Pompeo celebrates Israel’s 71st Independence Day

Israel “has developed into an inspiring example of a free, democratic, and prosperous nation” during its 71-year history, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Speaking at a May 22 event in Washington to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day, Pompeo recalled the occasion of Israel’s founding.

When the country’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, read aloud the final text of Israel’s Declaration of Independence at a museum in Tel Aviv, “tensions were running high,” said Pompeo.

Yet “halfway across the world, America was listening, and it responded,” said Pompeo. “It responded by formally recognizing Israel’s new government — just 11 minutes after that important announcement.”

While the survival of the new state was far from certain at the time, “people in both of our nations were celebrating,” Pompeo added. “That celebration continues here tonight.”

Since Israel’s founding, the U.S. has remained a staunch ally. The Trump administration has demonstrated its support by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and fighting anti-Semitism worldwide.

Looking ahead, the secretary of state said the White House has a vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians — a plan “which we will unveil this summer.” The plan offers a hopeful blueprint for “a brighter future for the Palestinian people,” said Pompeo.

The secretary of state closed his remarks by paying tribute to the commonalities between Israel and the United States.

“Today, individual liberty, democratic self-governance and national sovereignty are the cornerstones of our two societies,” he said. “And along with our Judeo-Christian heritage, they underlie our countries’ permanent excellent relationship.”