Jerusalem: Israel`s hawkish Premier Benjamin
Netanyahu Sunday invoked the Jewish state`s visionary Theodor
Herzl to press the point that his country should not rely on
foreigners, at a time when long-time ally US is pressuring it
to revisit its policy on settlements.
Netanyahu opened the weekly cabinet meeting, two days
ahead of the Independence Day celebrations, recalling Herzl`s
statement:” Don’t rely on the help of foreigners".
"On June 11, 1901, Herzl said something that captured me.
`Do not rely on the help of foreigners, nor on benefactors.
And do not expect stones to become soft because benefactors
give humiliating donations. A nation that wants to stand
upright must rely on itself alone," he said.
There is unrelenting pressure from the US administration
on Israel to freeze constructions in disputed areas in order
to resume peace talks with the Palestinians.
The cabinet marked the 150th birth anniversary of Herzl,
credited with the idea of creating a Jewish state.
"I was not familiar with this quote, but you learn
something interesting and important every day," the
premier?was quoted by Ynetnews as saying.
Netanyahu`s comments were not directly in reference to
Israel`s ties with the US, but at a time when the Obama
administration continues to pressure the Israeli government,
the connection is hard to overlook, the news portal said.
"The 62nd Independence Day marks the State`s achievements
on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Herzl, the man who
began his activity at age 36 and ended it at age 44.
"In eight years he changed the history of the Jewish
people and the history of mankind", he said.
"He took a scattered people and gathered it. He foresaw
the deterioration in Europe. It is incorrect that he did not
write about the Holocaust he wrote about it dozens of
times," Netanyahu added as the nation gears to celebrate
Independence Day on Tuesday as per Hebrew calendar.
Meanwhile, hours before the start of the Memorial Day,
Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced that the government
plans to build a national memorial hall for the nation`s
22,682 fallen soldiers and victims of terror attacks.
The hall will be erected at the Mount Herzl military
cemetery in Jerusalem, and will serve to immortalise all of
Israel`s fallen in one place.
"Erecting the memorial hall is another step toward
immortalising the fallen`s legacy and memory," Barak said.
The total figure includes the fallen since 1860, when the
Jews of Jerusalem began building neighbourhoods outside the
walls of the Old city.