While speaking a the restoration ceremony of an historic Mishkenot windmill orignally built in 1858 by Moses Montefoire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu tributed Christian Zionism with the rebirth and success of Zionism and the Jewish state. The following are excerpts from his speech.
“I don’t believe that the Jewish State and Modern Zionism would have been possible without Christian Zionism. I think that the many Christian supporters of the rebirth of the Jewish State and the ingathering of the Jewish people in the 19th century made possible the rise of Jewish Zionism – modern Jewish Zionism. We always had the deeply ingrained desire to come back to our land and rebuild it. This is a prayer of the millennia of the Jewish people – that it was made possible in the 19th century, by the resurgence of Christian Zionism and European support for Zionism, most especially in Great Britain – The PEF, the Palestine Exploration Fund, which was a scientific fund created by Queen Victoria, and the many Christian friends that we had, including Dutch people in the 19th century, Americans, Englishmen, Frenchmen, who visited the Holy Land by the hundreds, including famous writers. We spoke about the barrenness of the land and the hope that the Jews would come back to reclaim this land as part of the parable of humanity, the hope that there’s hope, and this created the practical foundation, the political foundation for the emergence of Zionism. So that’s the first component. It’s well represented here today by our Dutch friends, who have been supporting Israel with their hearts, and with everything that you can, we know the depth of this support. We appreciate it deeply. We value our friends, and we never forget them, and we think that you have helped establish here a powerful memorial to our friendship and our common ideals. So thank you.”
After speaking about two more vital components to the success of Zion, PM Natanyahu remembered the economic contribution to the refounding of Israel and his rebuilding efforts being commemorated. Hw went to honor all of past and present Jews returned, settled, and rebuilt Zion.
Next, PM Netanyahu shared a story about his childhood experiences growing up in the same neighborhood in Jerusalem where daily saw now restored windmill towering above. I still serves as a symbol of the unity of effort that Jews and non-Jews continue to make to Zionism reality.
PM Netanyahu concluded his speech by saying:
“For us, this was a constant celebration but today it is a special celebration, because we are marking the restoration of this asset which will serve all residents of Jerusalem and Israel, as well as the tourists who come here, and this is a symbol of the spirit of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a material city but it is also a city of the spirit. Here is the windmill* in the positive sense of the word. I think that the many Israelis who come here will remember the picture of Moses Montefiore and his family and will rejoice that in Jerusalem everything continues to turn, develop and prosper.”