Israel’s Independence Day is a time for celebration. And for justified pride in Israel’s many amazing successes.
For some two millennia the Jewish people had been stateless and powerless, and, of course, defenseless in the face of its enemies. After 2000 years of exile we returned to our historic homeland to re-establish our independence and sovereignty.
Yet we didn’t only create a state.
We have ingathered into our homeland a people that had been scattered around the globe.
We have defended ourselves against the attacks of hostile neighbors, overcoming threats faced by no other country.
We have built a vibrant democracy in which freedom is sacrosanct, guaranteeing equality under the law and the rights of every citizen. We have created a robust economy, a global technological superpower.
We have signed peace treaties with two of our Arab neighbors, while we quietly talk with many more.
And while doing all this we have enjoyed the passionate friendship of so many around the world. Jews and non-Jews alike have united to speak out for Israel’s right to security and a peaceful future.
This support from our friends, together with Israel’s vibrant democracy, free economy, strong army and commitment to our shared values, form the foundation of our national strength.
So on this 66th Independence Day, I want to thank Israel’s many friends around the globe for their steadfast support for the one and only Jewish state.
And I would like to send special greetings to our special friends who have gathered at Phillips Square in Montreal to celebrate with us. Your show of support for Israel today reflects the strong friendship shared by the Israeli and Canadian peoples. The bond between us was strengthened even further this past January when I had the pleasure of hosting my friend Prime Minister Harper here in Jerusalem.
On behalf of the people of Israel, thank you all for your friendship and for your support.