Our bond “Next Year in Jerusalem”

PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva on the Occasion of Jerusalem Day

    “For Zion’s sake, I will not be silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be still, until her righteousness emanates like bright light, and her salvation blazes like a torch.” [Isaiah 62:1]

I chose to begin my remarks honoring Jerusalem this evening with this verse because the struggle for Jerusalem is a struggle for the truth – nothing more and nothing less. For the truth!

Tonight we are joined by someone who happened to be with me earlier today and when he heard about this gathering, he wanted to join me. He has fought for the truth of the State of Israel and the people of Israel – I speak of Professor Alan Dershowitz, who is certainly known to most of you. By the way, he too was a yeshiva student originally, and he demonstrates this through his sharp intellect which he joins with his passion for the truth.

There can be no justice without truth. If justice is distorted with regard to our people and our capital, this is a problem associated with truth. The truth is that Jerusalem is the very air that our people breathe. We have an unbreakable bond with Jerusalem – one that has lasted thousands of years, over 3,000 years to be precise. We never ever relinquished that bond. We did not relinquish it when the Temple was destroyed the first time; we did not relinquish it when the Temple was destroyed the second time; we did not relinquish this bond at any point thereafter. Sixty years after the Second Temple was destroyed, the people of Israel rose up and fought again, and even then we did not relinquish that bond.

Even after the third destruction – not of the Temple this time – we did not relinquish our bond. We remained devoted to Jerusalem and we preserved Zion in the broadest sense of the word. The entire land and people make up this word, this concept – “Zion”. We did not give up!

For 2,000 years we have been saying: We are in exile. We have not been in exile for 2,000 years – even this is not true. We continued to live here. Where did the Rabban Gamliel work? In Sweden? Where were his wonderful writings composed? In Israel. In the fourth, fifth, sixth centuries, the people of Israel were a majority in the Land of Israel, as Professor Dinur proved in his important studies. The Jews were a majority in the Land of Israel through the ninth century, and this majority was only lost after 200 years of Arab conquest – and even then we did not relinquish our bond.

Every year, every day during our exile, we said, “Next year in Jerusalem”. “Next year in Jerusalem”. It did not matter if it was the tenth century or the eleventh or the twelfth. This aspiration – to return to Jerusalem and live there and build there and be built in Jerusalem – has been an integral part of the people of Israel for thousands of years – and we again became a majority in this city, our city, in the mid-nineteenth century, ever since we began building.

We are not banishing anyone; we are not removing anyone; because the second half of the truth is that no other people has the connection the people of Israel have with Jerusalem and Zion. However, there was also no other people that allowed other religions freedom of worship and freedom of access to the holy places other than the people of Israel. When we renewed our hold over all parts of the city, we renewed freedom of worship and allowed the members of all religions to pray and follow their faith under Israeli sovereignty.

I say all this because there is an attempt to paint us as foreign invaders, as conquerors, as a people with no connection to this place, and our response is: No other people has such a bond with its capital as the Jewish people do with Jerusalem.

I asked Rabbi Lau how many times Jerusalem or Zion is mentioned in the Book of Books. Do you know how many times? This could have been a question in the Bible Quiz, by the way. I will check the exact figure, but the answer is over 700 times. Over 700!

Compare this with the holy books of other religions – nothing comes close. I don’t want to tell you what you’ll find. There is no such bond between a people and its capital, and certainly no people has the same kind of bond we have with Jerusalem. This bond is with Jerusalem above and Jerusalem below. I welcome the fact that there are Jewish religious institutions because from Jerusalem, “from Zion will the Torah come forth”. This is important. This has value. Zion is also a concept regarding our people’s modern and developed capital, and we are building it and will continue to build and develop it. We will continue to absorb immigrants there and we will continue transforming it into a vibrant city.

We just held our weekly Cabinet meeting, during which we spoke of our desire to accomplish two goals: the first is to strengthen the economic capabilities of advanced technology factories and establishing them in Jerusalem. From Zion, software will come forth – this is also important. We also said that we want to strengthen our heritage in the Land of Israel, the State of Israel and especially Jerusalem.

Our future is based on our past, and our past creates our future. Only in Jerusalem is this demonstrated in a tangible and important way. That is why I seek to strengthen you. You strengthen me, although there is no need to do so. I am strong enough. I appreciate your drive and your support, but believe me – I am strong enough because I am from the same home you come from – from the House of Israel.

My grandfather was close friends with Rabbi Kook, of blessed memory. I can strengthen you. I thank you for strengthening me. We will strengthen each other for the future of Israel and for the capital of Israel – Jerusalem.

“Merciful Father, do good in Your favor unto Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem.” [Psalms 51:20]

We are blessed to be the generation that witnessed the redemption of Israel and its revival, and there is nothing or no one that will stand in the way of this resurrection. We will continue to develop our city, which has been united, and we will continue to tell the truth.

If there is one thing I believe in, it is that G-d would never lie.

Thank you.

May 12, 2010 | 6 Comments »

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6 Comments / 6 Comments

  1. ayn reagan Said:

    David Horowitz at UC San Diego

    Saw this and was surprised that she admitted it in a public forum and on film. This means that the fear factor is either gone or much diminished.
    Not a gone sign. Horowitz was good, others should learn and follow his example.

    I think that the only way to curb the the growing influence of Islam in America is to by legislation make it a subversive ideology like was done with communism. In the present PC multicultural and relativist culture in America it is not in the cards. I don’t even see a change in political power elites changing this trend. Muslim increased population numbers and lots of $$$$ will insurer that it won’t either.

    American Jews must face a few truths: As Islamic American numbers increase and Jewish population numbers decreases in real and in relative numbers so too will Jewish influence and built in institutional protections be reduced. This trend seem irreversible.

    Even your favorite panacea Christian Evangelicals, it is purported and changing with many turning to the left, so who knows where we will be in 5-10 years. The map is changing and what was will not be…! What will be does not look good for the Jews even in America. @ ayn reagan:

  2. Ayn why do we have to put up with these bastards in this country. They take advantage of our civil rights, yet these bastards could not act like this in a Muslim country.

    Deport the bastards, they are infecting this country. They are like a disease, like cancer, they need to be surgically removed.

  3. David Horowitz at UC San Diego

    Horowitz: And I said, ‘Before you start, will you condemn Hizbollah?’ And he said, ‘Well, that question is too complicated for a yes or no answer.’ So I said, ‘Okay, I’ll put it to you this way. I am a Jew. The head of Hizbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. For or Against it?

    MSA member: For it.

  4. Words are nice but it’s deeds that count.. BB has always been good with words and a failure with deeds.

  5. Glad that Netanyahu is reading Israpundit:

    Netanyahu turns to Bible in tussle over Jerusalem
    By Dan Williams

    JERUSALEM – Beset by questions about Jerusalem’s future in talks with the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached for the Bible on Wednesday to stake out the Jewish state’s contested claim on the city.

    Netanyahu told a parliamentary session commemorating Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war that “Jerusalem” and its alternative Hebrew name “Zion” appear 850 times in the Old Testament, Judaism’s core canon.

    “As to how many times Jerusalem is mentioned in the holy scriptures of other faiths, I recommend you check,” he said.

    Citing such ancestry, Israel calls all of Jerusalem its “eternal and indivisible” capital — a designation not recognised abroad, where many powers support Arab claims to East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

    The dispute is further inflamed by the fact East Jerusalem houses al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third-holiest shrine, on a plaza that Jews revere as the vestige of two biblical Jewish temples.

    Heckled by a lawmaker from Israel’s Arab minority, Netanyahu offered a lesson in comparative religion from the lectern.

    “Because you asked: Jerusalem is mentioned 142 times in the New Testament, and none of the 16 various Arabic names for Jerusalem is mentioned in the Koran. But in an expanded interpretation of the Koran from the 12th century, one passage is said to refer to Jerusalem,” he said.

    Responding to Netanyahu’s citations, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said: “I find it very distasteful, this use of religion to incite hatred and fear. East Jerusalem is an occupied Palestinian town, and East Jerusalem cannot continue to be occupied if there is to be peace.”


    Destroyed as a Jewish capital by the Romans in the 1st century AD, Jerusalem was a Christian city under their Byzantine successors before falling to Muslim Arabs in the 7th. European Crusaders regained it for a century, after which came 700 years of Muslim rule until Britain defeated the Ottoman Turks in 1917.

    As Britain prepared to quit, the United Nations proposed international rule for the city in 1947 as a “corpus separatum.”

    That proposal was overtaken by fighting that left Israel holding West Jerusalem in 1948 and Jordanian forces in East Jerusalem. Israel then took the rest in the Six Day War of 1967.

    The city, within boundaries defined by Israel but not recognized internationally, is now home to 750,000 people, two in three of them Jews and the rest mostly Muslim Palestinians.

    Netanyahu did not refer in his speech to indirect peace negotiations with the Palestinians that resumed this month after 1-1/2 years of U.S. trouble-shooting. Diplomacy has been mired by mutual recrimination, including from Israel over the Palestinian refusal to formally recognise it as a Jewish state.

    This has ossified into diehard hostility among Palestinians aligned with Islamist Hamas, while those more inclined towards peacemaking accuse Israel of sabotaging prospects by treating occupied land as a Jewish birthright that can be freely seized.

    Netanyahu said Israel would retain control over all of Jerusalem while ensuring freedom of worship at its holy sites.

    Such assertions are challenged by Palestinians given that Israel, over the last decade of fighting, has often limited their access to al-Aqsa. Christians in the adjacent West Bank complain of similar difficulties in reaching Jerusalem churches.

    “There is no undercutting, nor do I intend to undercut, the connection of others to Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said.

    “But I do confront the attempt to undercut and warp or obfuscate the unique connection that we, the people of Israel, have to the capital of Israel.”


  6. The only speech on Jerusalem that Netanyahu needs to deliver is short and sweet:

    “Jerusalem was given to the Jews by G-d. In doing so, He provided no transferable deed because Jerusalem is meant to be owned only by us. Intact and undivided. Now and forever. This fact is indisputable, and therefore anyone who disputes it is no friend of Israel. Now please excuse me…I am going to take this hammer and personally build apartment complexes thoughout Our Capitol City.”