Saturday, 8 May 2021 - 26 of Iyyar, 5781

On Independence Day, Israeli President Rivlin thanks Jewish communities abroad ‘for all that you do for Israel and the Jewish people’

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‘’Together, we are combatting antisemitism, making Jewish education stronger and promoting Holocaust remembrance. Yet, while we have come far, there is still so much more we can do,’’ he said.

“We are still building our modern state in our ancient homeland, a state that is Jewish and democratic, democratic and Jewish, in the same breath, at the same time, and you are all full partners in this effort,” declared Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in a message to Jewish communities abroad as the country celebrates the 73th anniversary of its independence.

He continued, ‘’’Over the last seven years, I have had the great privilege of learning from you. I deeply admire the strong spirit of mutual responsibility which characterizes so many Jewish communities. I deeply appreciate the diverse expressions of Jewish identity. Our Sages told us to follow the school of Beit Hillel, which truly listened to all sides. This lesson should serve as a guiding light for all of us. We must always truly listen to all sides. We must remember that we are one, strong, big and diverse family. We have a shared destiny. A new Israeli and Jewish Hope must be based on unity and diversity, on mutual understanding and shared experiences.’’

The Israeli President, who is to end his term next month, he said he was ‘’proud of everything that we have accomplished together.’’

‘’Together, we are combatting antisemitism, making Jewish education stronger and promoting Holocaust remembrance. Yet, while we have come far, there is still so much more we can do,’’ he said.

President Rivlin concluded by saying: ‘’I want to thank all of you for all that you do for Israel and the Jewish people. For being side by side with Israel, for defending Israel, for defending Zionism and the Jewish people. This place, Beit HaNasi, will always be your home. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.’’

On the eve of Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, the country marked Yom Hazikaron, Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.

Israelis across the country stood silent at 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning as sirens blared for two minutes.

During the siren, fighter jets flew a special aerial salute over the national military cemetery at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, beginning the official state Memorial Day ceremony to commemorate the 27,086 soldiers and civilians who have died in wars and terrorist attacks since 1860.

“We mustn’t remain indifferent to the threats of annihilation from those who wish us harm,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the ceremony, amid the current tensions with Iran. “The defenders of the present tell the defenders of the past: ‘Masada will not fall again.’”

He added: “We must hold onto our land with all our might and with all our determination.”

 

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