It is with great amazement and awe that I watched the past 18 days in Egypt, with citizens, men, women and children coming together, in mostly nonviolent and peaceful protests to call for the resignation of their despotic leader. And today, on the 18th day, which in Hebrew 18 equals the word 'chai' or 'life,' their efforts paid off. What will follow now, in the days, weeks and months ahead are unknown, but what we know today, as witnesses to the great power of the human spirit, is that ordinary people, and especially the youth of Egypt, changed their country, and changed the world. No longer can we say that Arabs or Muslims don't have the capacity, desire and will to act nonviolently, for, in one of the largest Muslim countries in the world, they just did. It matters not to me that this was not a religious revolution, but rather that the people of a country seen as a leader in the Arab and Muslim world, are calling for democracy and freedom, liberty and elections. No longer can we say that the values of our country are not looked upon positively in the Arab world, for we are seeing that they are. It was social media that helped bring about this incredible success of the human spirit, and we should rejoice in what we have created. For today, in the heart of Egypt, in a place where my people left slavery thousands of years ago, we are rejoicing in the new light of freedom for the Egyptians themselves. Another Pharaoh has left, pushed out by the resilience of a people unleashed for the cause of freedom and hope for a better tomorrow. In this, all people of good will should rejoice!
I know that the days ahead will be scary, but let us stand with the people of Egypt as they seek to bring a new world order to their country. For too long, in too many regions of the world, we have stood with dictators and despots, with the "enemy we know," with the stability of tyranny over the uncertainty of democracy. And yet, in our hearts, we know that democracy and freedom will always win out, for the Bible tells us that God wants us to be free, God wants us to set the destiny of our lives for goodness, peace, prosperity, equality, hope and love. I am in awe of what the Egyptian people have accomplished, and am proud to tell my children that miracles do happen in today's world, that God does operate in this world through our hands, and that when we stand together for the cause of justice, we can win. I pray that the Egyptians stay with the courage of their convictions and that they let those who can help them create the society they crave do so, especially our country. I was proud that the majority of these protests had no chants of anti-Americanism, and no chants of anti-Israel. Both America and Israel, if allowed, can help our friends, the Egyptian people, in this time of transition. I ask the Egyptian people to let us help. I pray that the extremists of the world, from whatever camp, do not infiltrate the vulnerable streets of Egypt, and that their military protect the people from outside forces and from internal forces that may seek to capitalize in this moment. This was a victory of light over darkness, of good over evil. From the cradle of the world comes a new day, a new light.
With the race to analyze, capitalize and direct the new world order, let us take this moment, this precious moment, to celebrate and give thanks. With all of the negativity, violence, evil plans and cynicism that we live with daily, today could be a turning point for the forces of positive, peaceful, good and hopeful energy in the world. "Let justice flow like a mighty stream, and let peace fill the land as the waters fill the sea." This is a great day in our world.