A week after the Six-Day War, my parents took my twin brother and I to Israel. Many people were postponing trips to Israel. My father, who served in the Royal Air Force during World War II told us: Now is the time to show Israel our support. It is the right thing to do.
Attending the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem in the United States Capitol, on behalf of Hadassah, I could hear my late father once again saying these words.
Walking into the US Capitol's Congressional Auditorium, seeing the American flag and the Israeli flag side by side, standing and singing Hatikvah with the honored guests was glorious, and only made possible because of Hadassah.
The ceremony was live steamed from the Knesset in Jerusalem, and the Capitol in Washington, DC. After the two national anthems, Ron Dermer, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, welcomed House Speaker Paul Ryan, members of Congress, and honored guests. The Ambassador's presentation focused on the reunification of Jerusalem and the outstanding support of the United States. He mentioned the focus of the ceremony: "50 years. 50 States. 2 Capitals."
Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, the Speaker of the Knesset, talked about growing up in the Soviet Union and making aliyah to Israel. He also thanked the United States for their continued support. Senator Ryan's presentation focused on the friendship between our two countries, and how America can be counted on to always support Israel. He also mentioned Prime Minister Netanyahu's brother who was killed in the Entebbe Raid.
Prime Minister Netanyahu also thanked the United States for its continued support to Israel. He urged Congress affirm a united Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. He welcomed David Friedman, the US Ambassador to Israel, acknowledged President Trumps' recent visit, and celebrated the United States's great friendship with Israel.
Ambassador Dermer thanked everyone for attending the ceremony and ended by saying in English and Hebrew, "next year in Jerusalem."
I was so empowered to be thanked for the work Hadassah does in Israel and around the world by so many high-level Israeli and American dignitaries at the ceremony. It made me so very proud to be representing Hadassah and to be a Hadassah member.
Networking, advocating for Israel, and advocating for Hadassah's domestic advocacy issues are easy ways for you -- Hadassah advocates -- to make your voices heard and become involved. Experiences such as this one, made possible only though Hadassah, are priceless.
Please join us in our advocacy journey, and I extend my thank you to Hadassah for an experience like no other.
--Gillian Sescoe, Washington Advocacy Team Leader
Learn more about Hadassah advocacy.