"ALL WE NEED TO TRIUMPH IN THIS
STRUGGLE IS FOR THE TRUTH TO
BE TOLD... SOMETIMES THE WHOLE
WORLD CAN BE WRONG... THANK YOU
FOR YOUR CONTINUAL LOVE FOR THE
STATE OF ISRAEL."
MER - Washington - 23 October, 1997:
A few days ago Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the annual "Feast of Tabernacles" gathering in Jerusalem organized by a group called the International Christian Embassy. Several thousand Christian visitors from 60 countries attended. Excerpts from Netanyahu's speech follow making more clear than ever the still-growing coalition between Israeli and Christian right-wing groups.
"Those of you who were here last year will remember that Israel was under the shadow of the tunnel crisis at the time. We opened the door at one end of a 2000-year-old archaeological tunnel to facilitate the movement of tourists, and the whole world attacked us in unprecedented fury. We committed an unpardonable sin. Now you supported us at that time and we shall always remember that. But the interesting thing is that we seem to be a believing minority resisting the entire world. I'm bringing up this memory to remind you that sometimes the whole world can be wrong.
the opening of this tunnel served as an excuse for rioting and terror and
more than 80 people were killed as a result of those riots.
We were told that we had provoked the riots by opening a small door
20 centimeters wide to an archaeological site.
too we are told that it is we who provoke terrorism. We provoke it
by building apartments in Jerusalem; we provoke it by providing for the
natural growth of our communities. But a leader of the Hamas was
a little more honest about it: [he said] that even if we were to confine
ourselves to the borders of Tel Aviv, he would not tolerate a Jewish State
here. The real provocation is not the tunnel, it is not a housing
project, it is not the settlements. The real provocation is pure
and simple; it is our existence here. That is what is causing
the provocation. It's not a provocation. This is our country;
this is the Land of Israel; it is the country which belongs to the People
of Israel, and we have an inalienable right to this land. We didn't
invent it here, we didn't create it in the last 20 years, or in the last
two years. This was
a right recognized by the entire world, by all the great leaders of the international community, [by] Jewish and Christian Zionists throughout history. Above all it is the Land of Israel, because the Bible, the most basic document of western civilization, says so. [It says so] not merely as a declaration of moral entitlement, which it is - but also [it] is a description of a historical fact. No other people had this enduring relationship and commitment and attachment to this land for millennia. No people formed their national life here and built their national sovereignty here, except the Jewish people. [No other] people, when deprived of this land, sought to return here, and did return here, in the face of all historical odds, and beat those historical odds, except the Jewish people. No other people built their state here. We did. That is why we are here, and that is why you and I believe we should be here. In this sense, we truly speak a common language, a language of conviction, a language of belief, a language of moral clarity.
"I said we'll make all the possible efforts to achieve peace with our neighbors, but we need the help of our friends, and you are such friends. I think your support can make a world of difference. You represent here a very large number of countries, many countries, and you represent here people who have influence in your societies, in your communities, in your governments. Now I don't have to tell you that the media isn't always scrupulously fair when it comes to Israel. You can counter those distortions. You can tell the story, our story in the world. All we need to triumph in this struggle, is for the truth to be told. You are devoted to the truth in all senses of the word. You can do for us what no-one else can do. I am counting on you. I am relying on you. I am relying on your friendship, on the constancy of your support, and I deeply appreciate [it], in the name of my family, my wife, my children, but especially in the name of the Children of Israel, all of the People of Israel. We respect and appreciate, and thank you for your continual love for the State of Israel.
you very much."