President Clinton On Israel's 50th Birthday
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the following letter from U.S. President Bill Clinton on April 30, 1998:
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
On behalf of the American people, it is my honor to convey to you and the Israeli people my heartfelt congratulations on a great milestone in the history of a great nation, the fiftieth anniversary of the State of Israel. Israelis truly have much of which they can be proud. Faced with daunting challenges but rich with spirit and determination, the Israeli people have created a vibrant democracy, made unprecedented advances in education and technology, built a prosperous economy and concluded peace agreements with some of its neighbors.
The United States admires Israel for all that it has overcome and for all that it has accomplished. We are proud of the strong bond we have forged with Israel, based on our shared values and ideals. That unique relationship will endure just as Israel has endured.
The ideals for which Israelis have strived for 50 years freedom, justice and peace were enshrined in Israel's Declaration of Independence fifty years ago. They were given eloquent voice in the visionary statements of David Ben-Gurion, who always encouraged his people to improve themselves and their nation,and to make Israel a model for all nations. Much has already been accomplished in the search for a lasting peace between Israel and all her neighbors, and much more remains before us. Together, we can make real the vision of an Israel at peace with her neighbors, sharing with them genuine, lasting security and prosperity.