ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE
JANUARY 31, 2023
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, good morning, everyone. Thank you. Thank you all so much for being here today. This is a wonderful place. I’ve had someone acknowledge other people are coming here. I just had a chance to speak to the director. But this is, in many ways, a sanctuary for people from all walks of life in Israel, from all faiths, all backgrounds, all languages, to come together to exchange through arts and culture and to – through themselves and to share themselves. And in that sense, I know, and by the name itself, everyone is welcome. And that spirit, I think, would not be more important, more valuable.
The colleagues who are here today are vibrant parts of civil society, and for those of us in government, civil society plays an absolutely critical role. It can be our North Star, keeping us focused and honest when it comes to making sure that we’re adhering to the principles that we all espouse. And reminding us of what’s truly important in the work that we’re doing, which is to try to make sure that each of us is treated with the dignity that we deserve as human beings.
So I’m just grateful for this opportunity to hear from each of you, to learn a little bit more about what you’re doing, as well perhaps of some of the challenges you’re facing, and to think about how we can continue to partner together. But for me, it was particularly wonderful to be here in this place which I know is a place of welcome for so many people. Thank you.