Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, was chosen to be the first non-Israeli citizen to light the ceremonial torch on Israel's Independence Day next week.
Rabbi Hier spoke with Arutz Sheva about the honor he felt in being given the role. He said that the Jewish Diaspora is now dependent on the State of Israel for its survival.
"I had the privilege, one time in my life, to meet [Israel's first Prime Minister] David Ben Gurion," he said. "I'll never forget what he told us."
Rabbi Hier recalled that Ben Gurion told the group of American youths: "Tell your parents and grandparents, thank them for supporting the State of Israel, because without the Diaspora, we would not have been able to create the State of Israel."
"But he said, 'tell them also, there will come a time when the Diaspora will be totally dependant on the State of Israel.
Rabbi Hier said that "that time is now. If, God forbid, something happened to the State of Israel, every Jew living in chutz la'aretz (outside of Israel) - there would be no Jews. We are all dependent on the State of Israel."