Following is an excerpt from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks Yesterday (Monday, 28 October 2019), at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, to the
Attached photo credit: Koby Gideon (GPO)
Jewish Agency Board of Governors:
"The only way to secure the Jewish future, the necessary condition for securing the Jewish future is to secure the future of the Jewish state. The Jewish state, I believe has responsibility for the Jewish communities around the world.
I have just been appointed Minister of Diaspora Affairs yesterday. The government approved it without debate. I intend to pass money from that office to the purpose of protecting Jewish communities from the rising scourge of violent antisemitism, and therefore that money will pass and it’s overdue. But we have obviously other challenges: to battle the spirit – if that’s what it could be called – the evil spirit of antisemitism; to encourage and to demand from governments worldwide to fight it; to cooperate with them in fighting it; to foster the Hebrew language, the identity, Jewish identity, the connection to Israel, which I believe is vital, as I said, for securing the Jewish future. But if you remove the State of Israel, there is no Jewish future.
Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons. It’s transgressing on its agreement and commitment. Iran wants to develop precision guided missiles that can hit any target in Israel within five to ten meters. It’s doing that. Iran wants to use Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen as bases to attack Israel with statistical missiles and precision-guided missiles. That is a great, great danger. To ward off this danger, we have to do two things. First we must unite, because in the face of danger, we unite. This is not a spin, this is not a line, this is a real thing that is happening as the power balance in the Middle East changes.
We must be strong. And to be strong, we have to be united as a people, united in spirit, united in our quest to secure the future of the Jewish state and the Jewish people. But to be strong, you have to be strong militarily. And to be strong militarily, we have to shift now money from the civilian areas to the military areas. That is very hard to do. You can do it in a time of crisis, when things happen that everybody can see, or you can do it in anticipation of avoiding a crisis. And that requires a very broad-shouldered government. That’s what we need today.
We will have to change our priorities now, because the first thing we must do is ensure the security and safety of the Jewish state. It is well within our powers. We have the ingenuity. We’ve already developed what we need, offensive and defensive weapons.
But we need a lot. We enjoy the friendship of the United States and the solid alliance, but always we remember the principle that I annunciate time and time again, during every year as my tenure as prime minister, Israel must be able to defend itself, by itself, against any threat. And this now requires a national commitment, a broad based national commitment to arm the State of Israel so that we can defend ourselves by ourselves against any threat."