Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate the 64th anniversary of the State of Israel.
Yom Ha'atzmaut, as it is called in Hebrew, marks the day in 1948 when modern day Israel was born out of the ashes of the Holocaust. Israel remains to this day the first and only pluralistic democratic nation in the Middle East.
Israel is one of Canada's greatest friends. We have a free trade agreement, knowledge exchange, and collaboration in science, technology and innovation. More importantly, we share the values of freedom, human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
While other nations deny Israel's very existence and the right of the Jewish people to a homeland, our Prime Minister has said:
Israel can rest assured that we will uphold its right to exist as an independent Jewish state as we continue in our efforts to promote peace and security in the region.
I would ask all members to stand with me in recognition and celebration of Israel's 64th independence day.
Chag Ha'atzmaut Sameach.