PM Netanyahu’s Statement at the Fourth of July Event at the US Ambassador’s Residence
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Thursday, 30 June 2016), issued the following statement at the Fourth of July event at US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro's residence:
"This night of celebrations comes after a day of tragedy. In Kiryat Arba, near Hebron, the city of our forefathers, young Hallel Yaffa Ariel, a 13 year old, was murdered lying in her bunk bed.
What makes someone slit the throat of a child? It’s not the quest for peace. It’s the mind flooded with hate and incitement, an ideology that says this child is not a human being.
And this ideology of hate was manifested again when another would be murderer knifed two Israelis in Netanya a few miles from here.
We will always fight the terrorists. We will fight their despatchers; we will fight the inciters; we will fight the sponsors. You do battle with terrorism by fighting the terrorists and those who back them.
This is our position, this is the American position. And I repeat it here on this day, the Fourth of July, which also commemorates the fortieth anniversary of the rescue at Entebbe, in which we fought terrorism and we received much support.
I was in the United States at the time and learned of my brother’s death when he led the rescue party at the old terminal at Entebbe. But I remember the support of the American people. That hasn’t changed – it’s grown. And the support of successive governments. That’s grown.
And I want to use this opportunity as we celebrate the Fourth of July to thank President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary Kerry, with whom I just spent a fruitful day in Rome, to reaffirm again that our greatest alliance, our most basic alliance is with the United States of America.
We have an increasing number of friends around the world. We do, and it’s heartening. But we never forget that the one true partnership is between the State of Israel and the United States. And I want to tell you why the US-Israel alliance has weathered every storm and every difficulty and will continue to do so.
The answer is deceptively simple. It’s because when Americans look at Israel, they see themselves, and when Israelis look at America, they too see themselves.
Now, there are differences. It’s true, we’re going to eat Big Macs. It’s true – that’s not a difference. But we drink chocolate milk out of plastic bags. That innovation of Israel has not yet made it…
But the foundational ethos of our two nations is nearly identical. It’s the reason the American founders thought of putting Moses on the national seal. In fact, the image of Moses is in the US Congress. Moses. Moshe.
I think Washington and Herzl would get along quite well; Ben Gurion and Jefferson would have a lot to talk about; unquestionably so would Madison and Begin, for sure.
By the way – you mentioned Alexander Hamilton. He came from the Caribbean. Well, his nanny was a Sephardi Jewess who taught him to read the Ten Commandments in Hebrew. That’s another connection.
Our two nations were founded on a noble ideal, a romantic ideal, a beautiful ideal, a timeless ideal. The Jewish people, like the American people, was born of a heroic battle against oppression. We knew the pain of tyranny and thus set out to establish free nations.
Today, the United States and the Jewish state serve as beacons of progress and hope for people around the world. Both Israel and America respect individual rights. We respect individual rights while we cherish our collective identities. The two are intertwined.
And it’s no coincidence that we also share the same enemies. The values we hold most dear are anathema to terrorist groups like ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, and regimes like Iran. The last thing they want is our pluralism, our diversity, our belief in choice. They cannot stand the sight of men and women mingling together, of minorities enjoying full rights, of gays and lesbians marching proudly, of free people electing their leaders, sometimes pushing them out of office too by the way. That happens.
And as we saw this morning, those terrorists can’t even stand a helpless 13-year-old girl sleeping in her bedroom.
My friends, I spent a significant part of my life in the United States. I studied there, I worked there, my beloved father taught there, and my English ain’t too bad either. I know what a unique nation America is.
I’m deeply grateful for the political and military support America has given Israel over the years and indeed just now. We came from the air-force cadets, and we saw our magnificent young men and women flying those machines. They’re American machines.
We appreciate the latest machine, the F35. We’ll talk about the other versions we want. Vertical takeoff, that’s a hint. And I hope that we’ll conclude a new memorandum of understanding for the invaluable American support for Israel’s defenses for the next decade.
But I’m even more grateful not only for what America gives Israel. I’m most grateful for what America is: the land of the free, the home of the brave; a nation which, to paraphrase Lincoln, has so often been the best last hope of humanity. It keeps reenergizing that hope. America has made this world a much better place. It has provided more opportunity for more people than any other country in the history of the world.
Tonight I join you in celebrating America. Sara joins me and all of you in celebrating America. I admire your history; I treasure your friendship; I cherish our alliance.
When America is denigrated by some abroad, I want each and every one of you to know that Israel stands with America, shoulder to shoulder, through thick and thin.
We are here for you as you are here for us.
Thank you and Happy Fourth of July.
God bless America."