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“Israel’s Independence Day is an occasion for genuine celebration.
Jews celebrate the rebirth of our national freedom in our historic homeland, the Land of Israel.
We celebrate that the Jewish people are no longer stateless and powerless, but are once again masters of our own fate.
We celebrate the fact that Jews everywhere enjoy a right they were denied for so many centuries, the right to make aliya [immigrate to Israel] and be part of the modern State of Israel.
And we can also celebrate Israel’s many achievements.
We have integrated into our society immigrants from all four corners of the earth.
We have successfully defended our freedom against attacks by hostile neighbors.
We have literally made the desert bloom, building a vibrant and dynamic hi-tech economy.
We have built a robust and healthy democracy, where freedom is sacrosanct and human rights enshrined in our laws for all.
We have built a society in which all Israel’s citizens are equal under the law, Arab and Jew alike.
We have witnessed a real renaissance in our national culture.
We take pride in Israel’s achievements.
And even though there is still much work to be done, on this day we can unite in celebration of Israel’s many successes.
From Jerusalem, the capital of the modern State of Israel for the last 67 years, and the historic capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years, I wish you all a very happy Independence Day.”
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