Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu received an emotional gift late Sunday: A
letter his paternal grandfather, rabbi Nathan Mileikowsky, wrote in 1933 to
Ashkenazi chief rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook.
Ahead of Netanyahu’s
Jerusalem Day speech at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, its dean, Rabbi Yaakov
Shapira, presented the prime minister with the letter in which Mileikowsky asked
Kook to help clear rightist Zionist leader Abba Ahimeir, who was falsely accused
of assassinating leftist Zionist leader Chaim Arlosoroff.
Kook agreed to
help in his response, which Shapira had framed together with Mileikowsky’s
Mileikowsky, like his grandson, was known worldwide as a Zionist
Shapira’s message in presenting the gift was that the prime
minister should not give up his loyalty to the Land of Israel that he received
from his grandfather and his father, Benzion Netanyahu, who died three weeks
Netanyahu said it was emotional to receive the letter, which he had
not known existed. He promised never to abandon his commitment to
“There are those who say that to guarantee our future we must
divide Jerusalem,” he said in a reference to former prime minister Ehud Olmert.
“I say, to guarantee our future, I will make sure that Jerusalem remains our
Netanyahu added that when he hears world leaders tell
him not to build in Jerusalem he thinks of King David, who he said “built this
city before their nations existed.”