Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL



We were attacked and stood firm, with our backs to the sea.

A long time has passed since then. This land and this region have known more wars, and have known all the wars between the wars, terror and the difficult counter-actions undertaken by Israel, with the sole purpose of defending the lives of its citizens. In this ongoing war, many among the civilian population, among the innocent, were killed. And tears met tears. I would like you to know that we did not seek to build our lives in this homeland on your ruins. Many years ago, Zeev Jabotinsky wrote in a poem his vision for partnership and peace among the peoples of this land (and I quote): There he will be saturated with plenty and joy, the son of the Arab, the son of Nazareth and my son. We were attacked and stood firm, with our backs to the sea. Many fell in the battle, and many lost their homes and fields and orchards, and became refugees. This is the way of war. However, war is not inevitable and predestined. Even today, we regret the loss of innocent lives in your midst. Our way is not one of intentional killing. Forty-eight yeas ago, on the eve of our Independence Day in 1956, against the background of the return of the bodies of ten terrorists who committed crimes in Israel, murderous acts in Israel, and who were delivered in wooden coffins to the Egyptians at a border crossing in the Gaza Strip. On this, the Hebrew poet, Natan Alterman wrote the following: Arabia, enemy unknown to you, you will awake when you rise against me, My life serves as witness with my back against the wall and to my history and my God, Enemy, the power of whose rage in the face of those who rise to destroy him until the day Will be similar only to the force of his brotherhood in a fraternal covenant between one nation and another. This was during the time of the terrorist killings and our retaliatory raids.

Members of Knesset,

With your permission, I wish to end with a quotation from Prime Minister Menahem Begin, who at the end of December 1977, said on this podium (and I quote): Where does this irresponsible language come from, in addition to other things which were said? I once said, during an argument with people from Gush Emunim, that I love them today, and will continue to like them tomorrow. I told them: you are wonderful pioneers, builders of the land, settlers on barren soil, in rain and through winter, through all difficulties.

I call on the people of Israel to unite at this decisive hour.

However, you have one weakness you have developed among yourselves a messianic complex. You must remember that there were days, before you were born or were only small children, when other people risked their lives day and night, worked and toiled, made sacrifices and performed their tasks without a hint of a messianic complex. And I call on you today, my good friends from Gush Emunim, to perform your tasks with no less modesty than your predecessors, on other days and nights. We do not require anyone to supervise the Kashrut of our commitment to the Land of Israel! We have dedicated our lives to the land of Israel and to the struggle for its liberation, and will continue to do so. I call on the people of Israel to unite at this decisive hour. We must find a common denominator for some form of necessary unity which will enable us to cope with these fateful days with understanding, and through our common destiny, and which will allow us to construct a dam against brotherly hatred which pushes many over the edge. We have already paid an unbearably high price for murderous fanaticism. We must find the root which brings us all together, and must carry out our actions with the wisdom and responsibility which allow us to lead our lives here as a mature and experienced nation. I call on you to support me at this decisive time.

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