The State of Israel marked 67 years from its founding on Thursday, with formal ceremonies in different parts of the country. Unlike in the United States – where businesses are permitted to stay open on July 4th – according to Israeli law, businesses are required to close and newspapers are prohibited from publishing on the day in which Israel formally celebrates Independence Day. On Wednesday, Israel marked Yom Hazikaron, when Israel remembers all its fallen soldiers. Speaking at a reception for foreign diplomats, Israeli President Reuvein Rivlin called Israel “a beacon of democracy in a pained region.” “In the Middle East today, we see women, men and children on the front lines in a fight for their basic rights, giving their lives for the sake of freedom. It is my hope and prayer that in our time, those who are fighting against fundamentalism will also taste liberty and freedom,” Rivlin said.
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