The fight for Jerusalem is the fight for truth, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared on Tuesday evening at the capital’s prestigious Mercaz Harav Yeshiva.
Speaking on the eve of Jerusalem Day, the prime minister highlighted of the interaction between truth and justice, stressing that any distortion of justice concerning the Jewish people and Jerusalem was also a distortion of truth.RELATED:43rd Jerusalem Day kicks off in the capitalA conflict of interest and non-interestJerusalem and the Mizrahis, four centuries onThe master plannerOpinion: Rejoice on Jerusalem DayIn honor of Jerusalem Day, MKs get to dig into past
“The truth is that Jerusalem is our lifeblood,” he said. “We have an indissoluble connection to it. Thousands of years, three thousands years. We have never relinquished this connection. We didn’t relinquish it when the temple was destroyed the first time, we didn’t relinquish it when the temple was destroyed a second time.”'The Jewish people are unjustly portrayed as invaders'
In an apparent allusion to oft-voiced Palestinian claims that Israel was trying to ‘Judaize’ Jerusalem, the prime minister said that Israel was “not banishing anyone,” but rather reasserting the connection of the Jewish people to the capital, “a connection no other nation possesses.” Israel, he added, grants unprecedented freedom of religion and freedom of movement to those belonging to faiths other than Judaism.
“I say this because there is an attempt to portray us as foreign invaders, as conquerors, as a people who have no connection to this place, and I say: No other nation has such a connection to its capital.”
Netanyahu then spoke of the term ‘Diaspora,’ stressing that the Jewish
people continued to be present in Israel and Jerusalem throughout the
2,000-year time-span between the destruction of the Second Temple and the
creation of the State of Israel. “We continued to be present here,” he
said. “Where did Rabban Gamaliel live and work? In Sweden? Where were these
wonderful things written? In this country," he stated. "The Jews were
the majority in Israel until the 9th century, and lost that majority 200
years after Arab rule [began] – and even then they did not give up.”
The wish to return to Jerusalem, he said, went part and parcel with
Jewish daily life in the Diaspora for thousands of years. “Not a year
went by in the Diaspora that we did not say, ‘Next year in Jerusalem,’ be
it in the 10th century, the 11th century or the 12th century," he said.
During his speech, Netanyahu honored leading American attorney and
stalwart defender of Israel Alan Dershowitz, commending him for his
“sharp-minded” defense and promulgation of “the truth about the State of
Israel and the Jewish people.”