Israel Celebrates Its 70th Israeli Style: With Rancor and Bickering

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Foreign leaders were invited, then uninvited.

A plan for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to lead the ceremony drew threats of a boycott.

And the organizers waited so late to invite an American television star to represent the greater Jewish diaspora that she could not make it.

Israel’s landmark 70th anniversary celebration on Wednesday night was meant to be a stunning display of unity that transcends the usual divisions and cacophony of life here. But the ceremony honoring Israel’s founding in 1948 has already been marred by weeks of unseemly politicking and almost farcical twists and turns, all raucously played out in the Israeli news media.

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