In Jerusalem, America re-dedicates alliance, commitment to Israel

Israel demonstrates its appreciation for its alliance with America throughout history, at it hosts President Bush and a delegation of international dignitaries at its 60th Independence Day celebration. President Bush reaffirms America's commitment to Israel, reminding the audience, "America is Israel's best friend in the world."

Greeting to President Bush by Benjamin Netanyahu, Head of the Opposition at The Knesset, May 14th, 2008,

We, the citizens of Israel, stand by you and the United States in this struggle.

Our first task is to prevent Iran, which calls for Israel's annihilation, from arming itself with nuclear weapons. Twelve years ago in my speech as Prime Minister before a joint session of Congress, I said that the greatest danger facing mankind is a nuclear Iran. Time is running out.

Our second task is to deny Iran the ability to establish additional bases around us, like the ones it has established in Lebanon and in Gaza.

Unilateral withdrawals only bolster these bases, push peace away and bring terror closer. This is happening before our eyes every day with the rocketing of Sderot, Ashkelon, and the Western Negev. It must stop. Israel should have long ago adopted a policy of not containing terror but defeating it, as you have Mr. President.

Our third task is to bring peace to our region. Forty years ago, we liberated Jerusalem and reunited it. Our first act was to ensure the freedom of religion which had previously been denied. That religious freedom, which is so cherished by the citizens of the United States and so vital to world peace, will be preserved as long as Jerusalem remains united under Israeli sovereignty.

The rebirth of Israel is one of history's great parables. It is the story not of the Jews alone, but of a human spirit that refuses to succumb to history's horrors. It is the incomparable quest of a people seeking, at the end of an unending march, to be a free people in its own land, the Land of Zion and Jerusalem.

Excerpts of Pres Bush's address to the Israeli Knesset Thursday, 15 May 2008

"This struggle is waged with the technology of the 21st century, but at its core it is an ancient battle between good and evil. The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who carry out these savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for power. They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis.

And that is why the founding charter of Hamas calls for the "elimination" of Israel. And that is why the followers of Hezbollah chant "Death to Israel, Death to America!" That is why Osama bin Laden teaches that "the killing of Jews and Americans is one of the biggest duties." And that is why the president of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men and try to explain away their words. It's natural, but it is deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen the consequences of disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred. And that is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

Some people suggest if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away. This is a tired argument that buys into the propaganda of the enemies of peace, and America utterly rejects it. Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because the United States of America stands with you.

America stands with you in breaking up terrorist networks and denying the extremists sanctuary. America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapons would be an unforgivable betrayal for future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

You have raised a modern society in the Promised Land, a light unto the nations that preserves the legacy of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. And you have built a mighty democracy that will endure forever and can always count on the United States of America to be at your side."

1 comment:

  1. Israel: 60 Years of Innovation and Contributions

    President Truman (left) was the first world leader to recognize the new state of Israel in 1948.
    Israel has flourished as the only true democracy in the Middle East and established itself as America's number one ally in the region since its founding in 1948. Despite being forced to wage a constant struggle for survival, the Jewish state has tirelessly sought peace with its neighbors and emerged as one of the world’s most advanced nations, providing the world with innovations in the fields of technology, medicine and agriculture. Click on the links below to view short background documents highlighting Israel's important achievements and contributions and strong relationship with the United States.