Netanyahu's speech in Toronto....
I am told that it’s been 32 years since an Israeli Prime Minister came to Toronto. Well, now everyone knows what they’ve been missing.
To the thousands of people inside this arena and outside this arena, I want to say thank you. Thank you for one of the warmest receptions I have ever received. Thank you for what is surely one of the warmest receptions any Israeli Prime Minister has ever received.
It is wonderful to be in Canada. The ties between Israel and Canada have never been stronger.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Prime Minister Harper. Prime Minister Harper has been an unwavering friend of Israel. He’s a great champion of Israel’s right to defend itself. He stands against all the efforts to deligitimize the Jewish state.
We deeply appreciate his support. I also want to thank the Canada-Israel Committee – a devoted group of leaders, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who work tirelessly to strengthen the bonds between our two countries.
I want to thank the Toronto Jewish Community and the Toronto Jewish federation. This community has a reputation for its passionate commitment to Israel.
Year after year, you march for Israel.
Year after year, you march for truth.
Year after year, you show us that we are not alone.
Though you are thousands of miles away, you are standing right by our side. Some Canadians do even more than that. A few weeks ago, I went up to Northern Israel to watch a military exercise. I met a young man named Jonathan Fader. He had a dirty uniform and his face was covered with camouflage paint.
Jonathan came to Israel for the first time on a Birthright Trip. He eventually made Aliyah as part of Nefesh B’Nefesh. Jonathan is here with us today. Jonathan, please stand up. Thank you for defending the one and only Jewish state.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I came here with a simple message: March with pride. March with clarity.
Because what you are marching against and what you are marching for could not be any clearer.
You march against those who hate freedom.
You march for those that cherish it.
You march against those who reject peace.
You march for a people that have yearned for peace since the day Israel was born.
You march against terrorists who target civilians.
You march for an army that targets terrorists.
You march against tyrannies whose laws repress women.
You march for a country whose Supreme Court, like Canada’s, is led by a woman.
You march against dictators who murder and torture their own people.
You march for a liberal, pluralistic democracy.
You march against those who glorify death.
You march for those who celebrate life.
You march for the values and ideals that Canadians and Israelis hold dear.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Israel faces great challenges faced by no other nation.
First and foremost is the challenge of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We must ensure that a regime that is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and shamelessly denies the Holocaust not acquire the weapons of mass death.
Second, Israel must ensure that peace is anchored in security. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past. When Israel left Lebanon, Iran moved in. When Israel left Gaza, Iran moved in.
We cannot afford to put a third Iranian terror base on the hills overlooking Tel Aviv. We must ensure that a future Palestinian state is effectively demilitarized. The people of Israel are prepared to make compromises for peace. But Israel will never compromise its security.
And I will insist that just as we are being asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians will have to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
For there to be peace, the Palestinians will have to recognize the Jewish state once and for all. The third challenge for Israel is repelling the escalating attacks on our legitimacy.
In the United Nations or on a college campus, we must fight back against the lies and distortions. We must learn the truth and defend it in every forum.
The challenges we face may seem truly daunting. But if anyone here has any doubt about what Israel can achieve, think about what Israel has already achieved. When the State of Israel was established, only 5% of the world’s Jews lived there. Today, nearly half of the world’s Jews live in Israel.
Israel began as a poor country with hardly any natural resources. Today, it is a high tech power. A few days ago Israel was accepted as a member of the OECD, the world’s most developed economies.
Israeli technology is powering the world’s computers, our scientists are winning Nobel Prizes, and our doctors are curing rare diseases. Our agricultural know-how is irrigating arid lands and our expertise is bringing aid to disaster victims around the globe.
Israel has defeated armies bent on its destruction, overcome terrorists that obey no moral code and fight the greatest slanders that have been directed against any people.
Alone among nations, Israel is openly threatened by annihilation. Alone among nations, Israel must constantly defend its very right to exist. But Israel is also a nation that has defied the laws of history. After thousands of years, we restored our sovereignty in our ancient homeland, revived an ancient language, and ingathered exiles from across the globe.
We realized the ancient dream of our people to rebuild Jerusalem, the eternal united capital of the Jewish people. Most important, we regained the power of self-defense after being a powerless people subject to every evil under the sun.
Those who thought that the establishment of Israel would stop the attacks against the Jewish people were wrong. They did not stop. Not even for a single day.
But Israel has given us the power to repel those attacks. There are those who want to strip Israel of that power. I promise you that they will fail.
Israel will never, ever give up the power to defend itself.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for being here today.
Thank you for standing up for truth.
Thank you for standing up for democracy.
Thank you for standing up for Israel.