President Shimon Peres, citing the terrorist-sponsored international attempt to make Israel illegitimate, told the Jewish Agency on Sunday morning, “We are a people with faith. It is time to pray.” He also called on Jews all over the world to move to Israel.
His speech opened the annual Jewish Agency Assembly in Jerusalem. The President reviewed modern history, including the Holocaust and the seven Arab wars against Israel since the re-establishment of the Jewish State in 1948. Israel won the wars, but “threats still remain,” he stated.
“And now, there is a further attempt to de-legitimize her existence,” President Peres continued, “Starting with the ugly cry to go back to Poland and Germany. Israel, politically, was created before Poland and Germany. And religiously was born 1,500 years before Christianity and 2,800 years before Islam.
“Now there is an attempt to de-legitimize Israel. De-legitimizing Israel means to legitimize, directly or indirectly, the lawless organizations like Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hizbullah and their overt and covert supporters, dictatorial regimes who kill and arrest their own people without count, without human respect.”
He said that despite the feeling of loneliness by some Israelis, “We are not alone” because U.S. President Barack Obama has declared that “Israel's security is America's top priority.
“In a demanding situation, we have to stand together.... today more than ever before. In the past we could not be Jewish without being Zionist. Today it is impossible to be a Zionist without being Jewish…. Our land is beautiful. Our economy is in good shape. The level of our science is high. Our artistic creativity is enjoying a renaissance. Our army is dependable because of a wonderful generation.
“Now it is time for Aliyah [moving to Israel] in its true meaning – [of the Hebrew word] ‘La'alot’ – to ascend and to share, first of all in Jewish education. It is our common responsibility.”
The President recalled that Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, "accepted the U.N. resolution about two states – A Jewish and an Arab state. The lion's share of the land was offered to the Arabs. The Jewish share contained more borders than land and yet we agreed. The U.N. resolution referred to an Arab state. There was no Palestinian state. The West Bank was part of Jordan and Gaza was under Egyptian rule.”
He added that Israel agreed in the Oslo talks to the creation of the Palestinian Authority, returned land and water sources to Egypt and Jordan under peace treaties and left the Gaza region in 2005.
President Peres said that there would be no need for the partial embargo on Gaza if Hamas were to seek peace. “We did not understand then, nor do we understand now, why…the rulers of Gaza started to fire thousands of missiles against civilian life in Israel,” he told Jewish Agency delegates. “For what reason?... Would Gaza agree to peace, to negotiations instead? Would Gaza leaders denounce terror, stop the building of tunnels and shooting missiles, stop attempting to kidnap Israeli soldiers and release [kidnapped soldier] Gilad Shalit, who was abducted on Israeli territory four years ago this week?"