PM SHARON WARNS DIASPORA: THE GOOD LIFE CAN DISAPPEAR IN A MOMENT
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, addressing the Jewish Agency Assembly in
Jerusalem last night, quoted Binyamin (Theodore) Ze'ev Herzl as having told
the First Zionist Congress, "Zionism is the return to Judaism, even before
the return to the land of the Jews." Sharon then added, "This phrase is
the fulfillment of the essence of Zionism as a national movement: first and foremost, before all else, the return to Judaism."
The Prime Minister once again expressed his hope that another million new
immigrants arrive in Israel in the coming decade. He departed from his
prepared text - that which was later distributed to journalists and sent
over the internet - in order to add the following exhortation to Diaspora
"[In addition to the military campaign that we face,] we are also engaged
in a very difficult diplomatic campaign, to which we must stand up - and we expect you to stand with us. It's not just our fight. (applause) Whatever happens here [in Israel] will influence the fate of the Jews all around the world. If Israel, Heaven forbid, becomes weakened, don't expect even for a minute that you will be able to live the lives that you are living now. It will disappear in the blink of an eye. Your responsibility is therefore no less than ours. True, we live here, and we carry out certain missions that you, as long as you're not here yet, cannot shoulder. But in terms of the responsibility, the backing for Israel in our international diplomatic struggles - you must stand as one behind us, and behind every
democratically-elected government of Israelů Because it is now not only
our fate, but also your fate that hangs in the balance."
You can hear the entire speech (in Hebrew) at http://www.isracast.com/jafiassembly/#>.