrating the day they achieved the liberty to self-determination.

"This is not the first time we are celebrating our independence in a period of challenges. Again and again we have faced great dangers and threats, but our people's determination and solidarity will allowed us to overcome every challenge. This same determination will allow us to overcome the great test of Covid-19 as well," Mr Rivlin said.

PRESIDENTS' MESSAGES

President Kenyatta's message, which was read by Israeli Ambassador to Kenya Oded Joseph, reiterated the historical cooperation between the two countries.

"On behalf of the people of Kenya, I convey to the people of the State of Israel my warm greetings and best wishes on the occasion of the 72nd national day of independence. Kenya and Israel have historically enjoyed warm and friendly relations which have ensued in more cooperation in key sectors of our economies," read the statement.

President Museveni said, "I look forward to working closely with you to further strengthen and enhance the friendly relations despite the Covid-19 pandemic."

Mr Faure stated, "This is the day which formed the pillars of your society and paved the way for your country's success, namely as pioneers of technological advancement. It gives me honour to convey to you our most sincere felicitations on the occasion of your country's independence."

CELEBRATIONS

Music, dance and poetic performances from Kenya and Uganda drew huge traffic in the comments section, with former Israeli Deputy Ambassador to Kenya and local musician Gilad singing his 'Milele' hit to the audience that fancied visiting several tourist sites in Israel such as Jerusalem, River Jordan, Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Dead Sea and Tel Aviv.

Famous Jewish song Hava Nagila was also sang.

Students from Malawi and Tanzania expressed their gratitude to the Israel government, for helping them appreciate the power of agri-tech through State-sponsored education programmes to Tel Aviv, which Kenyan youngsters have also benefited from.

VIRUS FIGHT

Israelis, who regard themselves as a battle-tested and tragedy-hardened people not easily frightened or panicked, have been in the forefront in the search for a vaccine to contain Covid-19.

"Israeli start-ups and research centres are already making important contributions to the fight against the coronavirus, and I know we will come out stronger from this crisis," said Mr Rivlin.

In a recent global ranking by Deep Knowledge Group, of the most prepared nations to deal with the virus, the 'Holy Land' emerged top in terms of safety, followed by Germany, South Korea, Australia and China.

Mr Joseph revealed to viewers that Israel's prosperity has been anchored on three pillars – unity, good leadership and innovation.

"Though we were in exile for 2,000 years, we managed to return to our single place where we could express our common identity," he said.

"Our leaders took a decision to develop a capacity to defend ourselves in fate of continued security challenges. Innovation has assisted us to confront other challenges such as scarcity of water and natural resources, and build an economy based on high tech."

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