דברי הנשיא בטקס יום העצמאות לסגל הדיפלומטי
מילות מפתח: עצמאות, הסכמי אברהם, שלום, שיתוף פעולה מדיני
Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid and Mrs. Lihi Lapid, Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Rol, director generals, ambassadors, excellencies, dear friends, It is a great privilege to celebrate Israel’s seventy-fourth Independence Day with you, in this traditional gathering which began with our first president, Dr. Chaim Weizmann. Gathering here amongst friends old and new, in a strong, independent, Jewish democratic State of Israel- evokes the words of ישעיהו, Isaiah 51: “Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody."ששון ושמחה ימצא בה, תודה וקול זמרה".
Growing up in Tel Aviv in the 1960’s, my mother and father were clear in articulating that our modern day miracle in our ancient homeland, was not to be taken for granted. They recounted in our ears the all- encompassing hope for מדינת ישראל, coupled with the deep uncertainty they experienced with the establishment of the Jewish state, as to its future. My wife Michal, and I, and our friends- Minister Lapid and dear Lihi, all recall hearing from our parents the struggles of the early days. It is therefore such a privilege to gather today and salute our parents’ and grandparents' generations for what they created.
Today we celebrate seventy-four years of a vibrant, multi-cultural democracy, in which all faiths are respected and all worshipers enjoy freedom of religion. Seventy-four years of courage and creativity in turning seemingly-impossible challenges into a catalyst for cutting-edge innovation. Seventy-four years of keeping our hands outstretched in peace while standing strong against those who oppose us. And here, on this festive afternoon, Michal and I are delighted to open our home- both to those who helped solidify our Independence, and to those with whom we could have only imagined sitting together 74 year ago.
Since assuming office I had the opportunity to travel to several countries, including many of our Middle Eastern neighbors. Throughout our region, I was met with sincerity and warmth, hospitality and curiosity, open- mindedness and dialogue. I encountered a willingness to find common ground and a profound effort to work together, despite our differences.
In short: I have seen a historic change. The Abraham Accords, signed back in 2020, are but the most recent, exciting example of peace, following the groundbreaking, historic peace agreements with Egypt in 1979 and with Jordan in 1994. Peace made possible by a decision to focus on future prosperity and well-being, rather than past conflicts and hate;
By an understanding that lasting peace not only requires meetings between politicians, but is dependent on true friendship between peoples. Step by step we are all learning to navigate the renewable Middle East, building on win-win cooperation, stability and moderation, and slowly realizing the extraordinary potential of our region.
If we succeed, the impact can be far broader than our Middle Eastern community. The world at large can benefit from the Middle East transforming into a global hub of sustainable solutions at the forefront of renewable energy, climate technology, innovative agriculture, and environmental preservation. The entire world can benefit from a Middle Eastern strategic alliance of moderate forces that can act to deter and defeat radical actors, and can enhance the security of this pivotal region.
As we well know, when peace takes root, extremism and terror insist on preserving the old path of incitement, violence and hate. Just this week, Israel faced another murderous terror attack, following weeks of terror. But in the face of the threats, assaults and hatred our message is clear:When they attack us, we grow stronger. When they try to divide us, we grow more united. Israel we will do whatever is necessary, to protect our cities and our citizens.
I am excited, that after seventy-four years, this vision of a renewable Middle East, is materializing. And, I call upon each of the countries represented here today: Join the momentum created by the Abraham Accords; Inform your citizens of the potential, and the treasures, of Israel; Urge them to explore Israel’s prolific medical institutions and advanced scientific industry; Encourage companies and corporations to explore opportunities and take advantage of the innovation, resources, and entrepreneurial spirit resonating throughout the Middle East. Join us in creating shared initiatives and ventures, and in rediscovering and redesigning the region. I take this opportunity to personally thank Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid, Ministry Director General Alon Ushpiz, Chief of State Protocol Gil Haskel and his team, and each and every member of the Ministry’s dedicated staff and outstanding diplomats. תודה לכולכם על שיתוף הפעולה, על המקצועיות והעבודה הקשה איתי, עם מנכ"לי ועם צוות בית הנשיא והמחלקה המדינית. יום עצמאות שמח! Happy Independence Day to all!