Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
View of the stage at Mt Herzl in Jerusalem, where the official national celebrations are being held in honor of Israel's 72nd independence day.

From the first, Israel’s 72nd Independence Day has promised to be one for the books, an historic anniversary that will never be forgotten.

The first hour of Israel’s opening Yom Ha’Atzma’ut celebration, broadcast on the nation’s television stations for the first time ever without a live audience to watch the show, began with the annual, always moving Torch Lighting Ceremony that represents the 12 Tribes of Israel.

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This year, however, the hugely colorful fireworks festooned concert that followed, which as always ended with the singing of the National Anthem – HaTikvah – was followed by an announcement from the stage urging everyone at home to “throw open your windows, go out on to your balconies, and join us in singing, “Chai Chai Chai! together as one around the country!”

And sure enough, as the singing began, there were cutaways to the official Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara stood together with one of the emcees with a microphone, singing, “Chai Chai Chai!”

The song was Israel’s entry to the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest in Munich performed by iconic Yemenite Israeli vocalist Ofra Haza of blessed memory, composed by Avi Toledano and in fact was the winning entry that year.

It has since become the symbol of the persistent, stubborn Israeli survival in the face of all attempts by terrorists and hateful Arab neighbors to wipe us out.

In the small Negev desert city of Arad, a “music truck” with a live singer made the rounds of the neighborhoods to lift the spirits of the Israelis who are stuck at home due to the lockdown.

In countless other cities around the country, local TV stations broadcast top-flight vocalists giving concerts, and other dance parties till the wee hours to entertain those at home.

Israel also received good wishes and a “Happy Independence Day” from Mohammad Saud, the Saudi Blogger, who sent special greetings via Twitter.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.