(Preparing the Lev HaOlam Israel flag)
The streets of Jerusalem were filled on Tuesday as 3,000 Christians from over 40 countries took part in a march in celebration of their love of Israel on the Jewish State’s 70th anniversary. May 14 is the Gregorian calendar’s anniversary of the day when David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, declared Israel’s independence 70 years ago. Israeli citizens celebrate their Independence Day on the date according to the Hebrew calendar, the 5th day of the month of Iyar.
The March of Nations’ parade started in Sacher Park and ended across from Mount Zion, just outside the Old City. Revellers enjoyed concerts by Christian and Jewish bands, took in expressive dance performances, and watched slideshows about Jewish Holocaust victims, and the development of the modern Jewish State along its 70-year history.
Participants hailed from over 40 countries, including South Africa, Australia, China, Germany and United States of America, to rejoice together as Israel turns 70. Most of those attending were simply Christian supporters of Israel, although the march was host to a sizable German contingent, for whom the event was laden with additional meaning.
(Likud Knesset Member rabbi Yehuda Glick with the Chinese contingent)
The event was arranged by the March of Life, an organization of descendants of Nazis who seek to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and prevent it ever happening again. The March of Life originated in 2007 when people gathered to march in remembrance at the site of the Dachau concentration camp. This was the first time the organization has held an event in Jerusalem.
Although this was the organization’s first event in Jerusalem, it was not its first in Israel, with a previous march having taken place on the historic Burma Road through which Israeli freedom fighters reopened access to Jerusalem in 1948 when the city was besieged by Arabs.
The parade was welcomed by a number of leaders, including Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat, and Likud minister Ayoub Kara, who expressed gratitude for the march-goers’ staunch support of Israel and determination in opposing modern-day antisemitism.