I am happy to send you greetings from Jerusalem, the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Even though I cannot be there with you, I am pleased to know that you are demonstrating the unity of the Jewish world.
Our unity at this time is crucial. Implementing Disengagement was very difficult and very painful. It was necessary, however, in order to preserve a Jewish and democratic Israel, with permanent, secure and recognized borders. Only this way can we ensure Israel as a homeland for generations to come. Now we must move forward together to make this future a reality.
Israel is a homeland not just for our children, but also for yours. That is why increasing aliyah is a challenge that we share. We must work to encourage aliyah from the United States, Canada and the rest of the western world. On this note, let me commend the Nefesh B’Nefesh program for the important role that it is playing in increasing the number of olim from North America. Together with the Jewish Agency, we support the Nefesh B’Nefesh program, and it is my intention to introduce a Government Resolution in that spirit.
I would also like to commend you for Operation Promise and its role in promoting aliyah from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union. Your support for this program shows that Jews spread throughout the world truly are one people.
Over the last few years, my government has made a strategic decision to encourage Jewish education throughout the world by supporting programs like Masa and birthright israel. Our cooperation in these areas is very important, and I am confident that it will continue to build bridges between Israel and the rest of the Jewish world.
Through Masa and birthright we say in one voice to Jewish youth around the globe: “come and share in the Israeli experience. Make it part of your life today, so it will secure your future tomorrow."
On behalf of the State of Israel, please accept my most sincere gratitude for all you have done and continue to do.
Thank you, and let me wish you a very productive General Assembly.