Golda Meir

White House Reception Address

delivered 25 September 1969, Washington, D.C.

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[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

  Mr. President:

Needless to say, I'm deeply moved by the reception and by the words that you have spoken. Every official guest from abroad to the White House must surely sense the significance of the occasion. May I say this is particularly so for a representative of a people small in numbers and in resources. May I say that in receiving me here in friendship and equality, you are affirming that the attitude of the United States to other peoples is not determined by physical factors.

The history of Israel, reborn, in the years preceding statehood and the more than two decades since its achievement, cannot be told without reference to the unwavering support and friendship shown by successive American governments and by the American people.


Press release signed by President Truman recognizing provisional Government of Israel


Within hours after the proclamation of our statehood, the United States Government recognized Israel, and Jewish remnants from the Nazi death camps, who had been largely liberated by American forces in Europe, came to our shores.

Mr. President, the ties between our two countries are rooted in the biblical heritage and in the common dedication to human dignity, freedom, and to democracy. We have done everything in our power to translate these ideals into the fabric of our national life. It is this sense of affinity that has encouraged us to ask for America's understanding and support in difficult times.

The story of modern Israel is essentially the story of the return to the ancestral homeland of exiles from persecution, insecurity, and fear -- in quest of freedom, human dignity, independence, and peace. Today, no Jew need remain homeless because of oppression and insecurity. I'm gratified to be able to say this here in this great land which has been a haven for the oppressed, including many of my own people.

I shall be able to tell you, Mr. President, of Israel's progress in many fields. Tragically, peace is still denied us. But that same faith that sustained us down the ages instills within us the confidence that the hour of peace will come. I look forward to the day when an Israeli Prime Minister will be able to come here bearing to the President and the people of the United States the tidings that the Middle East has entered a new epoch of amity and regional cooperation.

Mr. President, the prayers and hopes of my people are with you in the heavy responsibility you carry, not only for your great country but for the freedom-loving mankind at large. We follow with deep sympathy your efforts for regional and world peace, the phenomenal scientific advance of America under your leadership, the results of which are open to all nations; and your interest in economic and social advancement for all peoples.

I am privileged, Mr. President, to convey to you the best wishes from the President, the Government, and the people of Israel, together with their deep appreciation for your invitation to me, and for your interest in our welfare and progress.

From Jerusalem, the city of prophecy and universal inspiration, I bring you the traditional Hebrew greeting: Shalom.


Page Updated: 9/28/17

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