President Rivlin wrote: “As Israel enters its eighth decade, we mark 70 years of a vibrant democracy and a strong and independent civil society – the first of its kind in the Middle East”.
He stated: “For nearly three-quarters of a century, this nation, Israel, has held high the torch of freedom and equality in a difficult region. In Israel, we remain committed unequivocally to defending our people: defending their safety and security, as well as freedom and equality. Our commitment to the values of free speech, diversity of opinions, and freedom of religion is the cornerstone of Israel as a Jewish and as a democratic state – Jewish and democratic in one utterance and without any contradiction”.
Israel’s President underlined: “No nation is an island. We could never have done all this without the support of many around the world. Men and women, Jews and non-Jews, who dedicated their lives to Zionism and the well-being of the Israeli people. We could never have done all this without the support of our allies – countries around the world with whom we have developed strong relations and friendships rooted in shared values and built out of cooperation”.
He spoke of Israel’s seven decades of achievement in innovation, in trade, in academia, in medicine and more – “With much hard work, we made the desert bloom and hi-tech boom… Israel is reaching out around our region, and around the world, to share our knowledge and our experience: from food security to cyber security, Israel is making a better tomorrow for millions of people, today. Over the last decades, we have managed to make peace with many who were once our enemies”.
Click here to read President Rivlin’s article in full.