Israel’s 76th year ‘marked by enormous pain and loss’ — Herzog to Diaspora Jews

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Israel’s 76th year “has been marked by enormous pain and loss,” not just for the residents of the Jewish state “but for Jewish communities throughout the world,” President Isaac Herzog declares in a special greeting to Jewish Diaspora communities on Israel’s 76th Independence Day.

Citing the “murder, torture, rape, and abduction of hundreds of our people by Hamas,” the grief over Israel’s fallen and the “shocking scale of the reemergence of antisemitism in so many forms throughout the world,” Herzog says in a video posted online that “there is no question that this year, our Yom Ha’atzma’ut celebrations are different.”

But while the past seven months have been filled with suffering, they have “also been a time of important achievements,” he declares. ” They have reminded us why we rose up from tragedy and found the strength and determination to establish a beautiful and beloved national home — the miracle that is the State of Israel.”

“They have reminded us, also, of our core qualities, of our power as a people to stand up, again and again, against hatred. To survive and speak our truth. Of our deep and sustaining caring for one another. Of our connection to the call that we have carried across the ages: To do good, to pursue peace, tikkun olam, and to repair our fractured world,” he says.

“My friends, we have seen our people step forward this year for one another. To offer one another protection, support, empathy, and care and love. We have shown that we truly belong to one another. And that, no matter what happens, we can tap into deep resources of caring, connection, love and belonging.

“May we continue to raise our voices and fight for what matters — for the immediate release of our hostages. For our safety and our future in a thriving and secure Jewish and democratic State of Israel, and for a world of peace, harmony, and goodwill.”

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