Shimon Peres on Israel's 63rd anniversary: We can prevail

By Jennifer Lipman, May 4, 2011

Shimon Peres has emphasised Israel's ongoing commitment to fighting antisemitism and delegitimisation at home and in the diaspora as the Jewish state approaches its 63rd birthday.

In a message to diaspora Jews to mark 63 years since David Ben-Gurion declared independence, the Israeli president said: "As we celebrate we can look back on the historic miracle of the birth of a nation."

With less than a week until Yom Ha'atzmaut is observed in Israel, Mr Peres recalled how immediately after this "momentous day in May 1948," Israel had been attacked by the Arab nations.

He said: "We are still facing evil forces, especially those that emanate from Iran.

"This call, by a regime that is a danger to the entire world, should be met by an uncompromising mobilisation of the international community."

He said that Israel would do its share for peace "even at painful cost", and added: "We are hopeful that the winds of change sweeping our region will herald new opportunities of peace, security and prosperity for all."

Mr Peres, who also took the opportunity to express hope for the return of captured soldier Gilad Shalit, said the "bridges of kinship" between Israel and Jewish communities around the world were vital.

"You are full partners in our success," he said. "Looking back, we have much to be proud of. Looking forward, we still have much to achieve.

"Together we can accomplish anything and everything. Together we can prevail. And together we shall celebrate many more independence days to come."

Last updated: 2:32pm, May 4 2011