Mofaz addresses JNF Gala Dinner

September 12, 2016 by Roz Tarszisz
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Over 800 guests learned about the particular difficulties for a young man living in the Negev town of Ofakim and keynote speaker Lt. Gen (Ret.) Shaul Mofaz gave a moving address at JNF’s Gala Dinner in Sydney

After a viewing a film about the aim of providing economic certainty for the towns in Israel’s South and encouraging families to move to Ofakim, Tal Megera, a 27 year old resident of the town, admitted it was not easy to attract other young people to live there.


Lt. Gen (Ret.) Shaul Mofaz

Admitting the difficulty of life being interrupted by sirens and rockets, he said that there are also economic and social difficulties and emphasised that the future lies in bringing new opportunities to the area so people can live there and work further away.

“There is now a train line that can take us anywhere in Israel. Thousands more jobs are only an hour or so away”.

“A stronger Ofakim is a stronger Negev and a stronger Israel. The Vatikim River Reserve project will help change the face of Ofakim” said Megera.

Mofaz, former IDF Chief of Staff and former Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, shared his pride and sadness in taking part in the Entebbe rescue operation of 1976 and while there have been many other operations said “this is the one that takes our breath away”.

Tal Megera

Tal Megera

“Overnight, it proved dramatically to Israelis and to the entire the world that no distance is too great, no operation too complicated to protect our people”.

“All Jews are responsible for each other.  This operation symbolises the best of the IDF, its courage, its values and its integrity” he said.

He spoke about the new antisemitism of BDS and the many dramatic changes in the entire Middle East in the past five years which have led to a massive movement of refugees to Europe and other countries. The unknown number of Islamic terrorists who are able to explore “the openness of the West” and the rise of ISIS “seeking to impose 7th century culture using modern tools” are a great threat.

In a crises, Mofaz emphasised that Israel must remain strong, and along with its allies, harness all diplomatic avenues before using military power.   He emphasised that the diaspora is one of Israel’s strengths and by supporting communities like Ofakim, JNF Australia helps make the Negev a life-giving force for the entire country.

Virtuoso shofar and trumpet player Arik Davidov provided lively entertainment.

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