Clinton sends Israel Independence Day greetings


JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Israel "a beacon of hope" in an Independence Day message on behalf of President Obama and the U.S. people.

In the statement issued Sunday, Clinton called Israel, on its 63rd birthday, "a young nation, but [with] a rich history that holds deep meaning for so many."

"Your achievements are a testament to your hard-working citizens, innovative economy, and commitment to democratic institutions. Israel has been a beacon of hope and freedom for so many around the world."

Clinton also said, "Our two countries are united by a deep, unshakable friendship and bond. We are bound together by our shared values and history pursuing freedom, equality and democracy. And this relationship is deepening every day."

She called Israel’s security "a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy" and said the United States "will continue to strive for a comprehensive peace between Israel and all of its neighbors."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Obama at the White House on May 20. The effort to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process reportedly will be the main item on the agenda.

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