"Israel celebrates with you," the prime minister said at the event, stating that the Fourth of July was "a day celebrated by all those who cherish freedom around the world."
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The United States, Netanyahu asserted, is a defender of "freedom across the globe." The PM thanked US President Barack Obama for his administration's support of Israel and vowed that Israel "will always remain America's steadfast and unwavering ally."
Israel celebrates 4th of July (Photo: Benny Doutsh)
He also offered a "salute" to the "courage of America's soldiers," praising the United States as the nation that has "held the torch of liberty for 237 years."
"God bless America; God bless Israel; God bless peace," said Peres in his speech at the event, adding that Israel will always be committed to its ties with the US.
Peres, Netanyahu (Photo: Benny Doutsh)
The president noted that the US is a symbol of hope, freedom, peace and justice, saying: "The independence of the United States is a celebration for the entire free world. You were and you remain a beacon of hope for the values of freedom, peace and justice around the globe. You have shown that there is nothing more beneficiary than friends. Nothing more costly than animosities."
He also commented on US Secretary of State John Kerry's recent visit and attempt to restart peace talks, and said: "The two state solution is accepted by the majority of the two peoples – Israelis and Palestinians (and) there is no realistic peaceful alternative to the two-state solution."
Netanyahu also praised Kerry's efforts and stressed that Israel had the right and capability to defend itself as it is "an island of stability and democracy in a sea of instability."
Other dignitaries are expected to attend the special reception in honor of the United States' 237th Independence Day, among them were Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.
Ambassador Shapiro offered gratitude, on behalf of US Secretary of State John Kerry, to the prime minister and the president for their efforts to promote peace.
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