Yesterday, as Israel observed its national Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror, Israelis were shocked to hear of the heinous terrorist attack carried out against innocent men, women and children in the city of Boston, even as we mourned our lost dear ones, victims of terrorist attacks in the past. Terrorism is an unforgivable cowardly crime. The State of Israel and its citizens stands in solidarity with the American people, extends is sincere condolences to the families of those murdered and sends wishes of speedy recovery to those injured.
Terrorism strikes not only at innocent individuals, but at the collective values that these individuals holds dear. These American values, that Israel so admires and emulates, are bought and paid for daily for at a high price. On this day, Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with the American people, partners in the quest for freedom and a better future for all mankind. As is the Israeli custom, let us rise for a moment of silence in respect for the victims of terrorism and the defenders of freedom. (Moment of silence observed)
The Honorable Mr. Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida, Consuls-General, Elected Officials, Leaders of the Jewish Community, Christian Community leaders, friends and family,
Today Israel celebrates the 65th anniversary of its creation.
Over the past 65 years, the miracle of Israel's creation has been joined by the miracle of Israel's creativity. In both of these realms, the art of being a state, and being state-of-the-art, Israel is truly unique among nations.
Regarding her creation, Israel is the only state in the annals of history whose people have maintained from generation to generation a three-thousand year old narrative connecting that Nation to its Promised Land.
She is the only state in the history of Peoples to be established not through foreign colonization nor through indigenous revolution but through the ingathering of an exiled People from the four corners of the earth to an ancient homeland.
And she is the only nation in history to revitalize an original language, Hebrew, that had for two thousand years been relegated to scholarship and prayer, turning it into a living and vibrant mother tongue for millions of native-born citizens as well as new immigrants - some of whom are with us here tonight.
And Israel is unique also in that, while many nations are born out of conflict and war, Israel came into being a mere four years after the most heinous genocide in history, the Shoah, was perpetrated against her people killing over half of Jewish people. Israel was created despite being surrounded by armies many times her own size who vowed her destruction. Since that time, Israel has not known a day of peace and regional acceptance in the 65 years of its existence, yet has maintained vibrant democratic institutions and respect for human rights. Israel's very creation and her ongoing survival is indeed a modern day miracle.
And in the realm of creativity, the State of Israel, in her short history, has miraculously achieved what many states only dream of.
Today, Israel has more Noble Prize winners per capita than any other state. Has more patents, startups and research centers per capita than any other state. She has more university graduates per capita, more books published per capita, more museums per capita, more research papers written per capita, and the list goes on. She has made the dessert bloom with pioneering agricultural innovation, recycles more water, and produced more solar energy per capita than any other country. Economically, she is the only developed nation to have her credit rating raised in the last year, has more companies traded on NASDAQ than any other foreign country besides China - 58 companies - more that all of Europe combined.
But most importantly, Israel is successful because of the friends she keeps, and Israel has no greater friend than the United States of America. And among those fifty states, she has no greater friend than Florida. That friendship is based on common values and common destiny, not just common interests. Florida has done more than any other state to help Israel confront the existential threat of a nuclear Iran by mandating and enforcing disinvestment and economic disengagement from that rogue state – setting an example for dozens of other states to follow. As we speak, Florida's lawmakers and Cabinet officers are working to build strong economic ties and cooperation for the good of both states, through joint research and development and trade. I am truly lucky to have the privilege to be Israel's representative in such a welcoming environment.
Israelis today are thankful for all Israel has been able to achieve, and for the friends that helped make it possible. I personally would like to thank the staff of the Consulate who have made this evening possible, and have work tirelessly on strengthening the relationship between the State of Israel and the State of Florida, Consul Mazal Saidiyan for arranging this event, my Deputy Revital Malca, the political staff - Lisa, Samantha, Gabriel and Ariel, the consular and administrative staff – Maya, Guy, Yael, Rafi, Nir, Shafrir and Merav, my personal staff - Eva, Maria and Francisco, and the Head of Security and his staff who shall remain as always nameless.
Happy 65th birthday to the State of Israel