Greetings by the President of the State of Israel Print E-mail

Greetings by the President of the State of Israel,
Mr. Shimon Peres, to the Jewish People,
on the occasion of the Jewish New Year 5769

A country as small in size as Israel has little alternative but to seek greatness in other facets. It must explore strength of spirit, depth of faith, the bid for innovation and the hidden promise of science.

Since its inception, 60 years ago, Israel has proven that despite the shortage of land and water, it developed one of the most advanced and resilient economies on earth. Facing challenges disproportionate to its territorial and demographic scale, as well as existential threats, Israel nevertheless persevered. It did so, through the mobilization of its human resources and military fortitude. It reinforced its democracy and desire for peace.

Israel went through seven wars in its sixty years. Outnumbered and under-gunned, it was self reliant and confident. Winning wars enabled Israel to triumph in its battle for peace and to sign peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan. Today, it continues to negotiate with the Palestinians, never losing hope of making peace with the entire Arab world.

By promoting a policy of peace and being true to the Jewish ethic, "Love thy neighbour like thyself, maintaining a defense system that pre-empts danger, and a resilient democracy guided by the moral values of our tradition, we can prove that what was bestowed upon us on Mount Sinai was not lost in the desert.

The realization of the Zionist vision is a story that inspired both nation and state. With its establishment, the Jewish people entrusted Israel with the role of preserving and developing the Jewish historic heritage, on the moral platform, proclaming that "All human beings are born in the image of the Lord."

Committed to our faith and to the value of Tikkun Olam, Israel must continue to play a role in meeting the global challenges of tomorrow. Being small in size and people, we must be greater in the field of science and serve as a world laboratory in a quest for alternative energy, mostly from the sun, so as to decrease pollution and dry the petro-dollar swamp that breeds terror.

Humanity will have to generate water to meet growing human demand, prevent thirst and enable a harmonious and sustainable environment for man and nature. Israel excelled in that domain and we have to continue investing efforts in this pursuit.

We must also cultivate an innovative teaching system focused on thinking tools and capacities, rather than just on the accumulation of data. The historic strength of the Jewish people was, and must remain, anchored in learning and applying knowledge.

We have proven in the past, and we must do so again in the future, that the Jewish people can serve as leaders at the forefront of modernity and innovation, in order to tackle challenges such as violence and ubiquitous terror which the world now faces.

Likewise, we need to address the challenges which face Jewish communities throughout the world, such as assimilation, a growing gap between the different communities and a greater need to strengthen the ties between Jewish youth in the diasporah and in Israel. It is precisely because we are a small nation, that the Jewish people must generate the greatness inherent in the human capacities.

Rosh Ha'Shana Sameach!

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