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'God bless the unbreakable friendship between our nations,' Israeli President Herzog says at US Independence Day reception

Herzog praises US for its steadfast support, as well as its 'clarity and vision'

Israeli President Isaac Herzog attends US Embassy American Independence Day reception in Jerusalem, July 3, 2024 (Photo: Koby Gideon/GPO)

Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressed the annual American Independence Day reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew and his wife, Dr. Schwartz on Wednesday.

Held for the first time at the Ambassador’s Residence in Jerusalem, the celebration marked the enduring alliance and shared values common to both nations.

Herzog began his speech by expressing his condolences for the families of the IDF soldiers who were victims of a stabbing attack in the northern city of Karmiel earlier on Wednesday.

"I want to firstly express my grief and my condolences with the latest victims of terror following the attack in Carmiel this morning. My heart goes out to the family of Sergeant Aleksandr Iakiminskyi, and my thoughts and prayers to the wounded."

The Israeli president emphasized that the hostages, including U.S. citizens held by Hamas in Gaza, are never forgotten.

He thanked Lew and U.S. President Joe Biden for their efforts to secure the release of the Israeli hostages being held captive by Hamas terrorists in Gaza and reiterated Israel's absolute commitment to bringing the hostages home.

"There isn’t an Israeli household or family where thoughts of the hostages aren’t present. There isn’t a synagogue service, a public event, or even private occasions, where concern for the hostages isn’t voiced clearly. Where a prayer, an outcry, and a demand for their immediate return doesn’t reverberate," adding that the "overwhelming majority is in favor of the deal" and the expectation to bring the hostages home "is at the heart of the Israeli consensus."

In his address, Herzog emphasized the strong alliance between Israel and the U.S., calling it "a clear, self-evident, and sustained bipartisan truth: Our unique alliance is based not only on the values we share, but on our willingness to defend those values."

He spoke about the commitment of both nations to stand together "in the long and difficult fight to defend our values, our lives, and our very way of life" against the extremism of the Iranian regime and its proxies.

"Despite occasional disagreements, the deep friendship and alliance between our nations remain strong, advancing our shared values and interests," the Israeli president added.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog attends US Embassy American Independence Day reception in Jerusalem, July 3, 2024 (Photo: Koby Gideon/GPO)

Speaking on behalf of the State of Israel and its citizens, Herzog again expressed gratitude to Biden and his administration, to Congress and to Americans "for the support and solidarity which has always been an anchor of our safety, and which has been evident in countless ways since October 7th."

"From the very first moments, President Biden’s stance has been unequivocal. He stepped forward and showed with one powerful word, that in the face of the darkest expressions of human cruelty, the United States of America was there. He stated with crystal clear clarity: Israel would not stand alone against its enemies. And he profoundly comforted a grieving nation. But it went well beyond words. Immediately following the massacre, the U.S. sent rapid military deployments to the region, along with arms and supplemental aid to Israel on an unprecedented scale."

"President Biden traveled to Israel during wartime - a truly extraordinary show of support. When Iran rained over 300 missiles and drones directly onto Israel’s civilian population, it was the American military that joined hands with the IDF, leading an international coalition that foiled the pernicious attack with spectacular success. Reminding the world about the power of coming together to defend principles and people."

Herzog praised the United States for its steadfast support, as well as its "clarity and vision."

"This clarity has been asserted not only the battlefield, but in the international arena as well. The United States has stood up boldly for Israel in international institutions. Against attempts to delegitimize Israel, against hatred, prejudice, and antisemitism, and in favor of the humanity that keeps us secure and whole."

"This is clarity and vision. This is moral high ground. This is the blessing of the United States of America to the world. God bless America. God bless Israel. And God bless the unbreakable friendship between our nations," Herzog said in conclusion

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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