As you read our weekly newsletter, President Obama is back home from his historic visit to the State of Israel. Indeed it was an historic visit. It came at a time when the idiom "A friend in need, is a friend indeed" is more true than ever. Facing a Middle East as it falls apart around us and with the Iranian nuclear challenge just beyond the horizon, the Special Relationship we have with the United States is more important than ever. In his speech before hundreds of Israeli students in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, the President spoke about three dimensions that define the current relationship – security, peace and prosperity. This is exactly how Israelis would like to see our own country on the eve of our 65th anniversary – safe, peaceful and prosperous.
On the eve of the visit, Prime Minister Netanyahu won the support of the Knesset for his new government. The 19th government since the establishment of the state in 1948 will have to face huge challenges both from within and from outside. However, the State of Israel is more equipped than ever before to meet successfully all those challenges – economically, socially and militarily. On the eve of our 65th anniversary, the State of Israel is indeed the magnificent City on the Hill.
Personally, the most exciting experience I had in the last week was not the establishment of the new government nor the visit of President Obama, it had to do with the showing of a strong community commitment. The Jewish community of Chicago met again – just as it has done on the eve of every Passover and New Year for the last dozens of years – to deliver 5,000 boxes of food to 12,500 of its members that are in need. As an Israeli diplomat, born in Israel, I learn the true meaning of Kehilla (community) life, only when I serve my country abroad. Indeed, this is only one of many things that the State of Israel can learn from the Jewish Diaspora. This week I was once again proud to be a member of the unique and strong Jewish community of the greater city of Chicago.
On the eve of the Passover holiday I would like to wish all our readers freedom, peace, security and prosperity. Happy Passover to one and all.