Israeli President quotes Rabbi Sacks in US Congress

July 19, 2023

On Wednesday 19th July 2023, Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressed the Joint Session of the United States Congress in Washington. He said that he welcomed criticism, especially from American friends, but cautioned that it must not cross the line into negation of Israel's right to exist. That, he said, was antisemitism.

Quoting Rabbi Sacks in his address, President Herzog said:

Israel and the United States will inevitably disagree on many matters. But we will always remain family. Our evolutionary societies have so much to give to the world, and so much to learn from each other. Our bond may be challenged at times, but it is absolutely unbreakable. The Israeli national anthem, “Hatikvah”, is a song of hope. The late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks wrote that in Judaism, hope is an active virtue which requires a great deal of courage. Hope is the belief that together we can make the world better, that we can overcome any setbacks, and heal the fractures in our world.

Israel’s first seventy-five years were rooted in an ancient dream. Let us base our next seventy-five years on hope. Our shared hope, that we can heal our fractured world, as the closest of allies and friends.

Thank you, members of both houses, for celebrating Israel’s independence. Am Yisrael Chai. God bless the State of Israel and God bless the United States of America.