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Purity of Arms

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Excerpt from Arik Sharon's Speech  E-mail

BEFORE AMERICAN JEWISH LEADERS IN NEW YORK

ON 22nd MAY, 2005

 

I am honored to stand here and feel the strong bond between Israel and the rest of the Jewish world. We share a history, and we share a future as well.

 

In 1948, the new State of Israel was forced to stand its ground against the armies of the combined Arab world. The survival of Israel was not at all certain. We had no choice but to fight for our lives. It seemed as if we stood alone.

 

But we were not alone. I had the honor of participating in the War of Independence and I still remember how I felt when I learned that volunteers from Jewish communities around the world were coming to help us. They risked, and sometimes lost, their lives in our War of Independence. At that time, this group of volunteers was known as Machal.

 

They were few, but their solidarity made a great moral contribution. They reassured us that our fight was the fight of Jews everywhere, that we were fighting for our sisters and brothers across the sea, as much as for our long-gone grandparents, and for our grandchildren yet to be born. They reassured us that the entire Jewish world was an interconnected whole.

 

Source: American Veterans of Israel newsletter – Spring, 2005