update deskJewish Diaspora

Isaac Herzog broadcasts live from Western Wall to ‘March for Israel’ in Washington

“When the sounds of life and laughter return to the villages, the kibbutzim and the cities, our constant yearning for peace will return as well,” said the Israeli president.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog speaks from the Western Wall in Jerusalem to the crowd gathered at the “March for Israel” rally in Washington, Nov. 14, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog speaks from the Western Wall in Jerusalem to the crowd gathered at the “March for Israel” rally in Washington, Nov. 14, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog broadcast a live address from the Western Wall in Jerusalem to the hundreds of thousands of participants at the “March for Israel” rally on Nov. 14 in Washington, D.C.

Below is the full text:

“Sisters and brothers, I am speaking to you from the single most sacred site in the Jewish world—the Kotel—the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Kotel that reminds us that Am Yisrael chai (‘the people of Israel live’), we the people of Israel, are eternal and no one will break us.

“From the Jewish symbol of the fulfillment of our ancient dreams to the American symbols of freedom, liberty and democracy. Thank you, all people of goodwill, friends from different communities, faiths and denominations, who have gathered today for this massive show of solidarity.

“In the State of Israel’s darkest moment you stood up and declared: Hineini, I am here. We are here. There is no greater and more just cause than this. Today, we come together, as a family, one big Mishpacha, to march for Israel. To march for the babies, the boys and girls, women and men viciously held hostage by Hamas. To march for the right of every Jew to live proudly and safely in America, in Israel and around the world. Above all, we come together to march for good over evil, for human morality over blood thirst. We march for light over darkness.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog lights memorial candles in Jerusalem for the 1,200 lives lost to the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel, Nov. 14, 2023. Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO.

“Eighty years ago, Jews came out of Auschwitz and vowed ‘never again.’ As the blue-and-white flag was hoisted over our ancient homeland, we vowed ‘never again.’ Forty days ago, a terrorist army invaded the sovereign State of Israel and butchered hundreds upon hundreds of Israelis in the largest massacre since the Holocaust. Let us cry out, together: Never again. Never again is now.

“The Hamas savagery and crimes against humanity bring to mind, as President Biden has said, ‘the worst rampages of ISIS.’ We, the people of Israel are grateful to President Biden, his Administration, and so many Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. The moral clarity and bold actions of our American allies, demonstrate the depth of the US-Israel alliance, which is stronger than ever before.

“Since Oct. 7, Israeli society and the Jewish People have truly come together in unison. We feel our hearts beat as one. We hear our brothers’ and sisters’ blood crying out to us from the ground: ‘The blood of our brothers calls out from the ground.’ Once again in Jewish history we demand: Let our people go. Whilst our loved ones are held captive in Gaza, and our soldiers are fighting for our beloved Israel—Jews all over the world are assaulted for being Jewish. The hatred, the lies, the brutality, the disgraceful outburst of ancient antisemitism are an embarrassment to all civilized people and nations.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog puts a note in the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem as a prayer for the Israeli hostages and the Jewish people, Nov. 14, 2023. Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO.

“Jews in America must be safe. Jews all over the world must be safe.

”I salute you, the women and men who stand up to massive hatred and pressure in the community or on campus. Just as you stand with us, we stand with you.

“Dear friends, as President of the State of Israel, I vow to you from Jerusalem, from the Kotel, that we will heal, we will rise again, and we will rebuild.

“To paraphrase the Prophet Zechariah: Boys and girls shall once again play in the streets of Be’eri and Sderot, and the elderly shall sit peacefully by the walkways of Nahal Oz and Ofakim. And when the sounds of life and laughter return to the villages, the kibbutzim and the cities, our constant yearning for peace will return as well.

“Together, we pray for the safe return of our hostages. Together, we pray for the full recovery of the wounded. And together we pray for our beloved sons and daughters in the IDF. May God bless them and keep them. Together we grieve and together we shall overcome. Am Yisrael Chai (‘the People of Israel lives’). God bless Israel. God bless America.”

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