Dear friends,

As we celebrate 63 years of statehood we can look back on the historic miracle of the birth of a nation – the State of Israel. And we can laud one of our greatest leaders, David Ben-Gurion, for declaring the establishment of a Jewish state – a homeland – one momentous day in May 1948. Immediately afterward we were attacked - outmanned, outnumbered, outgunned.

 

From the debris of the War of Independence arose one of the best and most moral armies in the world. The desert turned into a model of state-of-the-art agriculture admired by all. Israel's development in fields such as hi-tech, science, technology and medicine has placed her at the forefront of advances in these areas the world over.

On the day of the proclamation of the State of Israel, it was stated that this newly-founded nation would be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel. We abide by the Jewish code of moral values instilled in us.

We are still facing evil forces, especially those that emanate from Iran. This call, by a regime that is a danger to the entire world, should be met by an uncompromising mobilization of the international community. We are determined, together with our supporters everywhere, to fight Anti-Semitism and delegitimization.

The State of Israel is prepared to do its share, even at a painful cost, to achieve peace with our neighbors. We are hopeful that the winds of change sweeping our region will herald new opportunities of peace, security and prosperity for all.

We all share the hope that Gilad Shalit will be reunited with his family immediately.

The bridges of kinship that link the Jewish state with the Jewish communities around the world are vital to us. You are full partners in our success. Looking back, we have much to be proud of. Looking forward, we still have much to achieve. Together we can accomplish anything and everything. Together we can prevail. And together we shall celebrate many more independence days to come.

 

 

חג עצמאות שמח!

 

 

Shimon Peres

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