Speaking at a special event in the Knesset marking the 76th anniversary of the passing of Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned of the dangers of Islamic terrorism, drawing direct comparisons with the threat Nazism and Communism posed to the free world in the 20th century.
“Nazism and Communism threatened free societies in the 20th century,” said Netanyahu, “and radical Islam is threatening them in the 21st century.”
The Zionist leader, who passed away in 1940, had spent his final years warning European Jewry of the approaching Nazi menace and urging them to flee to Israel, then part of the British Mandate for Palestine.
“Jabotinsky was vehemently against turning a blind eye to the existential threat of Nazism, and for this he sustained enormous criticism, but he stuck to his just position.”
“Self-denial won`t help these days either. The threat of radical Islam is an existential threat. The choice is clear: we can either witness the intensification of this threat, or the freedom camp can wake up and stand at a broad and effective international front. Our policy is based on nurturing strength. The weak does not survive.”
Netanyahu’s statements come in the wake of a surge in terror attacks across Europe, from the massacre in Paris last November, to the bombings in Brussels this March, to the attack in Nice in July which left 85 dead and hundreds more wounded.
The Prime Minister also invoked Jabotinsky’s support for economic liberalism, tying it to efforts to privatize Israel’s Broadcasting Authority.
“One of the things Jabotinsky believed in is the idea of a free market and the choice of the citizen. While applying Jabotinsky`s doctrine, we implemented it in all fields. There is a determined struggle to prevent competition in the media market. All over the world there is competition, with some newspapers supporting one side and other newspapers supporting another, and no one says anything. In Israel there was an outlook different from Jabotinsky`s; there was immense concentration in the economy, media, and all other aspects of life. We are trying very hard to open these monopolies to competition, and this is the basic principle of democracy.”