Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hello, and welcome. I am Shoham Nicolet, the Co-founder and CEO of the IAC.

We are thrilled to have so many great leaders of our country gathered here for this special event to mark Israel’s 70th Birthday.

But before that, Israel’s Independence Day begins tomorrow evening. The day before Independence Day is Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s National Memorial Day. This is very intentional. As Israelis celebrate their independence, they also must take time to remember the ultimate sacrifice that thousands have made so that they can be free. As we gather here today, sun has already set in Israel and the entire country has ground to a halt, as people begin a day to remember the fallen.

This is why we’d like to begin our event with a moment of silence for all the Israelis and Americans who have died in defense of our freedom and the values that our two countries share.

Moment of silence.

I want to thank Congressman Joe Wilson, who sponsored this event, enabling us to reserve this beautiful room in the Library of Congress.

Today we celebrate Israel’s remarkable history. We celebrate its extraordinary achievements. And perhaps, most of all, we celebrate its most important friendship…with the United States of America.

This very special friendship is – and must always be – rooted in the shared values of our two countries. As we see from the incredible crowd of Democratic and Republican Members of Congress here this afternoon, these values unite us as Americans across the political spectrum.

Thank you for standing with our Israeli-American community today as we send a message of unity….and champion this very special friendship…

Thank for being with us, as we share our great love and pride for our home, America, and our homeland, Israel.