Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped aboard the giant aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush on Monday for a tour of the ship as it lay off the port of Haifa.
He took the opportunity to wish America well ahead of its 241st Independence Day before stressing the shared ideals of freedom and democracy that link the two countries.
He opened his remarks by first congratulating the men and women who take the USS George H.W. Bush into harm’s way:
“I stand on the deck of a mighty aircraft carrier of the United States of America, and a few miles here, across the sea, is another mighty aircraft carrier of our common civilization, it’s called the State of Israel.
“This great aircraft carrier is a floating island of America. It’s a symbol to the world of freedom and victory. The great crew that works off this ship helps keep the world secure from the threat of terror. This carrier has served as a base for X flights against the Islamic State, and the war against ISIS should be seen for what it is, a clash between good and evil.
“Every sailor on this ship should be immensely proud that you are serving good. Your families should be proud of you; the American people should be proud of you. I know that they are.”
Mr. Netanyahu then compared the values that have made the U.S. such a force for peace and security in a troubled world with those that bind Israel to its closest ally.
“Israel and America share the same values and the same vision. Our strength derives from our democracies, our diversity and our dedication to individual liberty. We are both peace loving people, but we recognize that sometimes we need to fight those enemies of peace, those who want to chop the head off our common societies. We recognize that to secure peace and maintain peace, we must be able to defend ourselves. This is what we do together.
“Tomorrow, you will celebrate America’s 241st Independence Day. Israel, your closest ally in this region and beyond, will celebrate with you. In this spirit of solidarity, I welcome you to Israel, a carrier of American Ideals in a sea of despotism.
“We share those values, this is our bond, this is our friendship.
“Happy Birthday, the United States of America.”
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