Israel Brief July 21, 2013: Gilad Shalit accompanied children’s aliyah flight from New York



Gilad Shalit accompanying aliyah flight from N.Y.

Source: JTA, 7-21-13

A chartered aliyah flight bearing 106 children and accompanied by former captive soldier Gilad Shalit left New York for Israel….READ MORE

Israel Brief January 17, 2013: Israel welcomes 2000th Bnei Menashe oleh from India



Israel welcomes 2000th Bnei Menashe oleh from India

Source: Jerusalem Post, 1-17-13

Israel welcomed its 2,000th member of the Bnei Menashe community on Thursday, when a flight carrying 53 of the tribe members from the state of Manipur in Northeast India touched down at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport….READ MORE

Israel Brief September 12, 2012: Israel’s population rises to nearly 8 million



Israel’s population rises to nearly 8 million

Source: JTA, 9-12-12

Israel’s population is nearing 8 million, up almost 100,000 from the end of 2011, according to data released on the eve of Rosh Hashanah….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief August 14, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Welcoming Ceremony at Ben-Gurion Airport



PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Welcoming Ceremony at Ben-Gurion Airport

Source: PMO, 8-14-12

Welcome to the Land of Israel; welcome to the State of Israel; welcome home.

Today we have with us 127 immigrants who are joining the Israel Defense Forces.  Well done.  You are coming here to defend the State of Israel, the people of Israel, the future of the Jewish people.  We defend the Jewish people here in the State of Israel, and you are joining the IDF ranks.  I take my hat off to you, as does Natan Sharansky and the entire nation.  Well done to all of you.

Ninety-three children are here with you today out of 350 immigrants.  In the ten years Nefesh B’Nefesh has operated, they have brought 33,000 new immigrants to Israel, mostly from North America.  This is a tremendous achievement – tremendous – and it is yours.  It is not that the country does not have any tasks to carry out; there are many.  However, we have a dynamic, developing society, a strong country, a country with confidence in itself, and we must defend this country as you are doing by joining the IDF, as well as by other means.

Today, I decided to appoint MK Avi Dichter to serve as the Minister for Home Front Defense.  He previously served as Minister of Internal Security; he was also the head of the Shin Bet.  I remember him from 40 years ago when we served together in the IDF Special Forces.  He has many virtues and he is now charged with a very important mission: to continue doing what he has been doing his whole life – contributing to the security of the country.

Because I attribute great importance to home front defense, my government has invested a great deal in it, as no other government before ours has.  We have done a great deal already, but there is a great deal more to do and Avi Dichter, as Minister of Home Front Defense, will do so in his new position.  I am certain that you join the entire nation in congratulating him on this important new appointment.

I would like to say a few words to you in the language that is still customary for you – in English.  I am certain that in time, Hebrew will become no less customary.


Welcome to Israel.  Welcome home.

I was given a list of all the places you come from.  You come from California, from New Jersey, from Ohio, and from over two dozen states across America.  And I understand you also come from Alberta and from Quebec.

But the truth is you all come from one place – Israel.  This is the land where we all come from.  This is the land where our ancestors lived.  And this is the place where our identity as a people was forged.  And this is the country where the Jewish people are building the Jewish future.

I want to talk to the 127 olim who are joining the IDF today.  Each of the 350 people who have made Aliyah today have decided to link their personal future with the future of the Jewish State and the Jewish people.  But you’ve decided to do something else.  You’ve decided to defend the Jewish future.

And to have the opportunity to do so is a great privilege.  It wasn’t accorded to previous generations of Jews.  In previous times, for almost two millennia, the Jews could not defend themselves.  This is the great transformation that occurred in our time – that we can regain our destiny and defend our future – and this is a privilege that you have now decided to practice personally, thereby altering your lives and the Jewish future as well.

I can tell you that the founders of Modern Zionism did not think that when we amass back in our ancestral homeland, and we restore the capacity to defend ourselves, that anti-Semitism would disappear.  That is not what they thought.  But they thought that we could defend ourselves against anti-Semitic assaults, and those have not been eliminated.  They have not disappeared.  On the contrary, there is a rise of a new anti-Semitism.  As the Jewish State progresses and rises, so does anti-Semitism, but it changes form and we see today a virulent attack on the Jewish people – a virulent new form of anti-Semitism.

And we need to defend ourselves against that and those who give it intellectual support.  This is a job that we all have to do, but the most important job is to defend the Jewish State.  This we are doing – this you are doing.  And I’m proud of you.  I think the whole people are proud of you. The friends of Israel, Jews and non-Jews alike are proud of you.

And I want to encourage you to progress personally, but also as a group.  I’d like to meet all of you in three years time.  Wait until you finish your service.  Tony this is a request that I make with my colleagues here.  I’d like to meet all of you, and when you finish your service to the army, I want to salute you again and I want to encourage you to rise and thrive in the one and only Jewish State.

Welcome to Israel.  Welcome home.  Thank you very much.

Israel Brief August 14, 2012: New olim joining the military land in Israel



New emigres joining the military land in Israel

Source: JTA, 8-14-12

A charter aliyah flight carrying 127 young men and women who will be joining the Israel Defense Forces landed in Israel….READ MORE

Israel Brief July 17, 2012: Nefesh B’Nefesh Marks 10th Anniversary with Planeload of Immigrants



Nefesh B’Nefesh marks 10th anniversary with planeload of immigrants

Source: JTA, 7-17-12

Nefesh B’Nefesh marked the 10th anniversary celebration of the founding of the group, which facilitates aliyah, with a planeload of new immigrants to Israel….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 22, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the MASA Mega Event — Tells Masa Participants: Israel is Your Country



Netanyahu to Masa Participants: Israel is Your Country

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addresses the thousands of young Jews who came to Israel as part of the Masa Israel project.

Source: Israel National News, 5-22-12

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed on Tuesday the thousands of young Jews from around the world who came to Israel as part of the Masa Israel project, which is co-sponsored by the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency.

In his speech, Netanyahu called on the participants to make aliyah to Israel and to defend Israel in their countries.

“You come from many different countries, but deep down this is your one ancestral home,” said Netanyahu. “Israel is your homeland, Israel is your birthright, and Israel is your future.”

He added, “We embrace and welcome all of you who are coming here physically to join us to build a Jewish future and we send with love all of you who are planning to go back to your countries. You’re taking back with you the truth. You can speak the truth about Israel, and that’s what I expect you to do.”

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky mentioned Aaron Zindani, the Jew who was murdered in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, and said to the youth, “We must do everything to protect the Jews of Yemen and Iran. On a day like this, when someone was killed just for being Jewish, you should know that if you are thinking about making aliyah you should not hesitate, but do it now.”

The Masa Israel project brings each year about 10,000 young Jews from around the world for study and volunteer in Israel. The project aims to strengthen ties between Israel and the Jewish world. Upon their return to their countries, many participants assume key positions in their communities and become ambassadors of Israel in their countries. In recent years, many Masa Israel participants have made aliyah.

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the MASA Mega Event

Source: PMO, 5-22-12

Natan Sharansky just said something absolutely shocking.  He said that there are differing opinions among Jews.  No!  That may imply that you have four people with four opinions.  See, it’s not true – it’s four people with eight opinions.  We debate, we argue, we discuss, we disagree.  Then we agree.

I’ll tell you what we agree on.  See, when Natan, who is a hero of the Jewish people, when he was jailed in the Soviet Union and he could have avoided going to jail; all he had to do was give up his desire to come to Zion, to come to Israel.  All he had to do was do that.  But he wouldn’t.  So they put him on trial, and they sentenced him to a long prison term.  And then they asked him, “Do you have anything to say?”  He said, “To you, this court, I have nothing to say, but to my people and to my beloved wife, I say, ‘Next year in Jerusalem'”.  That’s what we agree on.  This year in Jerusalem.

I am very happy to see all of you here, this year in Jerusalem.  I know that you’ve come here from many countries.  I have to say that I saw some of you outside, but you come from all over the world.  You come from Mexico, from Britain, from France, from Australia, Canada, Brazil.  What about Russia?  Or from the Ukraine?  But I gather there is no one here from the United States?

So, you come from many different countries, but deep down this is your one ancestral home.  This is your country.  Israel is your homeland; Israel is your birthright; and Israel is your future.  So, I want to ask a direct question: how many of you plan to make Aliyah?  Stand up if you’re making Aliyah.  That’s great.  Let’s give them all a round of applause.  Thank you.

Now, first of all, we embrace and welcome all of you who are coming here physically to join us to build the Jewish future, and we send with love all of you who are planning to go back to your countries, and I think Natan said a very important thing: you’re taking back with you something very, very precious.  You’re taking back with you the truth.  You can speak the truth about Israel.  And that’s what I expect you to do.  You see, there are many people around the world who, day in and day out, malign Israel.  It used to be acceptable to spread the vilest lies about the Jewish people, and now, unfortunately, it’s acceptable to spread the vilest lies about the Jewish state – to slander and malign Israel.

But all of you have gotten to see the truth for yourselves.  You’ve seen what a great nation this is.  You’ve seen the signs.  You’ve seen the technology.  You’ve seen the progress.  You’ve seen the growing, bustling cities.  You’ve seen fun.  There’s a lot of fun in Israel.  By the way, it’s not true that it’s only fun in Tel Aviv; it’s also fun in Jerusalem.  It’s great.  You’ve seen that Israel is an open, pluralistic society.  You’ve seen that in the Middle East, where the rights of women, gays, minorities – anyone who’s different or anyone who’s a minority or anyone who’s not cut from that rigid ideological cloth – you see that in Israel people are free; people are endowed with rights; that Israel as a liberal democracy stands out.  And you’ve seen about something else: how this nation cares about each and every individual.

You know, today we had a terrible tragedy in the North.  It was an entire family, eight souls that were lost in a tragic car accident.  And you know, the whole country is focused on one survivor, a little girl called Rachel.  Rachel, the entire nation is with you.  The entire nation embraces you.  Everybody embraces this little girl, and that’s the truth about Israel.  The whole world wondered how we could unite and sacrifice so much for a single soldier, just to return one soldier: Gilad Shalit.  We did that because we care about each and every life.  See, our enemies think that because they celebrate death – they have a cult of death – they think they’re strong and they think that because we celebrate life, we’re weak.  But it’s exactly the opposite.  We’re strong because we celebrate life and we’re strong because we’re prepared to defend our lives.  And Israel will win because Israel loves life.

I want you to go back to your countries, and I want you to do two things.  One: I want you to reconsider Aliyah, that’s the first, because you have a brilliant future here, brilliant future.   This is a cutting edge country – in technology, in agriculture, in medicine, in art, in literature.  In anything.  This is a country not only of a lot of opinions, but a lot of talents.  You know we have more Nobel Prizes per capita than any other country in the world?  Maybe one of them is sitting here.  We have tremendous opportunities for young people, but we have something that we can offer you that I think you’ve figured out in the time that you’ve been here, and when you leave, you’ll have a perspective.  This is where the heart is.  This is where the Jewish past and the Jewish future blend.  This is where you can shape not only your own individual lives, but the lives of our people, and we’ve travelled for nearly 4,000 years – 3,000 years in this city alone – to ensure our future.  Be part of it.  Don’t pass it up.  You can give deep meaning to your lives.  So I want you to reconsider Aliyah, and defend Israel.  Defend Israel by saying the truth and defend Israel by being proud – proud of your heritage, proud of your Jewish identity, proud of the fact that together, we’re building and ensuring our common Jewish future.

Thank you very much.  Thank you Masa.

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