'Israelis are proud of their country'

Minister Yariv Levin congratulates Israel on its 70th Independence Day.

Benny Tocker ,

Yariv Levin
Yariv Levin
Hillel Maeir/TPS

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) on Wednesday congratulated the State of Israel and its citizens on the occasion of Israel’s 70th Independence Day.

"The fact that we are privileged to live in an independent country with great capabilities and which also provides its citizens with the best living conditions in the world is not something that should be taken for granted, it will always require us to be vigilant and if we can understand that, then I think that the extent of our commitment to internal cohesion will increase as well," Levin told Arutz Sheva.

"Israel is a stronger country than ever before, with a strong economy and tremendous technology, a glorious education system and the list goes on. The State of Israel is constantly growing, and the settlement in all parts of the country is expanding and deepening as well,” he continued.

"The challenges are of course very big as well. The pace of development is not always at the level we would like to see and not everything we ask for and we think is the right thing always happens. For example, Aliyah. On the one hand, most of the world's Jews are living in the State of Israel, something which was not true in the past. We want to see a higher rate of immigration and more of our people who come here to live, so the glass is definitely half full and there are other things that we should aspire to and I believe they will happen. We will not accomplish everything will in one day, but the day will come when the State of Israel will be established throughout the Land of Israel, in all the areas that belong to us. We must continue to work with patience and commitment towards this goal,” said Levin.

Minister Levin believes that despite the many disagreements among Israelis, they have much in common.

“We need to deepen the knowledge of each and every child of our history and our heritage and our country. If we deepen this knowledge, we will lessen our differences and disagreements. We must strengthen those minorities who identify with the State of Israel. If we follow this path in spite of the differences in Israeli society, unity will prevail and I am optimistic,” he said.

Levin also discussed the development of the communities in Judea and Samaria, saying, "A huge settlement enterprise that began before the establishment of the State of Israel is expanding and now reaches the areas we liberated in the Six Day War in numbers that we could only have dreamed about. I see in the younger generation a lot of love for the state, a lot of love for the land and a commitment to them.”

"We must all work to preserve the State of Israel, to continue to see the economic development, the development of our power and the ability to defend ourselves, and of course to see the State of Israel as a magnet for the entire Jewish people that will come to settle in all parts of the country and together we will continue to build the country.”