The strength of Israel’s army is the finest answer to global anti-Semitism, Benjamin Netanyahu said, in response to a poll that showed over a quarter of Europeans believe that Israeli leadership itself fuels anti-Jewish sentiment.
“The best answer to anti-Semitism is the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is the currently serving as interim defense minister, told his troops on Tuesday. “Once we were a leaf driven by the wind; they could slaughter us. Today, we have the power to respond.”
Since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the IDF has served as the backbone of Israeli sovereignty, not shy to go war, whenever there was “no other choice.” The fighting spirit of the IDF, Netanyahu believes, stretches all the way back to ancient times when the Maccabees, a group of Jewish warriors, took control of Judea from the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BC.
“The spirit of the Maccabees is here – you are the Maccabees. We overcome our enemies with the extraordinary strength and extraordinary spirit that I see here, that I see in the IDF and all our warriors,” Netanyahu said.
Denying Israel’s right to exist is the ‘ultimate’ form of anti-Semitism, the Israeli PM noted earlier in the day, denouncing the results of a poll which discovered that more than 28 percent of Europeans believe that anti-Jewish sentiments in their countries are mostly fueled by the actions of the Israeli leadership itself. Some 18 percent, meanwhile, said that anti-Semitism was a response to the everyday behavior of Jewish people.
“Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, anti-Israeli polices –the idea that the Jewish people don’t have the right for a state, that’s the ultimate anti-Semitism of today,” Netanyahu told CNN, responding to the poll results. “I think anti-Semitism is an ancient disease and when it rears its ugly head, it first attacks the Jews, but it never stops with that, and then it sweeps entire societies.”
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