Bennett: 'Our generation's mission is to save the Jews'

'It's now 50 years since we released Judea and Samaria.  It's time to recognize them as Israel. It's time for sovereignty.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Miri Tzachi

Education Minister and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett spoke on Monday evening at the conference held by Arutz Sheva and the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

Bennett thanked Arutz Sheva. "The Honorable Rishon l'Tziyon, Rav Amar, my friends the Ministers, the wonderful Arutz Sheva family, Rabbanit Melamed who day and night does for the Jewish people together with the husband Rabbi Melamed, Uzi Baruch and the entire Arutz Sheva family: Thank you. Joe Frager, Ken Abramowitz, Toby Henig, and everyone."

"I want to share with you what I think is our generation's mission, and it's not on our radar enough. Here in Israel we're very concentrated on what's going on here. I think that in this day and age we are losing millions of Jews to assimilation. We have to save the Jews.

"100 years from now we will be asked, 'You knew what was going on with the Jews in America, in Eastern Europe, in South America. What did you do?

"Few times in Israel's history - in Jewish history - did we have such a potential loss of Jews, like when we lost the Ten Tribes.

"As Minister of Diaspora Affairs, I'm effectively the Minister of the Jews... We need to understand that the Jewish State is not only the state of the Israeli citizen, it's a state where every Jew in the world has a stake here.

"When my Abba made Aliyah to Israel in 1967, may he rest in peace, the first time he made an Aliyah to the Torah, he had no Jewish background. He came up, they said, 'What's your name?' He said, 'Jim Bennett'. They said 'no, no, no; what's your Jewish name?' He said 'Ya'akov'. They said, 'Ben?' - son of? And [thinking they were asking his age], he said '30'. Abba didn't know...

"And today, throughout the world, there's millions of Jews that need us to go and to reach out to them. And we're doing more than we've ever done. But today, we need to change tactic. In the past, the Jewish State was the project of the Jews. Jews all around the world would make contributions, would make Aliyah. Today it's the reverse. Today the mission of the State of Israel is to guard the Jews, it's not just the mission of the Jews to guard the State of Israel.

"How do we do it? In just one minute. Being open, accepting every Jew, loving every Jew, even if we have profound disagreements, we love every Jew as he is, and every Jew is wanted in our land. Even if we don't always agree, it's completely okay. And to honor everyone.

"And that is also one of the foundations of the American-Israeli alliance. We need a strong Jewish American community.

"Finally, I'll say we have a very rare opportunity now. With a President who thinks different, who thinks open. It's not enough to move the embassy to Jerusalem. It's now 50 years since we liberated Judea and Samaria. It's time to recognize them as Israel. It's time for sovereignty," Bennett said.