These have not been easy weeks in Israel. Many had to spend nights in special shelters, others nervously going to sleep without knowing what the night may bring. I have spent the mornings driving my children to school so that they would not need to wait for or take city busses – and those in the diaspora stayed glued to their radios, televisions or constantly checking the online news.
On Yom Yerushalayim, under my office windows, I observed thousands of Israeli schoolchildren, all dressed in blue and white, singing, dancing, the Israeli flag waving in the air with pride and great joy as we celebrated Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people. As the sirens pierced the air, they all needed to quickly escape to nearby shelters – but the cacophony of their jubilant voices continued to fill the streets of Jerusalem.
The good news is that the situation here in Israel has stabilized. At the same time, there is much work yet to be done to ensure that the events of the past two weeks do not, and cannot, happen again.
Israel must continue to be a country of pride and strength. Alongside this, we must continue to focus on the aspects that also make our nation strong – Jewish culture, history, thought and ideas. This, too, is a critical part of our strength, now and for the future, for us and for our children…
I hope that you will continue to join us!
With warm regards from Jerusalem,