'Israel is your home'

Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses Birthright-Taglit event in Jerusalem, urges participants to come live in Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Netanyahu at Birthright-Taglit event in Jerusalem
Netanyahu at Birthright-Taglit event in Jerusalem
Kobi Gideon/GPO

“Israel is your home,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told participants of Birthright-Taglit at an event in Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem on Sunday evening.

“This is the 18th year of Birthright, and in Hebrew the number 18 is spelled chet yud—chai. Chai means life, and that’s very fitting because Birthright has infused life, life in Jewish identity to thousands and thousands of young Jewish men and women—half a million, an amazing number. And nothing better conveys that identity than your visit here in Israel,” he said.

“You see it yourself. You walk in the Old City. You swim on the beaches of Tel Aviv—don’t do it tonight, it’s rainy and cold. But find a sunny day and you’ll see it. You can do that in Eilat. You pray at the Western Wall. You hike the mountains of the Golan. Wherever you come from, whatever you look like—you all look good—however you pray, Israel is your home. Israel is your birthright,” stressed Netanyahu.

“By coming to Israel,” he continued, “you take part in one of the most miraculous stories in the history of the world. See, our people, our people began here almost 4,000 years ago. That’s when Abraham came here, 3,800 years ago.”

“Our people lived in this land for thousands of years, and then something happened to us, which happened to so many people in antiquity: We lost our land. We were scattered to the four corners of the earth. We were oppressed. We were subjugated. That happened to many, many, many peoples throughout history. And I’ll tell you what happened to all of them: If they lost their land, if they were scattered, they disappeared. That’s what happened to them.”

“In our case, the story of the Jewish people, we’re the only people that refused to disappear. We refused to die. And we kept saying, ‘Next year in the Land of Israel. Next year in Jerusalem.’ And it took us a while—it took us about 2,000 years—but we made it back, and we’re here to stay forever.”

“You see that transformation with the young IDF soldiers that are accompanying you. And I want you to give them a hand. Thank you. They’re part of what makes Israel strong, and a strong Israel keeps the Jewish communities around the world strong,” the Prime Minister said.

He urged the Birthright participants not only to come back to Israel for a vacation or to invest in the country, but to live there.

“We embrace you with open arms. Thank you all. Come to Israel. Thrive in Israel. And send the message: Israel is our common home,” concluded Netanyahu.