Israeli Ambassador Yaron Mayer writes to Việt Nam News on Israeli Independence Day (April 26, 2023)
On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, pronounced the declaration of independence of the State of Israel, following the United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State. This milestone was the culmination of a 2,000-years-long aspiration of the Jewish people to achieve political freedom in their sovereign homeland.
Throughout the course of history, the Jewish people, scattered all over the world, faced deep hostility, prejudice and discrimination, known as antisemitism. The most extreme form of antisemitic ideologies and policies led to the Holocaust, during World War II. The return of the Jewish people to their homeland was therefore, not only a significant achievement for the Jews, it was a meaningful event in human history. A community that had endured centuries of discrimination and subjugation at last succeeded in erecting a sovereign entity and created new opportunities for themselves and for future generations.
Looking back at that occasion, it was no coincidence that the Vietnamese presence in the formation of the state of Israel stays etched in memory. To this day, we keep telling the story of the meeting of the two great leaders of Israel and Việt Nam who had a vision for their people, David Ben-Gurion and Hồ Chí Minh.
According to David Ben-Gurion, the two met in Paris in 1946 and had informal talks. Hồ Chí Minh, in his big heartedness, offered Ben-Gurion to establish a Jewish government-in-exile in Viêt Nam. Ben-Gurion politely declined saying that the Jewish people need to complete the struggle by themselves, but promised to accept Hồ Chí Minh’s kind offer, if needed.
|Israeli ambassador Yaron Mayer in a visit to Cồn Nổi area in Ninh Bình Province in September 2022. Photo courtesy of the Embassy|
At 75 years of independence, Israel has demonstrated remarkable progress in building a prosperous and thriving nation. Today, Israel is in a leading position in technological advancements, innovation, and business enterprises. It tops the world in water management and technology, with its internationally well-known drip irrigation, for instance, or agricultural solutions, such as applying AI in cultivation and harvesting. It serves as a centre of originality and new inventions.
The nation of Israel also prides itself on promoting diversity and tolerance. Born and raised in a kibbutz, a type of communal agricultural collective, I experienced first-hand how people from diverse origins and customs can live and work together with shared values and aspirations.
From its very beginning, Israel faced many challenges, and suffered profuse adversity and struggle, which prompted its dedication to protect its nation. Sadly, those threats from outside have not disappeared totally, however, these challenges have prompted us to actively seek peace with our neighbours.
About three years ago, we signed the Abraham Accords, an agreement between Israel and multiple Arab nations to establish normalcy in relations and initiate a new phase of harmony and collaboration in the Middle East. This significant achievement serves as evidence of the unwavering commitment of Israel towards a new and prosperous Middle East.
|Ambassador Yaron Mayer and Israeli volunteers at the Sa Pa Primary School in Lào Cai Province in October 2022. Photo courtesy of the Embassy|
As the Israeli Ambassador to Việt Nam, I am pleased to acknowledge the flourishing bond between Israel and Việt Nam based on our shared values of novelty, inventiveness, and enterprise. We also share a common aspiration for peace based on trust, and economic prosperity, social development, and regional stability. Moreover, we share a deep understanding and respect for each other’s rich cultural and historical heritages.
In recent years, there has been a notable surge in collaboration between our two nations, with a particular focus on advancing technology, agriculture, and education. Enterprises from Israel are working on revolutionary technologies and groundbreaking ideas with the aim of advancing solutions to some of the most challenging issues facing our global community. Our upcoming Free Trade Agreement will open our markets to unparalleled levels.
Since its independence, Israel has always been a beacon of hope and resilience, and we will continue to work towards a better future for ourselves and for all people. VNS