Israel government ministers, Members of Knesset, diplomats and IDF brass have joined leading Israeli media, academic and cultural figures at the residence of the US Ambassador Dan Shapiro Wednesday evening to celebrate American Independence Day.
The event – billed as an evening of celebration and friendship – is taking place three days early, since Independence Day itself falls on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, and is followed immediately by the Fast of Tammuz and subsequent three-week mourning period over the destruction of the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem.
The event will include speeches by Ambassador Dan Shapiro, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Throughout the evening, guests will be served some 2,000 hamburgers, 3,500 slices of pizza, 10,000 appetizers, 5,000 soft drinks, 1,000 slices of cake, and "lots and lots of ice cream," according to the US Embassy.
The Ambassador’s residence will be decorated with 6,000 red-white-and-blue balloons, and the evening will culminate with 1,400 fireworks lighting up the sky over the Mediterranean, to the tunes of “Stars and Stripes Forever” and the “Washington Post March.”