60bloggers.com has been graced by a number of fantastic posts, and fantastic posters. We have had prominent posters such as Yonatan Gordis, Daniel Brenner, Gary Wexler, Rebecca Honig Friedman, and many others.
Our most recent – and most famous – blogger to date is none other than the Honorable Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. Having seen the Mayor at several events, he often speaks of a close connection he feels to Israel. He recognizes the importance of Israel to the world, and we are very grateful for his wonderful contribution.
Los Angeles and Israel: A Story of Friendship and Common Dreams
By Antonio Villaraigosa
Los Angeles, where I was born and raised, has a special relationship with the State of Israel. Despite the thousands of miles between us, we share so much â€“ connections of culture and commerce, and ties of blood and family.
We are people who have made our deserts bloom; who have been strengthened and sustained by our immigrants; who take pride in our flourishing ports; who share the values of pluralism and democracy; and who strive for peace, prosperity and a brighter future for our children.
Los Angeles and Israel are both homes of creativity and bastions of innovation – places defined by a deep respect for diversity, a longstanding belief in what’s possible, and the fervent hope, dream and commitment to build a peaceful tomorrow.
Here in Los Angeles, we celebrate the state of Israel and our own Israeli community in a variety of ways. We host the largest showcase of Israeli films in the United States and we have built a strong relationship with our sister city, Eilat. Thousands of Israeli students of all ages have attended and enriched our schools and synagogues, and Israeli security specialists have come to the Tom Bradley International Terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport to help protect airline passengers and foreign visitors. Each year, the city’s Israel Festival brings together over 40,000 people in the largest celebration of Israeli culture anywhere. And, overcoming the obstacles faced by so many immigrant groups, the vitality and vibrancy of L.A.’s Israeli families never diminish and only grow stronger every day.
Israel’s 60 years have been shaped by the resilience, strength and devotion of its people. Through criticism and condemnation, the Jewish state has stood up for the values and principles that have long made the Jewish people a â€œlight unto the nations.â€ Israel’s citizens have kept faith with the hope â€“ â€œha-tikvahâ€ â€“ that they might live as a free nation, in peace and security, in the land of their ancestors. I know the City of Los Angeles and our people will continue to benefit from a close relationship with the State of Israel long into the future.