'Fight for Jerusalem - fight for truth'

PM defends Jews' connection to capital on eve of J'lem Day.

netanyahu with kipa 311 (photo credit: GPO)
netanyahu with kipa 311
(photo credit: GPO)
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 capital
A conflict of interest and non-interest
Jerusalem and the Mizrahis, four centuries on
The master planner
Opinion: Rejoice on Jerusalem Day
In 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.”