The Times of Israel:
The prime minister of Israel is “by design, the leader of the Jewish world,” the director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office said Saturday.
During a Shabbat sermon in a Manhattan synagogue, Eli Groner several times referred to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the “leader of the Jewish people” and of the “Jewish world,” implying that he earned that title by virtue of heading the government of the only Jewish state.
Netanyahu himself reminded us of this last week at the UN General Assembly (Transcript from Times of Israel):
Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you greetings from Jerusalem. The city in which the Jewish People’s hopes and prayers for peace for all of humanity have echoed throughout the ages….
[T]hroughout our history, the Jewish people have learned the heavy price of silence. And as the Prime Minister of the Jewish State, as someone who knows that history, I refuse to be silent. I’ll say it again: The days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies – those days are over…
I stand here today representing Israel, a country 67 years young, but the nation-state of a people nearly 4,000 years old. Yet the empires of Babylon and Rome are not represented in this hall of nations. Neither is the Thousand Year Reich. Those seemingly invincible empires are long gone. But Israel lives. The people of Israel live.
עם ישראל חי. [Am Yisrael Chai, Hebrew for the previous sentence]
The re-birth of Israel is a testament to the indomitable spirit of my people.
For a hundred generations, the Jewish people dreamed of returning to the Land of Israel. Even in our darkest hours, and we had so many, even in our darkest hours we never gave up hope of rebuilding our eternal capital Jerusalem. The establishment of Israel made realizing that dream possible. It has enabled us to live as a free people in our ancestral homeland. It’s enabled us to embrace Jews who’ve come from the four corners of the earth to find refuge from persecution. They came from war-torn Europe, from Yemen, Iraq, Morocco, from Ethiopia and the Soviet Union, from a hundred other lands. And today, as a rising tide of anti-Semitism once again sweeps across Europe and elsewhere, many Jews come to Israel to join us in building the Jewish future.
As for that Upper East Side synagogue:
Groner, the son of a rabbi from Binghamton, in upstate New York, was a guest of honor at the Modern Orthodox Park East Synagogue, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
On Friday night, the community, led by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, hosted Groner, Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold and Netanyahu’s new military secretary, Brig.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano.
More on Groner. Worked for McKinsey for six years, got his MBA from NYU; and renounced his US citizenship in 2011. After serving as a soldier for Israel and reservist in 2006 war!
Groner, 44, was also once a business reporter for the English-language daily The Jerusalem Post.
Is he a role model for American Jews? Time Warner exec Gary Ginsberg writes speeches for Netanyahu, I guess he’s down with this program.