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Wednesday, November 14, 2012
PM Netanyahus Sigd Holiday Greetings

PM Netanyahu's Sigd Holiday Greetings

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's greetings on the occasion
of the Sigd
http://www.knesset.gov.il/lexicon/eng/sigd_eng.htm
holiday:

"Honored kesim, spiritual leaders and public figures, dear members of the
Ethiopian community.

I greet all of you on the occasion of Sigd which you are now celebrating.

According to ancient tradition, this is holiday is doubly significant:
Private and public introspection, and strengthening unity among the
community.

The State of Israel recognizes Sigd as an official holiday. In recent years,
I have learned about the leaders and traditions of your magnificent
community, and I have studied about your cultural and religious wealth. I
think that the time has come for the entire Israeli public to recognize the
beauty and uniqueness of the Ethiopian community. No less important than
this is to assist you in your long journey to integrate into Israeli
society.

And indeed, in recent years there has been great progress, because members
of the community have by their actions proven their contributions to
Israeli society and to the state: In the IDF, the economy, culture, science,
academia and in other aspects of life.

We, as public leaders, need to continue to strengthen and deepen this trend.

I want to tell you that when I was at the memorial ceremony on Mt. Herzl for
those who perished en route to the Land of Israel, I was so moved. There was
not a dry eye there after hearing the stories of the tragedies, the
sacrifice, the suffering and the spiritual elevation in reaching the Land of
Israel.

I know that if there are people, whole communities among our people, that
understand the yearning for Zion and who were prepared to go on the road to
Zion, entailing the most awful hardships these are the members of the
Ethiopian community.

Therefore, it is important to me that all children in Israel know this, that
they are familiar with the heritage, the sacrifice and the contribution. I
want our state to be completely open, not only in terms of partnership and
equal opportunities this is clear, but also in recognizing the greatness
of the contribution and the heart among our brothers in the Ethiopian
community. I take you to my heart and bless you on this holiday, your
holiday, which is also our holiday."

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