Netanyahu: ‘Israel and America are two bastions of liberty’

At American Independence Day celebrations, Netanyahu highlighted holiday’s personal significance and Israel-US partnership’s fight for freedom.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took part in American Independence Day celebrations at US Ambassador David Friedman’s Herzliya residence on Monday night, saluting the United States of America’s founding principles.

“Today is a celebration of freedom and independence,” Netanyahu opened. “It’s a celebration of this most remarkable country, the United States of America.”

“This idea, this great idea which brought into being all the philosophies of the enlightenment and the ancient ideas of freedom born in this country, this brought together the United States, and on July 4th, 1776, the United States was born: a nation conceived in liberty, dedicated to the proposition that all men – they later added all women too – are created equal,” Netanyahu added.

The Fourth of July bears additional significance for Netanyahu and his family, as Netanyahu’s brother Yoni was killed in an attempt to free hostages held in captivity in Entebbe, Uganda on this date in 1976.

“This was the darkest moment of my life, the life of my brother, most of all my parents,” Netanyahu reflected.

“Two centuries separate July 4th, 1776, and July 4th, 1976, but to me, they are unified by a common ideal: the fight for freedom,” he continued. “I am reminded of that parallel every year at this time; Israel and America are two bastions of liberty defending our common civilization.”

Netanyahu pointed to a recent manifestation of that “parallel,” with the recent docking in Israel of the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, which is used to strike targets held by the Islamic State terrorist organization.

“The USS George H.W. Bush, a massive aircraft carrier anchored just outside of Haifa,” remarked Netanyahu. “It’s a floating piece of America. It’s a floating island that helps lead the fight against ISIS.”

“I told the members of this crew a few hours ago that Israel is also an aircraft carrier,” he added. “It’s an aircraft carrier for Western civilization, for the civilization of freedom.”

Moreover, Netanyahu spoke of the bond between Israeli and US crewmen in the fight to defend and protect the “civilization of freedom.”

“You saw the great partnership between the American crew, the commanders, the pilots, the crew members and their Israeli counterparts,” said Netanyahu, speaking of a visit onboard the USS George H.W. Bush earlier on Monday. “You can see a real friendship, a real personal friendship that is born of these common ideals.”

Those common ideals revolve around the effort to protect freedom, Netanyahu said.

“Our two nations stand shoulder to shoulder, as we have countless times before, in our noble fight for freedom.”

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News