Chaverim, shalom –
Yom Ha'atzmaut is always a cause for celebration, but this year, with the holiday coming in the wake of the "Durban II" debacle in Geneva, the day takes on added significance. It is hard to believe that 61 years after its establishment, the very legitimacy of a Jewish state is still being challenged - and not only in the Arab world but also among some in the West. On the one hand, it is gratifying that so many protested the travesty of a conference that perpetuated the very racism, genocide, prejudice, intolerance and violation of human rights that it was intended to condemn. On the other hand, it is frightening that those who deny the Holocaust and are prepared to step into the shoes of those who perpetuated it, could be given any stage at all some 65 years it came to an end.
As on every Yom Ha'atzmaut, we pray that the day will soon come when we will be able to concentrate all of our efforts on the positive aspects of the Zionist endeavor, striving to fashion Israel as an idyllic society and through it - and by its achievements - making the world as a whole a better and more humane place. Unfortunately, however, the reminders that we must also continue investing in our security and the well-being of the Jewish people everywhere continue to be as frequent and as compelling as ever.
As a member of the Zionist Executive and as Head of the Department for Zionist Activities of the World Zionist Organization, I want to say that it is a privilege to be serving in a capacity that allows me to be involved in both aspects of an undertaking that is so important to us all, and that also provides me with the opportunity to be working with so many others for whom there is no cause more dear.
With great appreciation for all of your efforts on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people, I remain
Dr. David Breakstone
Head of the Department for Zionist Activities
World Zionist Organization