Natan Sharansky just said something absolutely shocking. He said that there are differing opinions among Jews. No! That may imply that you have four people with four opinions. See, it's not true – it's four people with eight opinions. We debate, we argue, we discuss, we disagree. Then we agree.
I'll tell you what we agree on. See, when Natan, who is a hero of the Jewish people, when he was jailed in the Soviet Union and he could have avoided going to jail; all he had to do was give up his desire to come to Zion, to come to Israel. All he had to do was do that. But he wouldn't. So they put him on trial, and they sentenced him to a long prison term. And then they asked him, "Do you have anything to say?" He said, "To you, this court, I have nothing to say, but to my people and to my beloved wife, I say, 'Next year in Jerusalem'". That's what we agree on. This year in Jerusalem.
I am very happy to see all of you here, this year in Jerusalem. I know that you've come here from many countries. I have to say that I saw some of you outside, but you come from all over the world. You come from Mexico, from Britain, from France, from Australia, Canada, Brazil. What about Russia? Or from the Ukraine? But I gather there is no one here from the United States?
So, you come from many different countries, but deep down this is your one ancestral home. This is your country. Israel is your homeland; Israel is your birthright; and Israel is your future. So, I want to ask a direct question: how many of you plan to make Aliyah? Stand up if you're making Aliyah. That's great. Let's give them all a round of applause. Thank you.
Now, first of all, we embrace and welcome all of you who are coming here physically to join us to build the Jewish future, and we send with love all of you who are planning to go back to your countries, and I think Natan said a very important thing: you're taking back with you something very, very precious. You're taking back with you the truth. You can speak the truth about Israel. And that's what I expect you to do. You see, there are many people around the world who, day in and day out, malign Israel. It used to be acceptable to spread the vilest lies about the Jewish people, and now, unfortunately, it's acceptable to spread the vilest lies about the Jewish state – to slander and malign Israel.
But all of you have gotten to see the truth for yourselves. You've seen what a great nation this is. You've seen the signs. You've seen the technology. You've seen the progress. You've seen the growing, bustling cities. You've seen fun. There's a lot of fun in Israel. By the way, it's not true that it's only fun in Tel Aviv; it's also fun in Jerusalem. It's great. You've seen that Israel is an open, pluralistic society. You've seen that in the Middle East, where the rights of women, gays, minorities – anyone who's different or anyone who's a minority or anyone who's not cut from that rigid ideological cloth – you see that in Israel people are free; people are endowed with rights; that Israel as a liberal democracy stands out. And you've seen about something else: how this nation cares about each and every individual.
You know, today we had a terrible tragedy in the North. It was an entire family, eight souls that were lost in a tragic car accident. And you know, the whole country is focused on one survivor, a little girl called Rachel. Rachel, the entire nation is with you. The entire nation embraces you. Everybody embraces this little girl, and that's the truth about Israel. The whole world wondered how we could unite and sacrifice so much for a single soldier, just to return one soldier: Gilad Shalit. We did that because we care about each and every life. See, our enemies think that because they celebrate death – they have a cult of death – they think they're strong and they think that because we celebrate life, we're weak. But it's exactly the opposite. We're strong because we celebrate life and we're strong because we're prepared to defend our lives. And Israel will win because Israel loves life.
I want you to go back to your countries, and I want you to do two things. One: I want you to reconsider Aliyah, that's the first, because you have a brilliant future here, brilliant future. This is a cutting edge country – in technology, in agriculture, in medicine, in art, in literature. In anything. This is a country not only of a lot of opinions, but a lot of talents. You know we have more Nobel Prizes per capita than any other country in the world? Maybe one of them is sitting here. We have tremendous opportunities for young people, but we have something that we can offer you that I think you've figured out in the time that you've been here, and when you leave, you'll have a perspective. This is where the heart is. This is where the Jewish past and the Jewish future blend. This is where you can shape not only your own individual lives, but the lives of our people, and we've travelled for nearly 4,000 years – 3,000 years in this city alone – to ensure our future. Be part of it. Don't pass it up. You can give deep meaning to your lives. So I want you to reconsider Aliyah, and defend Israel. Defend Israel by saying the truth and defend Israel by being proud – proud of your heritage, proud of your Jewish identity, proud of the fact that together, we're building and ensuring our common Jewish future.
Thank you very much. Thank you Masa.