The State of Israel is the only country in the world established by friends, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid declared on Thursday, at the annual Independence Day reception. The reception was hosted for diplomats by President Isaac Herzog on the grounds of the President’s Residence.
Quoting from Harvard University research on what advances the quality of life, Lapid said that friends – even more than family – help to make life longer and better.
He explained that friends relate not only to people but also to countries.
Usually, countries make decisions based on power and interests, but on November 29, 1947, “33 diplomats spoke into a microphone and said ‘yes’” on a resolution that led to the establishment of the State of Israel.
“They made a moral choice, the choice of friends,” said Lapid. “The choice that Jews deserve their own state.”
Turning to the accomplishments of the present government, Lapid said that it had opened consulates and embassies in Arab countries; had renewed relations with Europe based on dialogue and honesty; returned to Africa, and strengthened Israel’s alliance with the United States.
He doubted that any other country had the sweeping bipartisan support that Israel enjoys from America.
Lapid mentioned Iran briefly, stating that the world cannot afford a nuclear Iran.
He also referred to the world’s gradual emergence from COVID-19, saying that he was glad that the masks had come off and that he could see friendly faces once again.
Herzog spoke of the changing Middle East as a result of the Abraham Accords. He said that the Arab leaders he had met with were willing to find common ground with Israel, and were interested in peace and prosperity rather than conflict and hatred.
“The world can benefit from the strategic alliance of moderate Middle East forces,” he said, adding that the Middle East can become a global hub of sustainable solutions for many of the world’s common problems.