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JewishJournal.com

January 5, 2012

Become Israel advocates, Netanyahu urges Birthright participants

http://www.jewishjournal.com/israel/article/become_israel_advocates_netanyahu_urges_birthright_participants_20120105

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a Taglit-Birthright Israel event in Jerusalem on Jan. 4. Photo by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a Taglit-Birthright Israel event in Jerusalem on Jan. 4. Photo by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Israel’s prime minister called on participants in the Birthright Israel program to become advocates to for Israel when they return home.

“I want you to enjoy yourselves, go back to your homeland and tell the truth about Israel. Tell them about a country where you can be free, free to work, free to criticize the government.  A country in which a woman is the Supreme Court Chief Justice, a woman is a general in the military, and a country in which a woman can sit anywhere she wants to,” Benjamin Netanyahu told some 3,000 Birthright participants Wednesday at the Taglit-Birthright Mega Event in Jerusalem.

“The most important battle is the battle for the truth.  And all of you can become an ambassador for Israel. And whether you come here or whether you stay where you are, be proud of your birthright,” he said. “You all come from great countries, but you all come from here.  We all started here many years ago, and we all came back here.”

Major birthright funders Michael Steinhardt and Lynn Schusterman also spoke at the event.

The Birthright program, which provides free ten-day trips to Israel for Jewish adults between the ages of 18 to 26, is entering its 13th year. Nearly 300,000 Jews from 54 countries have participated in the program.

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