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Happy Birthday, Israel!

John McCain on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence:
"I join all Americans in offering my heartiest congratulations to the Israeli people on the 60th anniversary of their state's founding. When President Harry Truman recognized the new State of Israel 60 years ago, he formalized a deep and enduring relationship between two great peoples. In so doing, President Truman undoubtedly knew that the Jewish state would face great challenges in its early years, and he signaled American partnership in the face of these threats.

"Yet those tests were not confined to the early years after Israel's independence. Challenges to Israel have perhaps been the norm, rather than the exception, and its people have been tested in the crucible of conflict time and again. Those threats continue, and it is incumbent upon all free people to stand by Israel in her defense of our common values and ideals. Survival in the face of these enduring trials would be impressive; flourishing would seem out of the question. Yet Israel has thrived, and her people have built a nation that is an inspiration to all those who cherish freedom.

"The close and enduring U.S.- Israel relationship has thrived as well, and I am proud to support the vital ties between our two countries. Our bond will be of great importance in order to continually fulfill that aspiration sounded so eloquently in the HaTikva: 'to be a free nation.' As Israelis celebrate 60 years of independence, let no one doubt that, while the challenges will continue, Israel will survive and it will flourish. There will always be an Israel, and there will always be a vital bond between our two peoples."

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