Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited a school in the community of Yad Binyamin at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, where he compared Israel’s absorption of Jewish refugees to the Palestinians’ perpetuation of its refugee status.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Breuer state religious elementary school in Yad Binyamin this morning, on the occasion of the start of the 2018-2019 school year, and made the following remarks:"This community has absorbed people who were uprooted from Gush Katif. The lives of people who were uprooted from Gush Katif could have been a tragedy, a terrible disaster. It started with terrible pain but the State of Israel and all the citizens of Israel worked together so that the people who were uprooted from Gush Katif would not be refugees in their country. We absorbed them and they resumed their lives, their splendid lives. There are memories but there is the present and the future which have already changed, and this gives new life and great hope.This is what we did in the State of Israel, even when we did something that I think should not have been done but happened – we dealt with the problem. And haven't uprooted people come to us from all kinds of countries? Holocaust survivors who were torn from their land? From communities that they had lived in, in Lithuania – for 500 years, from Poland – for 1,000 years. They were uprooted, survived and came here. Did we leave them as refugees? No, we absorbed them, from Arab countries as well. They were uprooted, from the same war, the war of liberation. Hundreds of thousands of Jews who came here as refugees without anything; they left all their property behind (http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Issues/Pages/Jewish-refugees-expelled-from-Arab-lands-and-from-Iran-29-November-2016.aspx). We did not leave them as refugees; we turned them into equal citizens, who contribute, in our state.This is not what is happening with the Palestinians. There they created a unique institution, 70 years ago, not to absorb the refugees but to perpetuate them. Therefore the US has done a very important thing by halting the financing for the refugee perpetuation agency known as UNRWA. It is finally beginning to resolve the problem. The funds must be taken and used to genuinely help rehabilitate the refugees, the true number of which is much smaller than the number reported by UNRWA. This is a welcome and important change and we support it."Video: Etay Beit-On, GPOSound: Ben Peretz, GPO
Posted by The Prime Minister of Israel on Sunday, September 2, 2018