Rosh Hashanah reception at the President's Residence in Jerusalem
Rosh Hashanah reception at the President's Residence in JerusalemMark Neiman (GPO)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama on Monday held a pre-Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) reception at the President's Residence in Jerusalem.

Attending the event were various foreign ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps serving in Israel.

“On this special occasion, it is important for all of us to remember that a true universal order cannot survive without strong nation states,” Rivlin said. “History has shown us time and time again, that there is no better way for a nation to develop, to defend itself, or to cooperate with other nations than as a sovereign nation state.”

“As I told United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres a few weeks ago, international cooperation and national patriotism do not contradict one another. No one understands this better than us Israelis. The State of Israel – where the Jewish nation fulfills its right to self-determination – was established with the strength, of wide international recognition at the UN.

“As we approach 70 years of independence, Israel remains strongly committed to international cooperation. More than that, while being a young state and a small country, Israel has already proven itself to be an important exporter; in agriculture, education, security, and innovation. When we learn from one another, when we work together, we can build a better future for our children and our grandchildren.”

Rivlin also said Israel desires to strengthen its diplomatic and trade ties with countries around the world.

“In the past year, we worked hard to strengthen our relations on six continents of the world: Asia, Africa, South America, North America, Europe, and Australia,” he explained. “We truly believe that strong international relationships, good cooperation, and international free trade agreements will foster prosperity around the world.”

Speaking of the danger of the collapse of nation states, Rivlin said, “Because the idea of the nation state is so important to international cooperation, we must all work together to stop the attacks on its legitimacy. Actions and statements such as those we hear against Israel, which deny our rights and threate our existence, are unacceptable.”

“These actions and statements do not promote understanding or cooperation among nations. The fact is that Iran continues to regain more and more legitimacy, while Iranian leadership continues to call for Israel's destruction. This is unacceptable. This does not promote humanistic values, values which are at the heart of our peoples, of our countries, and of our friendships.”

“This year is the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel. What you have managed to do here against all odds is nothing short of a miracle,” Diplomatic Corps Dean and Dominican Republic Ambassador Alex De La Rosa Garabito said.

Garabito noted that “Israel is a global economic and scientific powerhouse. To take just one example, how many dry countries managed to master their lack of water, which is one of the worst afflictions of the world?”

“Needless to say, Israel is not ‘a nation that dwells alone and among the nations they do not reckon.’ It aspires rather to be a ‘light unto nations.’ Many of the countries represented here can testify to cooperation with Israel in all fields mentioned above, from scientific research to hi-tech to water resources.”

“International cooperation is paramount and Israel is a respected player in this field.”

Speaking of the challenges the world faced today, Garabito said, “Anti-Semitism shows is it ugly head again. Terrorism strikes everywhere. Radical intolerance, violence, and civil strife plague our world and affect everybody. Israel finds itself on the forefront.”

Concluding his speech, Garabito expressed hope that the New Year would bring renewed peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians.