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Israelis celebrate 69 years, ignore occupation

Israelis prefer to focus on celebrating their country’s 69th anniversary, while ignoring 50 years of occupation and suffering in the West Bank.
A boy watches the Israeli Air Force Aerobatic team fly over the Mediterranean Sea during an aerial show as part of the celebrations for Israel's Independence Day marking the 69th anniversary of the creation of the state in Tel Aviv, Israel May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTS14S3B
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The State of Israel’s 69th Independence Day, on May 2, is overshadowed this year by the 50th anniversary of the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War that took place on June 5-10, 1967. This underscores the fissures gouged in the core of Israeli society by the country’s impressive military victory, which continue to tear it apart.

In the 69th year of the state’s establishment, one part of its Jewish society — under the orchestration of the government — will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem and raise a glass to 50 years since the liberation of Judea, Samaria (the biblical names of the West Bank) and the Golan Heights. Another part of Jewish society, along with the state’s Arab minority, will mark the jubilee of the forced annexation of East Jerusalem to Israel and its occupation of the West Bank. (For now, the Syrian civil war has removed the Golan Heights from the equation.)

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