Today Israel celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary. Like every year, Yom Haatsmaut close this parenthesis loaded with symbols, calling for national unity rather than partisan divisions. It started with the Passover seder evening, where Jews gather with their families to remember that they were slaves in Egypt. Then it continued with the Yom Hashoah during which the six million victims of Nazism are commemorated, followed seven days later by the day of Remembrance of the deaths of wars and terrorism that since the beginning of the Zionist project, are all white stones on the road travelled for the existence and survival of this state. And in the evening, after this painful day, the country is supposed to be happy to celebrate its independence. However, this year is, like the question traditionally asked by children at Passover different from other years. The break did not last, and the same evening the demonstrations, which have been taking place for more than three months, resumed with the same mobilization. Demonstrators hope to gather a million participants at the next demonstration to affirm that democracy has been part of the DNA of this country since its creation. They are not ready to see it disappear in a diluted and distorted form in the interest of a power of circumstance that is, according to all polls, widely rejected today after only four months of existence.
At the conference “To save the Israeli Democracy”, which we organised in the European Parliament on March 27th, we affirmed our commitment to these demonstrators. All the speakers who have spoken in the gallery or by video have recalled in their own way their attachment to Israel as a Jewish AND democratic state and their interventions are available on our website in French and English. We will continue to support this protest movement, the largest since the creation of the state. We will do so not only because it would be as dangerous as the worst of external threats if Israel were to decide, by a simple majority vote in the Knesset, to leave the family in fact few in number in the world of liberal democracies. Bur we will also do it because we know that democracy is not consistent with occupation and we hope that more and more Israelis who fight today for their country’s democratic identity will understand it. We know that a democratic regime with an independent Supreme Court was not enough to put an end to occupation, as shown by the years since 1967. It has, however, sometimes enabled the rights of Palestinians and other minorities to be defended. But it will be much more difficult, if not impossible, to fight for these rights and against occupation in a regime that is no longer democratic. After 75 years of existence, it is time for Israel to have its Constitution that will guarantee it, as well as its army, to preserve its identity and independence for future generations. Happy birthday Israel !