'Israel developed into free, democratic, and prosperous nation'

Watch: Secretary of State Pompeo delivers remarks Independence Day celebration in Washington, DC.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo
Reuters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday spoke at a celebration of Israel’s 71st Independence Day held at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC.

Pompeo, who was introduced by Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, said, “I want to ask you all just to think back until the moment that Ambassador Dermer spoke about, 1948. A moment when David Ben-Gurion read aloud the final text of Israel’s Declaration of Independence at a museum in Tel Aviv, tensions were running high."

“British rule in Palestine was ending that very evening, at midnight. Arab states were about to invade. There was no electricity in Jerusalem, so few in the city could actually hear Ben-Gurion’s words.”

“But, halfway across the world, America was listening, and it responded. It responded by formally recognizing Israel’s new government – just 11 minutes after that important announcement,” said Pompeo.

The New York Times reported – yes, I’m going to quote The New York Times here tonight. The New York Times reported the next morning America’s bold action promised – excuse me – prompted the Jewish people to breathe a collective ‘sigh of relief,’” continued the Secretary of State.

“And even though bombs were being dropped in Israel, and the survival of the new state was certainly far from certain, people in both of our nations were celebrating. That celebration continues here tonight, in this very room, in this special place.”

“When we think about the statement that Ben-Gurion read, we’re reminded of a similar document – one drafted on parchment by a 33-year-old man named Thomas, 243 years ago this past – this coming July."

“Of course, the historical circumstances were different in many ways. But the similarities are striking. First, each declaration forms its nation’s political bedrock.”

“Second, both speak of central ideas that are ‘self-evident’ – In the American case, it’s the truth that men are created equal and have rights that are unalienable."

“In Israel’s case, there’s a close parallel, based on the tradition the Hebrew prophets handed down: The right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate,” said Pompeo.

“Both documents reject arbitrary distinctions, with Israel’s declaration guaranteeing, quote, ‘the full social and political equality of all its citizens without distinction of race, creed, or sex . . . [and the] full freedom of conscience, worship, education, and culture . . .,’” pointed out Pompeo, who added, that “it’s these shared values that bind Americans and Israelis together, and brings us together to celebrate tonight.”

“Since Israel’s declaration was issued in 1948, the Jewish State – in the face of so many challenges that we all know – has developed into an inspiring example of a free, democratic, and prosperous nation. Its population has exploded to more than 9 million citizens today,” said the Secretary of State.

He recalled his visit to Israel this past March and said, “I met some of the most amazing people, one of them being your current prime minister in Israel. I had the chance to visit him at the Western Wall.”

“I was truly honored to go there to that special place with him on the day that President Trump boldly recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. It was remarkable to be there as the first senior American to have gone to the Western Wall alongside an Israeli prime minister,” he recalled.

“And as you all know, and as Ambassador Dermer recounted, it was just one of the many things that this Administration has done to stand with Israel. We certainly know of the announcement with respect to our embassy.”

“We’ve bolstered Israel’s security too by applying maximum pressure against the single greatest threat to stability and security in the Middle East, and indeed, stability and security in Israel – the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo pointed out.

“We’ve pushed back hard too. And this is important – we’ve pushed back hard too against anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, and will continue to oppose it wherever it raises its ugly head,” he vowed.

“We are unleashing a fight against anti-Semitism, a growing problem across much of the world, including sadly right here in the United States.”

“I think the most important thing that you all should take away from these actions by this Administration is that they are instinctive, they are reflexive, and they are right. And we do them because of that, because they are in the best interest of both of our peoples,” stressed Pompeo.

He noted the US peace plan which will be unveiled next month and said, “It offers an opportunity, although no guarantee, that we hope we can have a brighter future for the Palestinian people.”

“Today, individual liberty, democratic self-governance, and national sovereignty are the cornerstones of our two societies. And along with our Judeo-Christian heritage, they underlie our countries’ permanent excellent relationship. I’m confident that this will continue into the future,” said Pompeo.

“And I want to say to all here tonight, happy Independence Day. Thank you for being here. And may God bless you all, Israel, and the United States of America. Thank you,” he concluded.




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