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Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched an emergency fundraiser overnight, aiming to raise $300 million for the residents of northern Israel.
Olmert, who spoke to US Jewish communities in a live Internet broadcast, said, "We will win, but it won't be easy."
According to Olmert, "We will have to pay a terrible price but paying this price is far better than waiting a number of years after which we could be facing much more devastating weaponry."
The prime minister added, "Our enemies wish to fulfill the vision of Iran's president to wipe Israel off the map. This is the essence of their war."
He defined the war with Hizbullah as an existential threat. "For the first time since the 1960s, Israel has an enemy whose goal is to eliminate our existence."
"I believe," the prime minister concluded, "That all world Jewry can now prove the meaning of Jewish solidarity."