Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday evening addressed participants at a Taglit-Birthright event in Caesarea, calling on them to “tell the truth” about Israel in their home countries.
Netanyahu also vowed that Israel will not rest until it finds the three teenagers that were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists.
“We have three teenagers, they're probably more or less your age, and we will not rest, we will not let up until we find those boys and bring them home, and we will also find their kidnappers,” he declared.
“This is your homeland. See, I don’t care wherever you're coming from, you have to understand, it all started here, you all came from here,” he said.
“A great historian, or so he thought, by the name of Arnold Toynbee, he said, early on in the previous century, he said: the Jewish people, there's no such thing, the Jewish people are a fossil. Did you hear that? Some fossil. We've come back, we're here, you're sitting here, Israel is standing here. We've preformed a remarkable restoration and rebirth and there's been nothing like it in history,” said Netanyahu.
“You're now in the shores of the Mediterranean, you can go to the Sea of Galilee or to the Dead Sea or to the Red Sea, and you'll see, as you travel this country, you'll see the amazing rebirth of our people. And the most important thing that I want to communicate to you is to tell you that this is your land, this is where it all started and this is where it all continues.
“And I know that not everyone in the world can accept this marvelous transformation. There are those who wish to extinguish the Jewish present and the Jewish future. There is rampant anti-Semitism still around. It's an age-old disease that doesn’t stop. What has changed with the rebirth of Israel is our ability to confront our vilification, our ability to defend ourselves against our enemies, and we do that with the proud soldiers, the brave soldiers of the IDF,” he said.
“And the vilification of Israel is there, it's in Europe. The violence is not only directed here, you saw it in Toulouse, you saw it in Brussels in these horrific attacks. We have to fight them. We have to fight not only a physical fight, but a moral fight, we have to fight the slander. The only way you can fight slander is with the truth. And I think it's important to tell the truth.”
“You know, I heard, Governor Huckabee, I heard that a Presbyterian association in the United States decided to join the divestment campaign against Israel,” Netanyahu said, addressing former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who was in attendance.
“Did you hear that? So I suggested to them that they should come to Israel, tour the country as you're doing and then take a bus tour to the Middle East. They should go to Libya, Syria, Iraq. They'll see Christians persecuted, churches burnt, minorities butchered, majorities butchered. And I have only two suggestions to them. One, make sure that it's an armored-plated bus, and two, don’t say that you're Christian.
“But there is no such problem in Israel. It's a vibrant, free, prosperous democracy. It respects human rights, it respects every religion. We are firmly anchored in the past, but we also enthusiastically seize the future, and this is your future,” said Netanyahu.
“I want you to go back to your countries and I want you to tell everyone what you saw there. Tell your families obviously, tell your friends, tell our friends and tell those who are not our friends. Tell them the truth about Israel. Tell them that you had visited your homeland, that this is your birthright. Tell them the truth, stand up for Israel and then I want you to come back on Aliyah and help us build this country.”