The Embassy of Israel to the United States in Washington, D.C., hosts an annual celebration commemorating Israel’s founding, but this year, the event took on additional significance. The celebration, held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on May 14, marked Israel’s 70th birthday and coincided with the historic opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
“When speaking of the great friendship between America and Israel, two remarkable May 14th moments will never be forgotten,” said Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.
“Exactly 70 years ago today, on May 14, 1948, President Truman made America the first country to recognize the newly established State of Israel. And today, May 14, 2018, less than six months after President Trump made America the first country to recognize Israel’s capital, the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem. This historic day definitely calls for a shehechiyanu [blessing of praise],” he said.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivered the keynote address, during which he highlighted the U.S. commitment to finding peace: “By finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States has chosen fact over fiction,” he said.
“Fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace... The United States of America is prepared to support a peace agreement in any way we can. We believe that peace is possible — for both sides to gain more than they give.”