Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a personal message to participants in next week's conference against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement Saturday night, noting that the future of the Jewish state may well be in the hands of those fighting the boycott movement.
"Greetings from Jerusalem," he began. "I wanted to commend all of you for participating in this weekend’s summit and for all of your hard work on campus."
"Delegitimization of Israel is a major challenge facing the Jewish people and the Jewish state," he continued. "Just in the last week, there was an attempt to throw Israel out of FIFA; the National Union of Students in the UK voted to support boycotting Israel; and the CEO of a French telecommunications company [Orange - ed.] declared his intention to end the company’s business dealings with Israel."
"His subsequent words of admiration for Israel don’t square with his unequivocally hostile remarks in Cairo," he added, referring to Orange CEO Stephane Richard playing dumb over his remarks wanting to "dump" Israel "tomorrow" last week.
"Delegitimization of Israel must be fought, and you are on the front lines," Netanyahu added. "It’s not about this or that Israeli policy. It’s about our right to exist here as a free people. Our right to defend ourselves. Our right to determine our own future."
"There is no Jewish future without the Jewish state," he noted, "and I thank each and every one of you for defending Israel on campus - so young Jews will know they can stand tall and be proud of Israel and so friends of Israel can be armed with facts to defend the truth."
"And so everyone will see that Israel, the most embattled democracy on earth that seeks a genuine peace while fending off the forces of barbaric terrorism, deserves their support."
Netanyahu then related to the Israeli government's role in fighting the BDS movement.
"The Israeli government is committed to launching assertive and innovative programs and to joining you any many others around the world to combat the lies and slander that are leveled against us," he said. "Our most potent weapon is the truth. We must speak the truth – loudly, clearly, proudly."
"I wish you all a productive summit."
Fifty separate Jewish and pro-Israel groups are meeting in Las Vegas next week for the summit, which is being organized by billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban.