The following is the transcript of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu video address at the 2017 JPPI conference on Shifting Trends in the West and their Impact on Israel and the Jewish People:
I’m delighted to address the JPPI and I apologize for not being with you. I feel a bit under the weather because I was quite a bit down under. I came back from a wonderful trip to Australia and Singapore but it has taken a toll on my vocal cords and my sinuses. But nevertheless, I’m happy to be with you even through video.
The future of the Jewish people, which is the subject you’re discussing, is directly related to the future of the Jewish state. For thousands of years the Jewish people faced a grim reality: either assimilation or annihilation.
Before the rebirth of Israel, both of these forces took a terrible toll on our people. And our future was in doubt. We had a growing cascade of calamities that culminated in the Holocaust. And it wasn’t clear that the Jewish people would have a future at all.
But in 1948, Israel was reborn.
This created an impregnable safe haven for the Jewish people against both assimilation and annihilation. It restored the safety and strength we had lost as a result of those generations of exile. I want to be clear about that. This doesn’t mean the attacks against us have ceased, either against Israel or against Jewish communities worldwide.
But it does mean that we now have the capacity to defend ourselves. We are no longer defenseless.
Israel restored our means to resist: to resist militarily against those who would try to physically vanquish us and to resist politically by having a voice among the councils of the nations and in public opinion.
We have a lot of forces arrayed against us but we can use our newfound powers in the last few decades, and especially in the last few years, to repel those forces.
Anti-Semitism certainly has not disappeared.
But there is much we can do to fight back. World leaders need to unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism wherever it is found. And I appreciate the fact that in the last few weeks and days, President Trump and Vice President Pence have taken a strong stance in condemning anti-Semitism. This is what we expect too from European leaders, most of them have done it and this is what we must demand from governments around the world because Jews around the world should not live in fear.
I have just returned from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, two Muslim nations, and I met there with Jewish communities as I did in Singapore and in Australia. It was startling to see in two Muslim countries Jewish children proudly singing in Hebrew Jewish songs, proud of their heritage, proud of their people. This is the future we’d like to see.
But I went to these countries and I encountered that attitude not merely because this is the policy of those countries but also because they have a deepening appreciation of the Jewish state.
Israel’s influence is expanding as never before. And as it expands, we are garnering allies for our people everywhere.
The entire world is coming to Israel because of our expertise in technology and in countering terrorism. And this is why I’ve never been more hopeful about the Jewish future.
Israel is stronger than ever. Our impact in the world is ever expanding.
100 years ago, on the eve of the Balfour declaration, people asked what to do about what they called, “The Jewish question”. Well, 100 years later, the answer is clear.
Israel is the answer. So today I ask all of you to do two things, only two things: support Israel and fight Antisemitism. They are one and the same.
Thank you very much.