Fireworks over Jerusalem's Old City last night.(Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

• President Obama issued a statement marking Israel’s Independence Day, promising that the two nations’ ties “”will only be strengthened in the months and years to come” and wisely avoiding the word “borders” altogether. [JTA]

• Regardless, the New York Times reports that as Israel marks the holiday, “there is something about the mood this year that feels darker than usual.” [NYT]

• And meanwhile, Egypt is beseeching the UN to pressure Israel to join in “an internationally and effectively verifiable treaty for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.” [Reuters]

• A Neo-Nazi rally in Los Angeles, counterprotestors threw “rocks, bottles, eggs and other items,” injuring two white supremacists; five assailants (of various races) were arrested. [L.A. Independent]