US ‘recognizes the resilience of Israel’s democracy — the bedrock for our robust and special relationship,’ says the president, calling himself a ‘lifelong friend and supporter
(Courtesy: The Time of Israel)
WASHINGTON — Characterizing himself as a “lifelong friend and supporter of Israel,” US President Joe Biden on Tuesday congratulated the Jewish state on 75 years of independence.
In a statement, Biden highlighted his administration’s ongoing work with the Israeli government to “create a more prosperous, peaceful, and integrated Middle East.” The wording was general enough to ostensibly refer both to efforts to mitigate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the advancement of additional normalization agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
“As strong partners, we are working together to build new alliances to meet 21st-century challenges like climate change and global health,” Biden added.
The White House statement appeared aimed at underscoring that the bilateral relationship transcends brewing differences between the Democratic administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government over the latter’s judicial overhaul and policies toward the Palestinians.
“On behalf of the people of the United States, I extend our best wishes to the people of Israel as they celebrate 75 years of statehood,” the American president said.
“When David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence in 1948, he announced the birth of a state ‘based on freedom, justice, and peace.’ Just 11 minutes later, [US] President [Harry] Truman announced that the United States would be the first nation to recognize the government of Israel. Today, we are still proud to be counted among the first of Israel’s friends and allies. And the United States recognizes the resilience of Israel’s democracy—the bedrock for our robust and special relationship.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken put out a similar statement congratulating Israel.
“Over the last 75 years, the United States and Israel have built a partnership that transcends politics and benefits the people of both nations,” Blinken said. “As we seek to promote peace and prosperity in the region, we will also remain unwavering in our commitment to Israel’s security and democracy, endeavoring to strengthen further the decades-old US-Israel bond.”
In a video message, US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides hailed Israel’s “leadership in the Middle East,” and celebrated the “strong, fruitful relationship” between the Jewish state and the US.