Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, this evening (Tuesday, 3 July 2018), attended an event in honor of American Independence Day hosted by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
"It's a wonderful celebration of 4th of July anytime in Israel but this year it's special. This year President Trump moved the embassy after declaring Jerusalem Israel's capital. In the UN -- a powerful defense of Israel day in, day out.
And you remember that Iran nuclear deal? Remember that? President Trump decided to leave this bad deal and he did the greatest thing for the security of the world and for the security of Israel. Now, you should know that this is not yet universally accepted. And I can tell you that this week there's going to be a meeting and the meeting is going to be in Europe. Can you hear me? You got to hear this. Listen to me carefully. There is a meeting this week by the P4 without the United States. They are going to discuss how to go around the decision that President Trump and the United Stated made to leave this bad deal, which is funding Iran's terrorism and its aggression with billions of dollars.
There is in the same week something extraordinary. The P4 invited Iran's President Rouhani to attend that meeting. But at the same time, in recent days, this same regime dispatched a terrorist cell to carry out a major terrorist action in France. The commander of this terrorism cell was an Iranian diplomat in Austria. Fortunately, the plot was exposed. The cell's Iranian members were arrested in France, Belgium, and Germany. France and Germany are part of the P4. At the time of their capture, the cell members had explosives, detonators and more. European authorities are now completing their investigation and are expected to charge the Iranian agents and cell members behind the plot.
This Iranian terror plot was planned on the soil of Europe on the same week that the European leaders are supposed to meet the President of Iran about circumventing the sanctions on Iran. Here's my message to the European leaders: Stop funding the very regime that is sponsoring terrorism against you and against so many others. Stop appeasing Iran.
This is what President Trump has said but he's gone well beyond saying it. This is what he is doing. And we in Israel can appreciate this.
We're grateful for America's independence. We're grateful for America's strength. We're grateful for America's alliance with Israel.
Now, you know I'm both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister so I can tell you: We have relations with 160 countries and some of these are terrific friends. But there is no friendship like the friendship between Israel and the United States of America. American has no greater friend than Israel. Israel has no greater friend than America.
What makes this alliance so powerful? So enduring? What makes it so? Well, one thing – common values. We have common values that are clear – it's freedom, liberty, democracy. These aren't hollow slogans. They are the bedrock of Western civilization. They're the secret of America's success and of Israel's success. They're the secret of our ingenuity – Israel's and America – the big leaders of technology in the world. I'm a diplomat so I have to be careful. There are only two places, they say, where everything is happening. We have tremendous respect for American ingenuity, for American creativity, for American mobility, for American capacities in every field. And we know where that comes from. It comes from a free society, from free discussion. We argue about everything. Believe me, I know. We have a free press. Believe me, I know. We have free speech. We have freedom of religion. Freedom, liberty, democracy. Real values. Here's what the Liberty Bell says, inscribed on it: 'Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all of its Inhabitants'. We know that phrase. It comes from the Bible. It comes from Leviticus. So much of America's heritage is rooted in the Hebrew Bible. It is in the Bible that our prophets consoled us. They said the exiles will be gathered back to our ancient homeland. We will restore our national life here. We will restore our capital Jerusalem.
And 70 years later, President Trump brought the embassy to Jerusalem. David, I have one message for you. I have one request: Next year in Jerusalem. This is a fine and beautiful hall, immaculately done. Next year in Jerusalem right next to the American embassy. There can't be a more glorious gathering with greater friends.
Thank you all. God bless America. God bless Israel and God bless the alliance between America and the State of Israel."
Photos by Silvia G. Golan