Former Chief Rabbi of Israel and Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau publicly supported Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu while speaking at the World Jewish Congress today in Jerusalem's David Citadel Hotel.
Recently, Netanyahu's stance on upcoming talks with the PA, and his building freeze policy in Judea and Samaria have led many Israelis and Jews abroad to vocally criticize his actions.
In response to that trend, Rabbi Lau said, "Externally, we must show that we are one people, one family. It is incumbent upon us to stand shoulder to shoulder. It is important to have differences of opinions, we are intelligent people and are not robots, but not on the outside - there we must speak with one voice."
Rabbi Lau added that, "the demonstrations outside the [United Nations] are an embarrassment to us, and also those among us who kiss [Iranian leader Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad are an embarrassment to us. If our leaders make mistakes, it is a positive thing to meet with them privately. Our prime minister is fighting for our survival and he is going to speak with [U.S. President Barack] Obama about this. It is our duty to support him as best we can."
The World Jewish Congress gathering, focusing on ways to fight growing threats against Israel, was held in Jerusalem from August 31 to September 1. Israeli leaders including President Shimon Peres, Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni , Diaspora Minister Yuli Edelstein, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer addressed over 200 delegates from Jewish communities world-wide. Nobel Prize laureate Professor Elie Wiesel received an award.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said: “Everywhere, we are witnessing concerted efforts to attack the legitimacy of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Boycott, sanctions and divestment campaigns are becoming prevalent; Israeli academics, authors, artists and sportspeople are being banned from participating in events; the media often presents a one-sided view of developments, and Israel is almost always being singled out for blame. We will be developing proactive initiatives to address these issues, and we will underline the need for Diaspora Jewry’s continued unwavering solidarity with Israel in a global environment that is increasingly hostile to those positions.”