28 May 2013
I commend all the delegates attending the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism.
There were two myths about antisemitism. The first was that after the Holocaust antisemitism would disappear. And the second was that with the creation of the Jewish state, antisemitism would disappear. That didn't happen. Neither one of them. In fact, the antisemites took a respite after the Holocaust, but that's all it was. It was a brief intermission.
And what was unfashionable is now becoming fashionable again. After the rise of Israel, what is fashionable today is to say, "Well, I don't hate Jews, I just don't think they should have a state." Or, effectively, that their state is an illegitimate one that doesn't have the right to exist.
To further this attack on the Jewish state, three arguments are put forward by the antisemites all the time, and they are false all the time.
The first is that Israel is guilty of war crimes. We, who fight war criminals with measured means, whose cities are attacked by terrorists who fire from built-up areas and try to pinpoint the rocketeers - we are accused of war crimes by the war criminals. That is one facet of the vilification that we experience.
The second is that we are expansionists, we don't want peace, we never agree to compromise. That's patently false. The State of Israel repeatedly has offered concessions, has made concessions for peace that no other people, no other state has made in history. I don't know of any other case in which the victor made concessions in order to achieve peace, but we've done it again and again.
We are prepared to compromise for peace - for a genuine peace. This is our most reverent hope, to live in peace with our neighbors. It is not reciprocated as much as we want, and recently it is not reciprocated at all. We can only hope that it will change.
The third argument is that we are violators of human rights. Did you hear that? Israel, the one country in the vast expanse that recognizes the rights of everyone - women, minorities, every individual - who have access to the best court system in the world. Israel has a free press and a vibrant democracy, and Israel is accused of violating human rights. This is when in our neighborhood hundreds of people are killed daily, massacred daily in neighboring regimes.
These three vilifications - that Israel is guilty of war crimes, that it doesn't want peace, it wants to continue expansionist policies, and that we are guilty of violating human rights - are part and parcel of the antisemitic campaign that is leveled against the Jewish people and their state.
That's by way of saying: You have a lot of tasks before you and I hope you're up to it. I'm sure that you believe there is only one remedy for the slander, and that's the truth. And I encourage you to fight and win the battle of truth.