‘Our ties are unbreakable’: Biden, world leaders share Independence Day messages
Canada’s Trudeau vows to ‘continue to oppose efforts to isolate Israel in international fora’; amid diplomatic spat, Putin says he is ‘confident’ in Russia-Israel relations
Amy Spiro is a reporter and writer with The Times of Israel
World leaders sent congratulatory messages and greetings to Israel from around the world to mark its 74th Independence Day on Thursday.
In a video message aired at the official presidential ceremony Thursday morning, US President Joe Biden touted the close ties between Israel and the US.
“I’m honored to send you the best wishes of the people of the United States of America on the 74th birthday of the State of Israel,” said Biden in the video.
“A long and close friendship between our countries began the moment the United States became the first country in the world to recognize Israel as an independent state just 11 minutes after it was founded,” he said, touting “74 years of progress and partnership” that has included science and tech collaborations as well as “trailblazing new regional ties [and] ensuring Israel’s security.”
“The partnership between Israel and the United States has been indispensable for the United States, and I believe for Israel as well,” Biden added. “Our ties are unbreakable, and I’m proud to stand with Israel today and always.”
In his own video message, French President Emmanuel Macron said he felt a “profound attachment” to Israel. “The closeness between our two countries are rooted in the richness of our human ties, which unite us. You can count on me to reinforce this at all levels, including at the European Union.”
Video messages from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other world leaders were also played during the ceremony.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted on Thursday: “Wishing Israel and my friends @Isaac_Herzog and @naftalibennett a very happy Independence Day. The UK has always stood by Israel and its right to live as any nation should be able to — in peace, prosperity and security.”
President Herzog also received letters and messages from a wide range of leaders, including King Felipe VI of Spain, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In a letter to Herzog from Russian President Vladimir Putin — as ties between Moscow and Jerusalem remain precarious — he wrote that he is “confident that Russian-Israeli relations based on the principles of friendship and mutual respect will continue to develop for the benefit of our peoples and in favor of strengthening peace and security in the Middle East.”
Separately, in a statement congratulating Israel on its 74th Independence Day, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country “is proud to have been one of the first countries to formally recognize Israel in 1948.”
Trudeau proclaimed that Canada “will continue to oppose efforts to isolate Israel in international fora, and we will continue to stand against any attacks on the values we share.”
He also condemned “the recent spate of terror attacks targeting Israeli civilians these past weeks. There is no place for hate or terror of any kind.”
Marking Israel’s birthday, Trudeau said, “We reiterate our commitment to a continued, prosperous, and valuable relationship between the people of Israel and Canada, as well as lasting peace in the Middle East.”