Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Begin's Words Recalled on Independence Day

Remarks by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Diplomatic Corps at the President's Residence
Israel Independence Day

His Excellency the President of the State of Israel Mr. Shimon Peres,
Heads of Missions and International Organizations,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Thank you for joining with us today to celebrate Israel's 62nd year of independence.

Thirty years ago, during Israel's 32nd independence day, the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin declared:

"Citizens of Israel, let us set Jerusalem above our highest joy! …It is our right to reaffirm on the day of our rededication of our national independence, that the city, north and south, east and west, is entirely under Israel's sovereignty, our eternal capital city! It cannot be divided! And will never again be divided! Neither directly, nor indirectly!"

Ladies and gentlemen,

The late Prime Minister Begin, who won a Nobel Peace Prize, expressed the eternal connection between Jews everywhere and Jerusalem, which existed then and exists today. Begin made that statement as Israel and Egypt were implementing the historic peace agreement between them. It did not stand in the way of peace.
Today, I stand before you in Jerusalem, as Israel's Foreign Minister, and reaffirm late Prime Minister Begin's statement: Jerusalem is our undivided, eternal capital!
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