After darkness comes light – WZO

After darkness comes light

Good afternoon! My name is Marina Rosenberg-Korytnaya. I am the head of the Department of Repatriation Support of the World Zionist Organization. Thank you very much for coming. In my line of work, I have to meet and speak in front of different people, but no audience means as much to me as meeting with […]

Good afternoon! My name is Marina Rosenberg-Korytnaya. I am the head of the Department of Repatriation Support of the World Zionist Organization. Thank you very much for coming.

In my line of work, I have to meet and speak in front of different people, but no audience means as much to me as meeting with Jews living abroad who come to learn more about Israel. And I am proud to have been invited to speak to you!

Unfortunately, our meeting takes place at a difficult time. The events of October 7th plunged the world into darkness. I was in those burned kibbutzim. It is impossible to convey in words what I saw there. It is important to understand that among the residents of these kibbutzim, many believed in peaceful coexistence, invited residents of Gaza to work, helped them and their family members receive treatment in Israeli hospitals. And these very peaceful Palestinians, who worked for them, visited their homes, accepted gifts, on October 7th came to kill, rape, take hostages, including infants and the elderly, along with other terrorists.

For two months now, our country has been waging an uncompromising war with HAMAS, which has turned the Gaza Strip into a large terrorist camp. And all this time, Israel has been subjected to unprecedented pressure from the UN, governments, and international organizations, demanding that we leave the murderers unpunished. We are witnessing a surge of anti-Semitism in universities in the USA and many European countries. Today, famous musicians, actors, and university professors stand up as defenders of HAMAS.

What does this tell us? It tells us that anti-Semitism has not disappeared anywhere. It was just restrained by cultural taboos and norms of decency. The events of October 7th let it out, and for us, what is happening has become another reminder that violence and hatred have been part of the Jewish condition for many centuries.

These days, the Jewish world celebrates Hanukkah. Hanukkah for most modern Jews has always been a joyful festival of self-affirmation and pride in belonging to their people.

But this year, the holiday is overshadowed by the terrible events of October 7th, depriving many of peace and a sense of joy. Celebrating Hanukkah this year cannot be separated from the war and the rise of anti-Semitism.

Hanukkah is celebrated in honor of the victory of ancient Jewish warriors and the divine miracle that allowed a drop of oil to burn in the menorah of the liberated temple for all 8 days. Therefore, Hanukkah is called the festival of lights, the festival of liberation.

Accepting pain and loss, we believe that Israel will win and the Jewish people will stand firm. Today, more than ever, Aliyah is important – it is the foundation for the future of Israel and the security of Jews.

If in the past the Jewish people needed their own state, today the Jewish state needs its people!

The Law of Return is not only the basis of Zionism but also an expression of our historical right to Eretz Israel.

The Law of Return recognizes the right to repatriation of Jews and their spouses, children, and grandchildren. About twenty-four million people can take advantage of this right.

This Aliyah Fair will allow you to learn more about Israel, perhaps take another step towards it. Remember, we consider all of you Israelis, just living at a different address for now.

Once again, I congratulate everyone on Hanukkah, our common holiday, and remember that after darkness comes light!

13 Dec 2023
3 min read
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