October 22, 2010 (KATAKAMI / YNET) — Addressing world Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, Netanyahu talks about challenges faced by State – including Iran, peace talks and hatred of Israel. ‘The future of the Jewish people depends on Jews’ level of commitment to Israel worldwide,’ he says
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday addressed world Jewish leaders at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem as part of the Jewish People Policy Institute’s conference on the future of the Jewish people.
“We are facing pressures and challenges that no other country is facing,” he said. “There is a country in the east making every effort to develop a nuclear weapon in order to destroy us. Defense costs money, a lot of money. There is no way for us to obtain this money without a strong economy based on society’s achievements.”
According to Netanyahu, “Israel must do all in its power to ward off the goals of radical Islam while doing all it can to reach true peace. Iran continues to deny the Holocaust and call for Israel’s destruction. Today, its influence is apparent in Gaza, Lebanon, Afghanistan, South America and Africa. This is what they are doing without a nuclear weapon – imagine what they would do with a nuclear weapon,” he added.
“The international community must ensure that this weapon will not be attained by the Iranians.”
The prime minister expressed his hope for the improvement and strengthening of Israel’s relations with Turkey would. “The danger from the east is not just our danger, but the entire world’s danger. A country which denies the human rights of its own citizens, which aspires to obtain mass destruction weapons, is a great danger to the entire world.”
‘12,000 rockets fired on us’
Addressing peace talks with the Palestinians, Netanyahu said he believed “peace is attainable, but it requires concessions, and not just on the Israeli side but also the Palestinian side. We left Gaza and had 12,000 rockets fired on us. So my conclusions are that, one, only when our partners recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state they will be ready for peace; and two, the only peace which will survive is peace that can be protected. We must have guarantees in the peace agreement for it to be sustainable.”
He took the opportunity to thank the Jewish leaders for their support of Israel.
“I don’t think the Jewish people have a future without the State of Israel, but this future depends on Jews’ level of commitment to Israel across the world. We were too optimistic thinking that the establishment of the Jewish state would help reduce anti-Semitism. The truth is that the Jews’ return to the Land of Israel and the State’s establishment did not make any difference in terms of anti-Semitism, but turned the hatred for Jews into a hatred for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu ruled.
According to the prime minister, the phenomenon of demonization of Jews has been repeated in recent generations in the form of libels being told against Israel.
“The difference is in our ability, as a state, to defend ourselves,” he clarified. “Defending Jews is possible through a strong Jewish state. The accomplishments we have made over the past 60 years are amazing. We have impressive technological achievements, our scientists have won the Nobel Prize, and these are only some of the achievements.”