Prime Minister Ehud Olmert participated in a symposium dealing with the subject of the Jewish identity of the State of Israel – religious Zionism as a major force in the national debate.
The symposium was held at the Israeli Democracy Institute with professors and religious figures, and dealt with issues such as religion and the State, Israel as a Jewish state, conversion, and more.
During the symposium PM Olmert said that “the religious-Zionist public is currently in a very difficult crisis due to the public debate which raised basic questions about the nature of the state as they see it. This public needs to deal with a difficult experience of coming to terms with relinquishing territory and settlements. We need to understand their plight and find a way for an honest discussion of the matter.”
Olmert went on to say that there are many Israelis who have served in Judea-Samaria and have participated in enforcing Israel’s policies there despite their objection to these policies and say that these policies ruin the social fabric of our nation. He added that it cannot be that Zionism would be defined only on the basis of support or opposition to the disengagement process. “Anyone who believes in the right of the Israeli People to live in a sovereign Jewish state in any part of Israel is a Zionist,” Olmert said.