Seventy-six years ago, on November 29, 1947, the Jewish people held out our hands for the hope and prayer of peace with our Arab neighbors when our leadership accepted the United Nations Partition Resolution.
Each year, we commemorate November 29th because it represents the anniversary of the world’s recognition of the Jewish peoples’ right to sovereignty in the land of Israel. We also cherish the day as a reminder that our hearts and minds have always held on to the hopes and prayers for peaceful co-existence with all our neighbors in Eretz Israel.
Few could have imagined that the rejectionism that led the Arab world to raise their spears for war instead of embracing our outstretched hands for peace would remain alive more than three quarters of a century later.
While the world endorsed our right to independence on November 29, as a result of Arab rejectionism at the time, Israel’s independence was won not by decree, but by the painful sacrifices of its people. The price was paid on battlefields with tens of thousands of Israeli lives. Their blessed memories live on in the determination and resilience of the generations that follow. The courage of nearly 100,000 disabled Israeli war veterans is a daily reminder of the awful consequences of that rejectionism. Through that pain — despite those sacrifices — our prayers for peace have never ceased.
Israel has never stopped striving for peace. In 1982, Israel withdrew from the entire Sinai Peninsula in return for the Camp David peace treaty with Egypt. As a result of the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel turned most of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and the entire Gaza Strip over to the administration of a Palestinian Authority with hopes of a peaceful future with our Palestinian neighbors. A year later, Israel and Jordan made peace. The historic 2020 Abraham Accords extended Israel’s circle of peace to include Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates.
In just 75 years, Israel has become an economic, technological, and social miracle. Today, much of the Arab and Muslim world recognize that the future of their nations and people is stronger as a result of peace with Israel, offering real hope that the circle of peace will continue to expand.
The greatest threat to peace is Islamic terrorism funded and sponsored throughout the Middle East by Iran through Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen, and other Iranian proxies. The entire world saw the brutality of that terrorist cancer on October 7, when Hamas sent thousands of terrorists into Israel to barbarically murder, rape, behead, burn, and kidnap Israeli civilians. Iran has made it clear that their ambitions only begin with Israel. Hamas has made it clear that what happened on October 7 will happen again and again.
Israel is today fighting to return more than 170 kidnapped citizens who remain hostages in Gaza. We know that peace and the kind of peaceful coexistence imagined on November 29, 1947 will never be possible until Iran and its proxies are no longer able to terrorize Israelis and Palestinians alike.