Netanyahu and Edelstein asked to limit speeches

Torchlighting ceremony general rehearsal reveals it to be too long. 'Fear extended ceremony might harm 70th anniversary events.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Limited time
Limited time

The producer of the torchlighting ceremony requests that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein shorten their speeches at the ceremony to be held tomorrow evening on Mount Herzl on the eve of Israel's 70th Independence Day.

The producer explained that after last night's general rehearsal it became clear that the length of the ceremony ran beyond the stipulated time. Edelstein's speech lasted about 15 minutes, and therefore he was required to shorten it to 7 minutes. Prime Minister Netanyahu was required to limit his speech to only five minutes.

A letter sent by the producer to the Culture and Sport Ministry Director and to Information Center Director said, "I wish to advise you that our general rehearsal began on time and took place with no delays, yet ended at about 10:15 pm, and this is still without the Prime Minister's speech. This is a very problematic ending time that requires immediate attention and handling."

Following the producer's communiqué, the Culture Ministry sent a letter to the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff and to the Knesset Director-General stating: "As chairman of the 70th Anniversary events and Culture Ministry Director General professionally responsible for all the events, I wish to express concern that the ceremony will be extended after 22:00.

"If the Knesset Speaker and Prime Minister's speeches are extended beyond the producer's request, they will constitute a real and certain risk to live broadcasts of over 32 stages throughout Israel and around the world in which the song Hallelujah will be broadcast simultaneously after complex preparations such as have never been seen in Israel.

"I ask you to ensure the Knesset Speaker and Prime Minister finish their speeches at the desired time: the Prime Minister for a total of 5 minutes and the Knesset Speaker for 7 minutes, in order not to harm the planned broadcasts and ceremonies."