Israel is a “beacon of stability and freedom” in the strife-torn Middle East and it is proud of its strong links to the UK. That was the simple message delivered by Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev in London last night as he helped celebrate Israel’s Independence. The event was held Monday night even though Israel’s Independence Day was last week.
Mr Regev said that Israelis have gone from being a stateless and homeless people, to becoming a sovereign and independent nation in just 68 years. The Australian-born diplomat then outlined what he saw as the most significant achievements of his young country. He said:
“Having been powerless in the face of persecution, and victims of violent attacks, we the Jewish people now have the power to defend ourselves.
“We have taken in millions of penniless refugees, and made them proud citizens of a free country. We have welcomed in people from all four corners of the earth and successfully forged a pluralistic yet united society.
“We have revived and revitalized our ancient national language. Without natural resources, we have built a dynamic first world economy.
“Israel leads in innovation. Israel leads in hi-tech. Israel leads in cyber. Israel leads in Nobel Prize laureates Without water, we have agriculture that leads the planet in so many areas. We’re number one in recycling water and desalinization.
“And despite our small size, Israel is among the first to provide humanitarian assistance across the globe following natural and man-made disasters.”
Mr Regev, 55, was appointed Israel’s Ambassador in London in August last year, but remained in Israel to continue in his role as foreign media spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As Israel’s Ambassador in London, Mr Regev succeeded Daniel Taub, who spent four years in the role.
UK-Israel trade has grown rapidly in recent years and currently stands in excess of £4.5 billion while bilateral relations continue to grow in numerous fields including intelligence sharing, science, health and education. Mr Regev acknowledged that link, saying:
“I am proud of our strong partnership with the United Kingdom. A partnership based on common values and shared interests. I am glad to report to you all that cooperation between our two countries in a whole host of areas continues to accelerate rapidly. Cooperation that makes both our peoples more prosperous and more secure.”
This is not the first time that Mr Regev has spoken so passionately about the links between the two countries.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, last month he said that Israel is a beacon of “freedom and pluralism” that mirrors British values like no other state in the Middle East. He said:
“We can all take great pride in the freedoms Israel guarantees to all citizens – Jews and non Jews alike. In the in great expanse of the Middle East, in a region plagued by extremism, violence and tyranny, Israel stands out as beacon of freedom and pluralism. Israel enjoys a rambunctious parliament, feisty media and active civil society second to none.
“So when British people look at the Middle East and search for a country that reflects their values – rule of law, tolerance of others – there is only one country. I am proud to be that country’s ambassador to the Court of St James.”
Mr Regev has also been quick to acknowledge the anti-Semitism sweeping Britain’s Labour party. He told the BBC recently that Labour had “crossed a red line” and he urged Britain’s leaders to condemn it.
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