Kiev delegation
Kiev delegation Amos ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah Netanyahu met with the Jewish community of Ukraine today in Kiev.

"It's exciting for me to come back here with my wife Sara. It's very moving to be here and be in Babi Yar again, and to understand the tremendous path we made from the killing ravine to the apex of nations. Israel today is a world power, Israel is a rising power in the world.

"The almost-ruined people, who were mercilessly slaughtered, this nation today heads a strong, robust, progressive, prosperous country - first of all by the power of faith. Because without faith nothing matters. Without faith we would not have accomplished the miracle of Israel's rebirth in its country. A faith that went from generation to generation even in the most difficult moments.

"On the killing ridge, there must have been Jews who whispered Shema Yisrael and Jews who longed for the rebirth of Israel. We know these stories from other places in the Holocaust as well. It could be they only expressed prayer and didn't believe it would come true, but it rose because of faith.

"We are imbued with faith. The same belief, the same mission. This mission in its modern expression is largely the rebirth of the Hebrew language and the national movement; it would have been impossible without what happened here on Ukrainian soil. Because many of the writers like Bialik, or Tchernichovsky, and many of the thinkers like Ahad Ha'am and Jabotinsky, were here, they came from here. In fact, Ukrainian Jewry grew the greatest geniuses we ever had, and they were all infused with heritage. They knew Jewish heritage, they didn't conspire against it. Of course, they wanted to hold onto the future and build a state. But they did not slam the door on the past, on the contrary. They sanctified what is holy to Israel, they embraced what is holy to Israel, and also taught what is holy to Israel. All these things came largely from the land of Ukraine."

Prime Minister Netanyahu added, "We are fighting for Israel's eternity. G-d has given us a great opportunity not given to other peoples, to rebuild our lives in our country. We do so in a way that contradicts all logic because of that belief. The combination of faith and the mobilization of the special capabilities of our people, does not only change Israel, it changes the world.

"I see what we bring here, on my second visit after twenty years in Ukraine, what genius, what creativity, what work, what innovation we bring here. I see how much sympathy and admiration we get here, and I know that the foundation of this relationship is more steadfast than ever.

"I see how everywhere in the world there is great admiration for the State of Israel. Not only is the fact that we are facing the darkness and lighting the candle of truth that the Lubavitcher Rebbe spoke about, not just the fact that we are able to repel our enemies and make new friends, it is also some magic found with us.

"I want to thank each and every one of you, every one of you in the roots and in the branches you work with us to secure the eternity of Israel, with the help of G-d. Thank you so much, to everyone."

Netanyahu speaks to Jewish community
Netanyahu speaks to Jewish community Amos ben Gershom GPO