Monday, April 27, 2009


State of Israel's 61st Independence Day

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Message to Diaspora Communities
|April 2009

Today, Israel celebrates its 61st birthday. Each year that we mark the rebirth of the Jewish state after long centuries of exile is a great cause for celebration.

After centuries of powerlessness, the Jewish people returned to the stage of history and to their rightful place among the nations. With the rebirth of Israel, we were once again able to chart our own destiny and determine our own future.

The past 61 years show just what a free and independent Jewish nation can achieve. With scarce resources, we brought a barren land back to life and absorbed millions of immigrants. Through innovation and determination, the genius of our people has made us a leader in agriculture, medicine and science, while our creativity spawned a high-tech industry that continues to amaze the world. We have achieved peace with Egypt and Jordan and we will continue to seek peace with all our neighbors.

All this has been achieved even though Israel has lived under constant threat for 61 years. Unfortunately, Israel remains under threat. An Iranian regime that is feverishly pursuing nuclear weapons brazenly calls for our destruction. Terror organizations on our southern and northern borders grow stronger by the day. And a rising tide of anti-Semitism is sweeping the civilized world.

To address these challenges in the years ahead, unity among our people, both inside and outside Israel, will be more important than ever. That is why it is vital that we continue to strengthen the bonds between Israel and the Diaspora. These bonds are a source of mutual strength and a powerful reminder of the unique role that Israel plays in the world and in the history of our people.

On this Independence Day, let us take pride in all we have accomplished and let us look forward to a time of security, prosperity and peace. If we stand together as brothers and sisters, if we stand together with courage and conviction, that time will surely come.

Chag Sameach!


Benjamin Netanyahu