Last week in Jerusalem, he reaffirmed that commitment with a new Strategic Partnership, signed with Prime Minister Yair Lapid, which doubles down on strengthening and expanding the Abraham Accords, fighting BDS and antisemitism, and shoring up Israel's security in the region. When President Isaac Herzog awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Honor, we were tremendously honored that our leadership had the privilege to participate.
The president’s visit came at a time of exciting opportunities and daunting challenges.
Just weeks after his 1973 visit, the Yom Kippur War left thousands dead and wounded. Now, after decades of hostility and war, the circle of peace between Israel and its neighbors is expanding. The peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and, more recently, the Abraham Accords, have brought unprecedented benefits to their signatories, from security to trade to tourism.
In recent years, we have witnessed first-hand the monumental shift in attitudes throughout the UAE, as the population, following the example set by a trailblazing leader, embraces peace and normalization with Israel. The warm people-to-people contacts that have blossomed recently are the realization of a dream. The opening of Saudi Arabia’s skies to Israeli aircraft is an encouraging next step toward additional countries embracing the promise of peace.
Next year, Israel will celebrate 75 years of independence, rightfully proud of all it has achieved despite the many challenges it has faced. Israelis are at the forefront of efforts to solve many of the great problems of our time – in medicine, agriculture, water management, clean energy, and more. The Jerusalem Declaration on the US-Israel Strategic Partnership and the creation of a new U.S.-Israel Strategic High-Level Dialogue on Technology reflect a profound understanding that the United States, Israel and peoples around the globe benefit from a strong Israel and a strong US-Israel alliance.
President Biden’s visit was a symbol of that alliance as well as of his longstanding personal friendship with the Jewish state and for the American Jewish communities represented by the Jewish Federations.