Canada Celebrates Israel (Full transcript of Speech)
Dear friends, honored guests- Shalom!
Looking into the audience today, I see so many different faces, some familiar, and some I hope to get to know. Behind each face, there is another life story, an amalgamation of experiences, a collection of beliefs that have made us individuals. Yet one thing unites us this evening and always: I’m of course talking about ISRAEL.
Jerusalem, the capital of Israel is explicitly mentioned 647 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is referred to as the place where the Israelites lived and swelled and experienced great joy; the very same place they passionately worshipped and vehemently defended. It is the place where royalty was anointed and reigned, where prophecies were revealed, where leaders were created and then defeated, where miracles occurred. Its walls witnessed the grandeur of the Davidic dynasty and the splendor of the first and second holy Temples. The city survived sieges and wars and all-out destruction, yet it was restored and rebuilt and continues to thrive to this very day. It is a place that saw greatness and holiness and still does. It is a place that welcomed and welcomes annual pilgrimages on behalf of its countless admirers.
A passage in the book of 2 Kings tells us it is a place of such merit that the LORD "will put His name." Indeed, it holds a central position in the heart of three faiths.
Jerusalem, the glorious city, to which all this is attributed, is the very city that holds our shared history, heritage and values. Jerusalem is the reason why we, Jews and Christians must present a united front in the face of the current obstacles Israel must overcome, including the campaign to defame and slander the State.
Until now, Israel, and the Jewish people have enjoyed a very amicable and loyal relationship with its Christian friends. Since Independence, in 1948, Christians worldwide have rallied unparalleled support for the state and that has certainly not gone unnoticed. Christians have equally been affected, and in turn, threatened by the numerous challenges thrust upon our common homeland.
Rather than cowering, the Christian community worldwide has invested in deeds and in spirit.
At the beginning of the last decade, when tourism in Israel was dramatically low, as a result of the Second Intifada- Christian pilgrims stood bravely and steadfastly in their support as they continued to visit Israel’s holy sites.
For decades and right up until the present day, Israel has been on the frontlines of the war on terrorism. Our Judeo-Christian values and our beloved city have suffered tremendously, as a result.
This reminds us that the problems are not exclusive to that tiny land mass in the Middle East, they effect each and every one of us who believes in and stands for the Judeo-Christian moral code of ethics.
It is no coincidence that Christians and Jews are at long last rejoining, in the very same city where we parted ways over two thousand years ago, and here tonight in Montreal. A challenge is before us, to defend Israel and truly allow its light to shine upon all nations.
On behalf of the State of Israel, I urge you to step up to this challenge through words, through actions, through united voices and visits.
I thank-you for being here with us this evening, and in Israel, always.
Good night and G-D Bless!