(via Lubavitch and Jpost).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was guest of honor at a Tel Aviv banquet Thursday evening, celebrating 20 years of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS.
Addressing the crowd of Chabad emissaries and friends, Netanyahu praised Chabad’s work in the Former Soviet Union.
“You stand atop of the mountain, And the Jewish people gathered at its base salute you. I am the first [to do so.]”
“Everywhere in the Soviet Union, there was darkness and you brought light"..
“We are all fighting the same fight and share a joint mission for the sake of the Jewish people and the Jewish homeland. With you, we embrace the communities of the Diaspora all over the world".
'We are celebrating tonight the return to Israel of a large tribe [of the Jewish people]. You strengthened it and helped build the State of Israel.”
In his speech, the prime minister also reiterated his opposition to the Palestinians move to declare Statehood at the UN in September, insisting that such a “unilateral step would not bring peace closer.”
“If they [the Palestinians] really wanted peace they would sit down for negotiations, without preconditions. There is no replacement for negotiations, We are not strangers in this land. The conflict is not about a Palestinian state and never has been. It’s about the existence of a Jewish state, which they still don’t accept.”