Netanyahu - Daniel Bar-On - June 29 2011
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Photo by Daniel Bar-On
Text size

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the United States as a champion of freedom and a great ally of Israel in his address to the annual Fourth of July celebration at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Tel Aviv Thursday night.

Netanyahu recounted the history of the American Revolution 235 years ago, saying that many of the ideas that fueled the U.S. struggle for independence are applicable to nationalist aspirations today, particularly in the Middle East.

The prime minister lauded the United States for its unwavering commitment to freedom, saying “never in history has there ever been a nation so concerned with the freedom” of people throughout the world. He added that few nations appreciate this commitment more than Israel.

Netanyahu emphasized the importance of U.S.-Israel ties, saying that since its inception 63-years-ago, the United States has been an unrivaled ally and invaluable source of support.

“For decades, America has stood by Israel’s side,” he said, adding that Israel owes much of its success in defeating its attackers to American assistance.

Netanyahu credited the U.S. with moral, diplomatic and military support for Israel, praising the Obama administration for its insistence on the importance of reaching a negotiated settlement with Israel’s neighbors. The prime minister thanked the U.S. for providing Israel with the means to deploy the Iron Dome missile defense system in the south, which has successfully intercepted missiles launched from the Gaza Strip at civilians.

The prime minister said America’s continued support for Israeli endeavors is testimony of a mutual quest for peace in the region.

President Shimon Peres, who spoke shortly before Netanyahu at the Fourth of July festivities, shared the prime minister’s sentiments, calling the United States a “powerful nation and generous giver”.

Peres commended its compassion for those in need, and the U.S. commitment to making the world a safer place.

The president called America an “indispensible nation”, expressing gratitude for all the U.S. has done on behalf of Israel and the world at large.

Peres thanked the United States “for standing up for what is right and just and fair, for defending freedom, safeguarding liberty, searching for peace, protecting democracy, (and for) advancing our shared values. Thank you America for being our friend and our ally.”