Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed on Tuesday the thousands of young Jews from around the world who came to Israel as part of the Masa Israel project, which is co-sponsored by the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency.
In his speech, Netanyahu called on the participants to make aliyah to Israel and to defend Israel in their countries.
“You come from many different countries, but deep down this is your one ancestral home,” said Netanyahu. “Israel is your homeland, Israel is your birthright, and Israel is your future.”
He added, “We embrace and welcome all of you who are coming here physically to join us to build a Jewish future and we send with love all of you who are planning to go back to your countries. You’re taking back with you the truth. You can speak the truth about Israel, and that’s what I expect you to do.”
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky mentioned Aaron Zindani, the Jew who was murdered in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, and said to the youth, “We must do everything to protect the Jews of Yemen and Iran. On a day like this, when someone was killed just for being Jewish, you should know that if you are thinking about making aliyah you should not hesitate, but do it now.”
The Masa Israel project brings each year about 10,000 young Jews from around the world for study and volunteer in Israel. The project aims to strengthen ties between Israel and the Jewish world. Upon their return to their countries, many participants assume key positions in their communities and become ambassadors of Israel in their countries. In recent years, many Masa Israel participants have made aliyah.