Israel Is The Homeland Of The Jewish People, Netanyahu Says At The General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the annual General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010, saying:  “On the eve of the 20th century, Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, foresaw the great challenges that stood before the dispersed Jewish people.  He charted a clear path to direct the Jewish destiny to the safer shores of a Jewish state.  Herzl’s vision was guided by three principles: Recognize perils, seize opportunities, forge unity. These same three principles should guide us at the dawn of the 21st century.  We must recognize the dangers facing us and work to thwart them.  We must seize the opportunity for prosperity and for peace with those of our neighbors who want peace.  And we must forge unity among our people to shoulder these monumental tasks. The greatest danger facing Israel and the world is the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran.  Imagine what it would do with them. Imagine the devastation that its terror proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas and others, would wreak under an Iranian nuclear umbrella. This is why Israel appreciates President Obama’s successful efforts to have the UN Security Council adopt new sanctions against Iran. When faced with such a regime, the only responsible policy is to prevent it from developing atomic bombs in the first place.  The bottom line is this: Iran’s nuclear program must be stopped.  Iran’s nuclear program is the greatest danger we face.  The assault on Israel’s legitimacy is another.”

“I want young people to visit the place where David Ben Gurion declared our independence just as I want them to visit the place where our patriarchs and matriarchs, the mothers and fathers of the Jewish nation, are buried.  Talk about distortions, can you imagine that UNESCO tried to deny the Jewish connection to Rachel’s Tomb next to Jerusalem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron?  This absurdity to try to erase our past will fail as we reconnect a new generation of Jews with their history.  Our young people will know that we are not foreign interlopers in our own homeland.  They will know something that our enemies and politicized international bodies cannot bring themselves to admit:  The Jewish people are not strangers in the Land of Israel.   Israel is our home.  It has always been our home and it will always be our home.”

“I have also decided to enhance Israel’s support for programs that strengthen Jewish identity in the Diaspora.  In my first term as Prime Minister, I decided to invest Israeli government funds in what many then thought was a preposterous idea – that we would pay for young Jews to come on short visits to Israel.  Since then, a quarter of a million Jews have come to Israel on Birthright programs, and we will continue.  I am committed to working with Birthright, Masa and Lapid to ensure that every young Jew who wants to can come to Israel.”

Speaking of Aliyah, Netanyahu  said: ” Israel must always be a place that each and every one of you can call home”.

He concluded saying: “In standing up for modernity against medievalism, the Jewish people and the Jewish state play a vital role in securing our common civilization.  And by helping dispel the shadows of a dark despotism, we can truly fulfill our destiny to be a beacon of light and progress unto all the nations. ”

Full Transcript of PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America courtesy of NewsIndonesiaWordPress.

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