Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu encouraged immigration to Israel Thursday, during comments he made at the annual International Bible Quiz for Jewish Youths in Jerusalem.
“The State of Israel could not exist without the blessed immigration from all corners of the globe. This is the central foundation of Zionism, a movement that sees returning to Zion as the most worthy cause and views Israel as the home of all Jews around the world,” he said.
“Today, after all, it is obvious that this is home, this is where a Jew can walk in the street and say: ‘I am Jewish’, ‘Je suis Juif.’
“By no means do we wish to make light of other world governments’ responsibility for the security of their Jewish citizens, but we say to the Jews of the world: ‘This is home, it is our home, it is your home,’” he said.
“Whence did Zionism take this value of returning from exile? From the Bible, from the visions of the prophets on assembling Jews from all places to our historical homeland, from east and west, north and south. These prophecies, where every phase engulfs thousands of years, are being fulfilled before our very eyes,” added the prime minister.
“Each wave of immigration greatly boosts the development of the country and this is why I call on you too — the young people here today who come from abroad — I say to you: Go home, speak about the experience of visiting this country and about the experiences of this quiz, and then I ask — come back to us, to Eretz Israel! Immigrate to the State of Israel, we await you with open arms.”
The prime minister also stressed the importance of immigration in comments he made on Wednesday, the eve of Independence Day.
In an English language video he published on the occasion, Netanyahu said that on Israel’s Independence Day, Israelis “celebrate that the Jewish people are no longer stateless and powerless. We celebrate the fact that Jews everywhere enjoy a right they were denied for so many centuries, the right to make Aliya and be part of the modern State of Israel.”
“We have integrated into our society immigrants from all four corners of the earth. We have successfully defended our freedom against attacks by hostile neighbors,” he said.