Jews can live anywhere in Israel, deputy PM tells ZOA

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel’s deputy prime minister said Israel will "not compromise on the right of Jews to live in any part of Eretz Yisrael."

"We do not accept that Arabs can live anywhere, whereas Jews may not live in some parts of Eretz Yisrael," Moshe Yaalon told a crowd of 700 at the Zionist Organization of America’s annual dinner Sunday in New York.

Also speaking at the dinner was U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the minority whip of the House of Representatives. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered brief remarks by videotape.

"We must answer our enemies’ dangerous resurgence with renewed vigilance, lest we invite greater dangers for both Israel and the United States," Cantor said. He added that "too many American Jews have become desensitized to the fires that threaten the Jews of Israel and of Europe."

"Israel’s security is synonymous with our own," Cantor said. "Her enemies are our enemies — and polite silence amounts to complicity in our own demise."

Netanyahu lauded the evening’s honoree, philanthropist and Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson, as "the most committed Zionist I have ever
known" and praised the ZOA as an organization that "refuses to compromise on the truth regardless of prevailing fashion and no matter what the costs may be."

Yaalon was booed briefly — by what ZOA President Morton Klein described as a handful of people — when he spoke about Israel’s 10-month settlement freeze.

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