President Shimon Peres on Thursday highlighted the relationship between Israel and the United States as Americans celebrate the 4th of July and, as is his custom, repeated his hopes for Middle East peace with the "two-state solution".
“America is the greatest giver in modern history. A bastion of democracy and peace,” Peres said at the July 4th celebrations at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
“In its last 237 years, America has been the most successful experiment in history. Because it is aimed at improving the human, civil and political condition of man. It became a Republic of human rights. It is still conducting an ongoing Exodus from the houses of slaves to lands of hope," he said.
“For us in Israel. For all Jewish communities in the Diaspora, you echo the calls of the Bible,” he added. “The pilgrims who arrived to America on the Mayflower and the founding fathers who wrote the American Constitution, carried the vision of the prophets. To this very day. The same spirit guided the founders of the State of Israel. It became the foundations of our special bond. A relationship based on human dignity. On peace among nations.
“Peace is a moral call from our Torah. It is also a political urgent need of our time. The defense and strategic relations between Israel and the U.S.A. has reached an unprecedented peak. We thank you.
“The importance of the cause of peace was emphasized by the eloquent address of President Obama during his recent visit to Israel and underscored by the mission of Secretary Kerry. It demonstrates that the two state solution is accepted by the majority of the two peoples – Israelis and Palestinians. There is no realistic peaceful alternative to the two-state solution.
Peres added, “During his recent visit, President Obama injected a much needed dose of optimism in the future. On the one hand, in the pursuit for peace. And on the other, about the resolve to prevent Iran from becoming a threatening system. We and the Palestinians are different nations who are the children of the same father – Abraham.
“It is essential to maintain America’s role in the Middle East and its global leadership. Israel is and will be a “team player” in the American-led international coalition to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear capacity. We cannot allow for a regime driven by hegemonic ambitions to tear apart our region and its people.
“An Israel, though small in size, will remain great in its commitment of friendship to America. Israel could not have a better friend than America,” said Peres.
“We both respect the ancient Bible,” he added, “and aspire to the modern march towards scientific innovation. A multitude of joint ventures have been launched this year and many more opportunities for cooperation lie ahead. Even in non-democratic countries it is possible to democratize the supply of food and health by scientific efforts.
“It was proven by our countries and we are willing to offer our experience to our neighbors. They can greatly benefit from the same results as we did. And even though the U.S. has the strongest military in the world, it provided legions of good will to the West and the rest. Goodwill freed the world from hanging on power.”