With Americans continuing their Independence Day holiday weekend on Monday, several Israeli leaders offered their greetings – not the least of which was Prime Minister Naftali Bennett who has American parents.
“Shalom my friends,” Bennett said in a video greeting with barely accented English.
Bennett, Israel’s new prime minister, was born in Haifa, but his parents are from America and immigrated to Israel from San Francisco.
“America holds a special place in my heart. My parents were born in California and continued their lives here in Israel,” he said. “I too enjoyed living and working in New York for part of my adult life. My story is just one example of many Israelis and Americans whose lives are intertwined through family business and social ties which underpin the special relationship between our two countries.”
Bennett spoke of shared values between Israelis and Americans such as “freedom, liberty and democracy.”
“July 4 is a time to reflect on the values of freedom and human dignity in America’s Declaration of Independence. But as we reflect in the past we also look forward to the future – a joint future of an even deeper friendship between our two nations – the United States of America and Israel, rooted in our shared values of freedom, liberty and democracy.”
Bennett also extolled the new Israeli government, sworn in less than a month ago, as diverse and ready to work well with its American allies.
“In Israel we recently formed a new government that represents the Israeli people’s desire for political stability,” Bennett said. “But it’s also the most diverse government that Israel has ever had, bringing together folks from all factions into one united coalition. This new government deeply values our relationship with the American people. And we’re committed to a spirit of strength and cooperation.”
“We are going to work together very well,” Bennett said.
“I'd like to thank all our friends in the United States on both sides of the aisle, for your steadfast support both in times of peace, but also in moments of tension in our region,” Bennett said. “We appreciate this and we don’t take it for granted.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also wished a happy Independence Day to Americans.
“Israel has no greater partner than the U.S. We build on shared values & vision. The result: groundbreaking tech, training shoulder to shoulder & extending a helping hand when needed. On behalf of Israel’s defense establishment, I wish our American friends a great 4th of July,” Gantz tweeted.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.