'Israel must act to save Jews from assimilation, anti-Semitism'

Minister Bennett delivers remarks at International Bible Quiz. 'We have a duty to ensure that we will be sovereign and united forever.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flash 90

Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett this morning addressed the annual International Bible Quiz in Jerusalem, which takes place each year on Israel's Independence Day. Also attending were Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Director General of the Education Ministry, Shmuel Abuav, and other public officials and dignitaries.

Minister Bennett spoke of the urgency of the situation "The State of Israel has experienced the most prosperous and successful era it has known, but during these very days, one of the greatest disasters in the history of the Jewish people is taking place - we are losing millions of our Jewish brothers and sisters in the Diaspora. Like an iceberg melting away, so many of our people are slipping away before our eyes."

"The State of Israel must act, without delay, with all our strength, creativity, and determination, in order to save our brothers and sisters, members of the Jewish People around the world, from assimilation and antisemitism. For seventy years the State of Israel was the project of the Jewish People. It is now our turn to look out for them: it is our duty to ensure the Jewish People will be the project of the State of Israel. Whenever we needed financial or political assistance, the Jews of the world mobilized to help. Our central principle, that "all Jews are responsible for one another" does not end at Ben-Gurion Airport Customs."

"Israel is making great efforts and taking important steps in this direction, but it is still far from enough. What we will do, the Government of Israel, the Israel people, in the coming years, will shape the future of our people for hundreds of years to come."

Speaking about Israel and Israeli society, the Minister said, "Israel is now in its eighth decade. If Israel were to be torn apart again from the inside, if brothers were to again raise their hands against each other, we will not get another chance. Now is our great moment to show how the State of Israel stands forever as a model Jewish state, sovereign and united, despite the divisions. Our disagreements are the blessing and the curse of the Jewish people."

A strong State of Israel needs all three schools of thought – the religious, nationalism and universalism. This is our greatness as a people, as a state. Humanity, Judaism and nationalism do not contradict each other. They complement each other. So much of the Israeli public is good. On the margins, things are not always beautiful, but they are marginal. Both the right and the left love Israel."

He concluded, "Both the right and the left love their fellow man. We have a duty to ensure that we will be a sovereign and united Jewish state for all eternity."