A special message from Dr. Ronen Hoffman, Ambassador of Israel to Canada, on the occasion of Israel’s 75th anniversary
Dear friends of the Ottawa Jewish community, and Friends of the State of Israel,
Our homeland, its residents and citizens as well as its friends and supporters around the world are approaching an extraordinary milestone. On the 5th Day of the Jewish month of Iyar, April 26, 2023, the State of Israel will celebrate its 75th Independence Day, a reality that less than a century ago was merely a dream and a wish, shared by our people.
In the past 75 years, our young country has faced many challenges. Challenges that have questioned the reality or sustainability of Israel's very existence, threatening our sovereignty, our peaceful way of life and our hard-gotten independence. However, Israeli society has consistently shown unparalleled resilience, perseverance, and resolve in the face of relentless threats to our people, our homeland and our state.
Coming from a family of farmers in the Jezrael Valley, the landscapes, the natural beauty and the growth of our country challenged me to share my passion and love of Israel with others. After many different paths and journeys, it led me to Ottawa as the Ambassador of Israel to Canada.
As we look ahead to the next 75 years, there is so much to be optimistic for our country. Israel is in the business of turning challenges into opportunities. As a desert climate in an inhospitable neighbourhood, Israel has tackled issues ranging from water scarcity to insecurity, and developed world-leading solutions to these problems. Israel has been at the forefront of combating climate change; providing humanitarian aid on the front lines of disasters like the war in Ukraine and the earthquake in Turkey. Furthermore, Israel is expanding both its bilateral relations and multilateral portfolio through historic agreements like the Abraham Accords. It is through these endeavours that Israel has put itself on the map as a global leader in so many of the most burgeoning fields our 21st-century economy and society need. For these reasons and many more, I have been so humbled and honoured to represent Israel in Canada as Ambassador.
Indeed, the longstanding relations with our Canadian allies make me more optimistic than ever for the future of Israel, and the future of our partnership. Our special people-to-people ties and unconditionally shared values such as democracy, freedom, and rule of law will be highlighted later next month at our flagship event of the year: A Celebration of Israel at 75! The day will consist of the Second Annual Canadian Summit for Israeli-Jewish Affairs, open to all who are interested from our local community (details and registration will be forthcoming). Alongside our partners from the Jewish National Fund and Israel Bonds, as well as support from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group, it is sure to be a memorable event.
As we reflect on the days between Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut – the Israeli 'High Holidays' – we gain some perspective as to the current disagreements and demonstrations we are all watching and experiencing. Where were our people 80 years ago, and what are we celebrating today? We have our differences and our issues, but they are ours! Ours to work out and our destiny to be decided by our people.
It would be reductive to say that Israel and the Jewish communities abroad are partners in securing the future of the Jewish people and the Jewish State; we are much more than that. We are family, brothers and sisters, grandparents, parents, and children, working together through tragedy and triumph to ensure Israel's prosperity. All Jews across the religious spectrum have a place in Israel.
I know that we can all count on Ottawa's Jewish community to strengthen its unconditional support for Israel, not only for what Israel does, but for the great cause and idea of what Israel is.
As we celebrate Israel's 75th Independence Day as a community, I hope that you will all join the Embassy and the Jewish Federation at Ottawa City Hall on April 26th at 2:30 pm for our annual Yom Ha’atzmaut Israeli flag-raising celebration.
On behalf of the State of Israel, I wish you all a happy Independence Day.
Chag Atzmaut Sameach!