PM Netanyahu's Statement on Board the USS George H.W. Bush
Photo by Haim Zah, GPO     

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu off the coast of Haifa, made the following remarks on board the USS George H.W. Bush:

"Thank you very much, Ambassador Friedman, a proud American and a great champion of the America-Israel alliance.

I want to thank too the Commander of US Naval Forces Europe, Admiral Michelle Howard. Thank you, Admiral, for not only hosting us here, but giving us a few tips which we will use.

We have similar military establishments, so it’s not going to be a problem. One of these vessels costs, I’m told, naked – without furniture or planes, about 11 billion. We’ll take two.

Commanding Officer of the USS George H.W. Bush, Captain Will Pennington, and Commander of the Carrier Strike Group 2, Rear Admiral Kenneth Whitesell. All the officers, the crew, pilots of this magnificent carrier.

I want to recognize too Minister Yisrael Katz, Minister of Transport and Intelligence; the Deputy Chief of Staff, General Aviv Kochavi; Commander of Israel’s Navy, General Eliyahu Sharvit; and all the delegations that came here today.

This is my second visit to an American aircraft carrier. Some 20 years ago, when I was first elected Prime Minister I visited on the deck of another carrier. So much has happened in those two decades. Our alliance has gotten stronger, mightier, most intimate, and we recognize a basic truth: Israel has no greater friend than the United States of America, and the United States has no greater friend than Israel.

You can applaud. This is true.

Mayor of Haifa, whom I recognize too, you know how true that is.

Now, I stand on the deck of a mighty aircraft carrier of the United States of America, and a few miles here, across the see, is another mighty aircraft carrier of our common civilization, it’s called the State of Israel.

This great aircraft carrier is a floating island of America. It’s a symbol to the world of freedom and victory. The great crew that works off this ship helps keep the world secure from the threat of terror. This carrier has served as a base for X flights against the Islamic State, and the war against ISIS should be seen for what it is, a clash between good and evil.

Every sailor on this ship should be immensely proud that you are serving good. Your families should be proud of you; the American people should be proud of you. I know that they are.

So whenever your grandchildren ask you where you were during this fight for civilization, you can say, "We were on the front lines. We were on board the carrier George H.W. Bush."

I thank you, the people of Israel thank you, and the free world thanks you.

And as we stand on this massive aircraft carrier, we can see this other carrier called Israel. Israel too is a symbol to the world of freedom and victory; it too helps secure the world against terror; it too is on the front lines on the battle between civilization and darkness.

Israel and America share the same values and the same vision. Our strength derives from our democracies, our diversity and our dedication to individual liberty. We are both peace loving people, but we recognize that sometimes we need to fight those enemies of peace, those who want to chop the head off our common societies. We recognize that to secure peace and maintain peace, we must be able to defend ourselves. This is what we do together.

Tomorrow, you will celebrate America’s 241st Independence Day. Israel, your closest ally in this region and beyond, will celebrate with you. In this spirit of solidarity, I welcome you to Israel, a carrier of American Ideals in a sea of despotism.

We share those values, this is our bond, this is our friendship.

Happy Birthday, the United States of America."