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Congresswoman Kelly Celebrates Israeli Independence Day

May 2, 2017

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) released this statement marking the 69th Anniversary of Israel's Independence Day, which began at sundown on May 1, 2017:

"Today, I join millions of Israelis, as well as Jews and people of all faiths around the world, in celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day.

On May 14, 1948 (corresponding to 5 Iyar 5708), Israel fulfilled a dream of a homeland for the Jewish people after 2,000 years in exile. The United States was the first nation to recognize Israel, and for nearly seven decades our two nations have shared a bond of close friendship. From generation to generation, Israel has stood strong as a true ally and strong advocate for our shared values: justice, democracy, and peace.

Israel shows the world that a nation can have a cutting-edge military and secure borders while preserving and celebrating personal and religious freedom; it shows that the right to self-defense and a commitment to humanitarianism are not mutually exclusive. In the face of near-constant threats to its existence, Israel has still been able to foster some of world's greatest soldiers and scientists and some of the most talented musicians and artists.

As the senior member from Illinois serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I proud to have visited Israel and continue working to strengthen the steadfast bond between our two nations. As we celebrate, let us reaffirm our commitment towards a secure Israel and lasting peace among Israel, its neighbors and all nations."