A Yom Ha’azmaut message from Israel’s president

April 28, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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A special greeting to mark Israel’s 72nd Yom Haatzmaut / Independence Day from President Reuven Rivlin.

President Reuven Rivlin

Yom Ha’azmaut will be celebrated differently this year because of the restrictions in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.


Who would have believed that we 72 years have already passed? As a child, that time, just before the establishment of the state, is deeply engrained in my memory. I remember the reports from the UN General Assembly on 29th November 1947, the dancing, how Jerusalem immediately became a battlefield, the siege on the city, the emotional announcement of the establishment of the state on 15 May 1948, 5 Iyyar 5708, mixed with the news that Gush Etzion had fallen, and later that the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem had fallen, and then the ceasefire agreements. In Jerusalem, the joy was mixed with great fear. We felt the fragility of the moment, alongside the history we were living though. At every stage, in those joyful and festive days of independence, and in the harder and sadder times, we always had an Israeli ‘togetherness’. We grieved together and we celebrated together. Today, on Yom Haatzmaut, in the shadow of the disease and its victims, and the economic crisis, we must not give up on our ‘togetherness’. We must not and we will not. We are happy and excited together, despite the distance.

The State of Israel is a miracle and a wonder. We created advanced industry, we established wonderful and innovative agriculture that the whole world looks to. We have created a rich and diverse culture and become a country with a world-class reputation in development and invention, entrepreneurship and technology, medicine, research and science. We have proved that we are an ancient people but also a modern one. A people that draws strength, values and belief from such ancient tradition. A people that knows how to develop, renew, to dare and to dream – yes, sometimes to be impertinent – every day. That is why even on this Independence Day, there is no one like the Israeli people. In terms of solidarity, mutual obligation, the willingness to give and to extend a helping hand, there is no one like us. These days require those who can, to reach out to those of lesser ability. It is the Israeli spirit that helps us grow from the crises we face, to grow time and again, stronger than ever.

I call on Israelis at this time: now is the time to buy local. To choose Israeli industry and agriculture again, to support the self-employed and the small businesses, to strengthen the Israeli economy. The way we deal with this crisis, all the sectors of our society, all the groups and strands, will show that the Israeli spirit can overcome this challenge, too. This is the spirit that will lead us to many more wonderful Yom Haatzmaut celebrations, with the hope that they will be days of health, prosperity and social solidarity. Chag Atzmaut Sameach, Happy Independence Day, my dear friends! Chag Atzmaut Sameach, Israel!”

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