Netanyahu (C) with Russian Jewish community leaders
Netanyahu (C) with Russian Jewish community leadersHaim Tzach, Laam, Yechezkel Itkin

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with a delegation of representatives of the Russian Jewish Community Sunday, headed by the chief rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar and Mr. Lev Leviev, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FJC). 

Netanyahu began by addressing the current security situation.

“The struggle here is not about any type of political border, as some of our naïve friends say, as well as our enemies," he said. "That is indeed not the case."

"It’s not about territory, not about the settlements, not about the borders and not even about their struggle for a state – the struggle here is about the denial of the state of Israel. It is about the denial of any Jewish sovereignty over any part of the land of Israel, pure and simple. This is what the struggle is all about and nothing more".

The delegation asked to deliver, through the Prime Minister, a message of solidarity with the people of Israel, who are facing this current outburst of terrorism.

“The delegation arrives during these troubled times, in order to show the world that now is the time to come and visit the country”, Leviev said during the meeting. 

Haim Zach (GPO)

Chief Rabbi Lazar added that “we have come in these dire times to strengthen the people of the holy land. All of Russia's Jewry is praying for you. We are here to tell you that we are standing by you in these hard times."  

During the last few days the delegation visited Rachel's Tomb near Beit Lechem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron, and the Western Wall (Kotel). 

As part of their tour, the delegates have met with the soldiers stationed at those sites, who are dealing with restoring the order to those areas. 

The delegation consists of fifty rabbis, leaders and head of communities, as well as business people from all over Russia, including the cities of: Rostov, Kaliningrad, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Smolensk, Samara, Tomsk, Saratov, Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Sochi, San-Petersburg, Ufa, Moscow, Novorossiysk, Veliky Novgorod. These communities range from the Western Russian border with Finland, all the way to the eastern border with Japan. 

During their visit to his office, the Prime Minister has thanked the members of the delegation saying “Lev Leviev, President of FJC, your work in strengthening the Jewish identity, our heritage, the affiliation towards and Israel and Jewish education is highly important. I would also like to thank Michael Mirilashvili, who has joined these efforts and all the members of the delegation headed by Chief Rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar."