Israel Musings December 7, 2014: Netanyahu makes last-ditch effort to form new coalition to avert elections

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Netanyahu makes last-ditch effort to form new coalition to avert elections

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made one last effort to form a new coalition government and avert early elections. On Saturday evening, Dec. 6, 2014 Netanyahu met with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who also chairs the Yisrael Beytenu Party at…READ MORE

Israel Musings December 3, 2014: Israeli Knesset votes sets election date after Netanyahu fires cabinet minister

ISRAEL MUSINGS

ISRAEL MUSINGS: OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Israeli Knesset votes sets election date after Netanyahu fires cabinet ministers

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The Israeli Knesset voted 84 to 0 with only one abstention on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 to dissolve the Knesset and set an election date for March 17, 2015. The vote comes a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired…READ MORE

 

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 30, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet on Jerusalem School Fire, New IDF Chief-of-Staff, and Illegal Migration Law — Transcript

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 11-30-14

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting :

“We are making great efforts to restore calm and tranquility to Jerusalem. Of course, we will not tolerate attacks from any quarter and we will not tolerate setting fire to a bilingual school as we saw last night. We condemn any such attempt and we will act as vigorously – and with as much unity – as possible to restore quiet and law and order in all parts of the city.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and I consulted over the past week and decided to submit to the Cabinet the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot as the next IDF Chief-of-Staff. Gadi is an experienced officer. He has gone through all levels of command and he will shoulder a very great security mission as the IDF operates in various sectors, with growing challenges. He will be assisted by the next IDF Deputy Chief-of-Staff, Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, who is also among our most experienced and talented officers. I would like to thank Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh for his great contribution to the security of Israel. I think, Defense Minister Yaalon, that a way will be found to integrate him and his experience so that he might continue to contribute to the IDF and the security of Israel.

Of course, the security of Israel is conditional on the defense budget. We added NIS 6 billion to the defense budget. This supplement is essential in order to prevent vital IDF units from having to suspend operations and to enable them to function properly. This supplement must be carried out; it cannot be emptied of content, it cannot be cancelled due to its being reduced for other goals. It must be designated for the IDF and for strengthening the IDF.

Among our national responsibilities is defending our borders. Today, we are submitting to the Cabinet an amended illegal migration law. It fits the reality. It also fits the rulings of the High Court of Justice. I remind you that Israel has achieved the extraordinary – which I’m very proud of – in blocking illegal migration across our borders – zero illegal migrants. Part of this entails repatriating illegal migrants. This year we repatriated over 6,000 illegal migrants. This legislation is designed to enable us to continue this trend.

Today, we will also submit a unique law to the Cabinet, which will provide for the integration of up to 3% handicapped individuals in the public service. I think that this is a socially just law, a humanitarian law of the first order, and it shows the disabled that their disabilities need not prevent them from participating as equal members, and contributing as equals, in the public service of the State of Israel.

All of the foregoing are among the major tasks that are before us. In order to carry them out there needs to be government stability and proper administration. This is urgent for the citizens of Israel and also necessary for the State of Israel. To my regret, this is not what is happening here. Recently, hardly a day passes without us running into diktat or threats or threats of resignation or ultimatums and such as ministers attack the government and its prime minister. I hope that we will be able to return to proper conduct. This is what the public expects of us because only thus is it possible to run the country, and if not, we will draw conclusions.”

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 24, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks in the Knesset on Iran — Transcript

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PM Netanyahu’s remarks in the Knesset on Iran

Source: MFA, 11-24-14

​PM Netanyahu: It is very important that this agreement has been prevented as of now, but a struggle is yet before us and we intend to continue this struggle in order to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state that would endanger us and others.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks in the Knesset today (Monday, 24 November 2014):

“We are anxiously monitoring the nuclear talks with Iran. We are also using our contacts and expressing our views, directly as well, in the international media, in my contacts with the American administration and other heads of government, in Minister Steinitz’s contacts with various security elements, in contacts with ministers in these governments and in the work of the National Security Council.

“I think that an important thing happened today. We have always said that no agreement is preferable to a bad agreement and the agreement that Iran signed is a very bad and dangerous agreement for Israel, for the region and in my opinion for the future of the entire world.

“It is very important that this agreement has been prevented as of now, but a struggle is yet before us and we intend to continue this struggle in order to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state that would endanger us and others. Israel will always act on this matter and reserves its right to defend itself by itself.”

 

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 23, 2014: Basic Law: Israel – the National State of the Jewish people — Israel Jewish Nation State

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Basic Law: Israel – the National State of the Jewish people

Source: MFA, 11-23-14

The Cabinet discussed three versions of draft Basic Law: Israel – the National State of the Jewish people, that of MK Zeev Elkin, of MK Ayelet Shaked and MK Yariv Levin, and of MK Robert Ilatov.

The Cabinet decided to support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s draft principles.

The Cabinet decided to support, in preliminary Knesset discussion, the aforementioned three draft versions on condition that their sponsoring MKs agree that their draft versions would be attached to the Government version to be presented by Prime Minister Netanyahu, which will be formulated on the basis of the principles detailed in the annex below, and will be adapted to it. The Government draft will be formulated in coordination with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
Annex of Principles

I. Objective

Defining the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, and anchoring the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the spirit of the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

II. Basic principles

The Land of Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and the place of the establishment of the State of Israel.

The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people in which the Jewish People realizes its right to self-determination in accordance with its cultural and historic heritage.

The right to realize national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.

The State of Israel is democratic, based on the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in light of the visions of the prophets of Israel, and upholds the individual rights of all its citizens according to law.

III. Symbols of the State

The national anthem is Hatikvah.

The national flag is white with two sky-blue stripes close to the margins and a sky-blue Star of David in the center.

The national emblem is a seven-branched menorah with two olive branches at its sides and the word ‘Israel’ below.

IV. Return

All Jews are eligible to immigrate to the country and receive citizenship of the state according to law.

V. Ingathering of the Exiles and Strengthening Links with the Jewish People in the Diaspora

The State will act to gather the exiles of the Jewish people and strengthen links between Israel and Jewish communities in the Diaspora.

VI. Assistance to Jews in Distress

The State will act to assist Jews in distress and in captivity due to their being Jews.

VII. Heritage

The State will act to preserve the historical and cultural heritage and tradition of the Jewish people and to enshrine and cultivate it in the country and in the Diaspora.

All educational institutions that serve the Jewish public in the country will teach the history, heritage and tradition of the Jewish people.

The State will act to enable all residents of Israel, regardless of religion, race or nationality, to preserve their culture, heritage, language and identity.

VIII. Official Calendar

The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the State.

IX. Independence Day and Remembrance Day

Independence Day is the national holiday of the State.

Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars and Holocaust Heroes and Martyrs Remembrance Day are the official remembrance days of the State.

X. Public holidays

The regular public holidays of the State of Israel are the Sabbath and the Jewish holidays on which no worker shall be employed except under conditions to be defined by law; members of recognized faiths shall be entitled to rest on their Sabbaths and holidays.

XI. Jewish Law

Jewish law shall serve as a source of inspiration for the Knesset

If a court shall consider a legal question that requires a decision and not find an answer in legislation, precedent or clear inference, it shall render a decision in light of the principles of freedom, justice, fairness and peace of the heritage of Israel.

XII. Maintaining the Holy Places

The Holy Places shall be guarded against desecration, any other damage and against anything that is liable to infringe on freedom of access by worshippers to the places that are holy to them or on their feelings toward those places.

XIII. Infringement of rights

There shall be no infringement of rights according to the basic laws except by law that befits the values of the State of Israel, that is designed for a worthy purpose and which does not exceed that which is required.

XIV. Amendment

The basic law shall not be amended except by a basic law that is approved by a majority of MKs.

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 23, 2014: Excerpt from PM Bernjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the weekly Cabinet Meeting on Iran Nuclear Talks and Israel Jewish Nation State Bill – Transcript

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Excerpt from PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 11-23-14

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, today (Sunday, 23 November 2014):

“Last night US Secretary of State John Kerry updated me on the situation in the nuclear talks with Iran. We are anxiously monitoring developments in these talks. We are holding discussions with the representatives of other major powers and are presenting them with a vigorous position to the effect that Iran must not be allowed to be determined as a nuclear threshold state. There is no reason why it should be left with thousands of centrifuges that could enable it to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb in a short time. Neither is there any reason why Iran should continue to develop intercontinental missiles, which could carry nuclear warheads, and thereby threaten the entire world. Therefore, no agreement at all would be preferable to a bad agreement that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and all of humanity.

Over the weekend I instructed Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mendelbit, along with Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, to submit draft legislation to revoke rights from residents who participate in terrorism or incitement against the State of Israel. It cannot be that those who attack Israeli citizens and call for the elimination of the State of Israel will enjoy rights such as National Insurance, and their family members as well, who support them. This law is important in order to exact a price from those who engage in attacks and incitement, including the throwing of stones and firebombs, and it complements the demolition of terrorists’ homes, and helps to create deterrence vis-à-vis those who engage in attacks and incitement.

Today, I will submit to the Cabinet the nationality law and the principles that I believe need to guide this legislation. The State of Israel is the national state of the Jewish People. It has equal individual rights for every citizen and we insist on this. But only the Jewish People have national rights: A flag, anthem, the right of every Jew to immigrate to the country, and other national symbols. These are granted only to our people, in its one and only state.

I hear from people who say ‘Who needs this law? We’ve managed without it for 66 years.’ And I ask: Who needed Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty? We managed without it for 45 years. But both are necessary. Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. There are those who would like the democratic to prevail over the Jewish and there are those who would like the Jewish to prevail over the democratic. And in the principles of the law that I will submit today both of these values are equal and both must be considered to the same degree.

This law is also needed now for another reason: There are many who are challenging Israel’s character as the national state of the Jewish people. The Palestinians refuse to recognize this and there is also opposition from within. There are those – including those who deny our national rights – who would like to establish autonomy in the Galilee and the Negev. Neither do I understand those who are calling for two states for two peoples but who also oppose anchoring this in law. They are pleased to recognize a Palestinian national state but strongly oppose a Jewish national state.

On the eve of last Independence Day, I stood in the hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed in Tel Aviv and I promised to submit this legislation to the Cabinet and I am doing so today. I have not softened it and I have not changed anything. I have submitted the principles of the law that I believe in, the same principles that appear in the Declaration of Independence, the same principles that I absorbed in the Zionist sprit from my father, who absorbed them from Zeev Jabotinsky and from Binyamin Zeev Herzl.

Around the nationality law, and around other issues, I hear ultimatums, diktat and threats of quitting from various parts of the coalition; a country cannot be run this way. We must concentrate on strengthening security against waves of extremist Islam and the Iranian nuclear danger, on strengthening Israel’s economy and increasing citizens’ welfare – and not on threats. I believe that the heads of the parties in the coalition will unite and work in this spirit.”

Israel Musings November 19, 2014: Netanyahu looks for condemnation, unity after Jerusalem synagogue terror attack

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Netanyahu looks for condemnation, unity after Jerusalem synagogue terror attack

By Bonnie K. Goodman

After a terrorist attack at a Jerusalem synagogue killed five and injured six and carried out by two Palestinians that occurred on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an evening press conference called for world condemnation…READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 18, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Statement on Jerusalem Synagogue Terror Attack — Transcript

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PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Statement on Jerusalem Synagogue Terror Attack

 Source: PMO, 11-18-14

“This is the direct result of the incitement being led by Hamas and Abu Mazen, incitement which the international community is irresponsibly ignoring. We will respond with a heavy hand to the brutal murder of Jews who came to pray and were met by reprehensible murderers.”

PM Netanyahu’s Statement to the Media

Source: PMO, 11-18-14
יום שלישי כ”ה חשון תשע”ה

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening at his Jerusalem office, issued the following statement to the media:

“We are in the midst of a terrorist assault focused on Jerusalem. Today, during morning prayers, as they were wrapped in prayer shawls and tefillin, four rabbis were slaughtered, four innocent and pure Jews – Rabbi Avraham Goldberg, Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, Rabbi Kalman Ze’ev Levine and Rabbi Moshe Twersky. May their memories be blessed.

We send our condolences to their families. We send our best wishes for a recovery to the wounded and to the heroic policemen whose action prevented a greater disaster. The human animals who perpetrated this slaughter were full of hatred and incitement, deep hatred and terrible incitement against the Jewish People and its state. Hamas, the Islamic Movement and the Palestinian Authority are disseminating countless lies and falsehoods against the State of Israel. They are saying that the Jews are contaminating the Temple Mount. They are saying that we are planning to destroy the Holy Places, that we intend to change the order of prayer there – this is all lies. These lies have already claimed a very heavy price. They took the life of a three-month-old baby, Chaya Zissel Braun, who had been taken for her first visit to the Western Wall, along with her parents, who wanted to thank G-d for giving them a baby. They also claimed the lives of Karen Jemima Mosquera, Jidan Assad, Aharon Badani, Sgt. Almog Shilony and Dalia Lemkus. All of them were pure souls. All of them were victims of this mendacious incitement. Today they are joined by additional victims of the same wild blood libel of the kind that is etched in the memory of our people.

Yesterday a bus driver from eastern Jerusalem committed suicide. He committed suicide. The findings of the pathology report have been published and they prove this unequivocally. He committed suicide. But this has not prevented those same elements from inciting and disseminating the blood libel to the effect that he was murdered by Jews. This incitement contributed its part to the shocking slaughter that was perpetrated this morning in a holy place during prayers. But what is outrageous is not only the brutality of the murder but the shouts of joy in Gaza, in Bethlehem and in other places. They are giving out candies, waving axes in the air and praising the shahidim. True, this time Abu Mazen condemned the slaughter and it is good that he did. I remember that he also condemned the murder of the three youths but it is not enough because in the same sentence in which he condemned today’s slaughter, he linked it to imaginary actions – which have no basis in reality – that Israel is purportedly planning to carry out on the Temple Mount. There is daily, even hourly, incitement on the streets of the Palestinian Authority. There, not only do the most reprehensible murderers become the heroes of Palestinian culture, but there is unending, constant incitement against the very existence of the State of Israel, against the security of Israel’s citizens, in schools, the media, mosques, everywhere, and this is the root of the conflict: The refusal to recognize – and educate for – the existence of the state of the Jews.

Last week I traveled to Jordan and held a very important meeting in Amman with King Abdullah and US Secretary of State John Kerry. Together, we called to calm the situation and for the restoration of quiet. To my regret, the answer that we received from the Palestinian Authority was to declare a day or rage in Jerusalem. And today we all saw the result. The world sees this slaughter but, to our regret, does not demand that the Palestinians stop the wild incitement against Israel that is the root of the conflict. I call on all heads of state in the civilized world – I want to see outrage. I want to see condemnation, a deep and uncompromising condemnation of these murders of Israelis, of Jews. Do not discriminate between blood and blood. When there are other acts of murder you express the same outrage and condemn them. But when I see a three-month-old baby being murdered, when I see these Jews at prayer in a synagogue, our holy place, just as a church is holy for Christians and a mosque is holy for Muslims, I expect to at least hear the same condemnation, in an uncompromising and unreserved tone. To my regret, there are those who currently insist on giving the Palestinians a prize in the form of unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state that does not recognize the state of the Jews. We will not tolerate this reality; we will fight terrorism and we will defeat it. We will restore law, order and security to the streets of Jerusalem.

This evening I ordered the demolition of the homes of the terrorists who perpetrated the massacre and the hastening of the demolition of the homes of the terrorists who perpetrated the earlier attacks. I ordered stepped-up enforcement against – and stiffer punishments for – those engaged in incitement, as well as the banning of organizations engaged in incitement, and increased security on the streets of Jerusalem. Alongside offensive actions there are also defensive actions.

Citizens of Israel, I call on you to show maximum alert and to respect the law. As a state, we will settle accounts with all of the terrorists and those who dispatched them. We have already proven that we do this, but let nobody take the law into his hands, even if tempers flare and blood boils. We are in a lengthy war against abhorrent terrorism which did not start today. Terrorism has followed us through all the years of the Zionist enterprise. We have always withstood it and we will do so this time as well.

There are those who would like to uproot us from our land and from our capital. They will not achieve their aim. We are in a battle for Jerusalem, our eternal capital. In this battle we must be united; this is the order of the day. We have always known to unite in times of trial. We must put aside all of the little differences and unite around one major issue – defending Jerusalem, defending the security of Israel’s citizens. I think that this is what the citizens of Israel expect of us at this time – to stand together as one, unified and united. What is called for at this time is national unity.”

דברי ראש הממשלה נתניהו בהצהרה לתקשורת

Source: PMO, 11-18-14
יום שלישי כ”ה חשון תשע”ה
סגור
צילום: חיים צח, לע”מ לחץ להגדלה
צילום: חיים צח, לע”מ

“אנחנו בעיצומה של מתקפת טרור שממוקדת בירושלים. היום באמצע תפילת שחרית, כשהם עטופים בטליתות ותפילין, נטבחו ארבעה רבנים, ארבעה יהודים תמימים וטהורים – אברהם שמואל גולדברג, משה טברסקי, ארי קופינסקי, קלמן זאב לוין. יהי זכרם ברוך.

אנחנו שולחים תנחומים למשפחות שלהם, אנחנו שולחים איחולי החלמה לפצועים ובהם שוטרים גיבורים שבפעולתם מנעו אסון גדול יותר. חיות האדם שביצעו את הטבח הזה באו טעונים בשנאה ובהסתה, שנאה תהומית והסתה תהומית נגד העם היהודי ונגד מדינתו. החמאס, התנועה האסלאמית והרשות הפלסטינית מפיצים אין ספור של עלילות ובדותות נגד מדינת ישראל. הם אומרים שהיהודים מטמאים את הר הבית, הם אומרים שאנחנו מתכוונים להרוס את המקומות הקדושים, שאנחנו מתכוונים לשנות את סדרי התפילה בו – הכול שקר, והשקרים הללו גבר גבו מחיר יקר מאוד. הם גבו את חייה של תינוקת בת שלושה חדשים, חיה זיסל בראון, תינוקת שהגיעה מהכותל לביקור ראשון עם ההורים שלה שרצו להודות לאלוהים על זה שהוא נתן להם אותה, הם גבו את החיים של חיה זיסל בראון, של קארן ימימה מוסקרה, של רב פקד ג’דעאן אסעד, של הנער אהרון בעדני, של סמ”ר אלמוג שילוני, של דליה למקוס. כולם נשמות טהורות, כולם קורבנות של ההסתה הכוזבת הזאת, והיום הצטרפו אליהם קורבנות נוספים כתוצאה מעלילת דם פרועה, מסוג עלילות הדם שצרובות בזיכרון עמנו.

אתמול התאבד נהג אוטובוס ממזרח ירושלים. הוא התאבד. ממצאי הדוח הפתולוגי שפורסמו ברבים מוכיחים זאת חד משמעית, הוא התאבד. אבל זה לא מונע מאותם גורמים מסיתים להפיץ את עלילת הדם כאילו הוא נרצח בידי יהודים. ההסתה הזאת תרמה את חלקה לטבח המזעזע שבוצע הבוקר במקום קדוש בזמן תפילה. אבל מה שמזעזע זה לא רק האכזריות של הטבח, אלא גם צהלות השמחה בעזה, בבית לחם ובמקומות אחרים, שם מחלקים ממתקים, מניפים גרזנים באוויר, משבחים את השהידים. אמנם, הפעם אבו-מאזן גינה את מעשה הטבח, וטוב שכך. אני זוכר שהוא גם גינה את רצח שלושת הנערים, אבל זה לא מספיק, כי בהמשך של אותו משפט גינוי על הטבח היום, הוא קשר את זה למעשים דמיוניים שאין להם שום שחר, שישראל כביכול מבצעת בהר הבית. ברחבי הרשות הפלסטינית יש הסתה יום-יומית, שעה-שעה. שם לא רק הופכים את הרוצחים השפלים ביותר לגיבורי התרבות הפלסטינית – יש הסתה בלתי פוסקת נגד עצם קיומה של מדינת ישראל, נגד ביטחונם של אזרחי ישראל, כל הזמן, בבתי הספר, בתקשורת, במסגדים, בכל מקום וזה שורש הסכסוך. הסירוב להכיר ולחנך לקיומה של מדינת היהודים.

בשבוע שעבר אני נסעתי לירדן ונפגשתי שם בפגישה חשובה מאוד בעמאן, עם מלך ירדן עבדאללה ועם מזכיר המדינה ג’ון קרי. אנחנו קראנו יחד להרגעת הרוחות ולהשבת השקט. לצערי, התשובה שקיבלנו מהרשות הפלסטינית היא הכרזה על יום זעם בירושלים. והנה היום כולנו ראינו את התוצאה. העולם מביט בטבח הזה, אבל לצערנו אינו דורש מהפלסטינים להפסיק את ההסתה הפרועה נגד ישראל שהיא שורש הסכסוך. אני קורא לכל ראשי המדינות של העולם התרבותי – אני רוצה לראות זעזוע, אני רוצה לראות הוקעה, הוקעה עמוקה ובלתי מתפשרת של מעשי הרצח הללו של ישראלים, של יהודים.

אל תפלו בין דם לדם – כשיש מעשי רצח אחרים אתם מביעים את אותו זעזוע, אתם מוקיעים את זה ומגנים את זה. אבל כשאני רואה תינוקת קטנה בת שלושה חודשים נרצחת, כשאני רואה את היהודים הללו מתפללים בטליתות בבית כנסת, מקום קדוש לנו, כשם שכנסייה קדושה לנוצרים, כשם שמסגד קדוש למוסלמים, אני מצפה לשמוע לפחות את אותה הוקעה, בעוצמה בלתי מתפשרת ובלתי מסויגת. לצערי, יש כאלה שעוד מתעקשים בימים אלה להעניק לפלסטינים פרס בדמות הכרה חד צדדית במדינה פלסטינית שכלל אינה מכירה במדינת היהודים. אנחנו לא נסבול את המציאות הזאת, נילחם בטרור וננצח אותו. אנחנו נחזיר את החוק, הסדר, והביטחון לכל רחובותיה של ירושלים.

הנחיתי הערב להרוס את בתי המחבלים שביצעו את הטבח ולזרז את הריסת בתי המחבלים שביצעו את הפיגועים הקודמים. הנחיתי להגביר את האכיפה ולהחמיר את הענישה נגד המסיתים וכן להוציא אל מחוץ לחוק ארגונים מתסיסים, וכן הנחיתי להגביר את האבטחה ברחבי ירושלים. לצד הפעולות ההתקפיות, יש גם פעולות הגנתיות.

אזרחי ישראל, אני קורא לכם לגלות ערנות מרבית ולכבד את החוק. כמדינה, נבוא חשבון עם כל הטרוריסטים ועם משלחיהם. אנחנו כבר הוכחנו שאנחנו עושים זאת, אבל אסור לאף אחד לקחת את החוק לידיו, גם אם הרוחות סוערות וגם אם הדם בוער. אנחנו במערכה ממושכת במלחמה נגד הטרור השפל שלא התחיל נגדנו היום. הטרור מלווה אותנו לאורך כל שנות המפעל הציוני. תמיד יכולנו לו, וכך יהיה גם הפעם.

יש מי שמבקש לעקור אותנו מארצנו ומבירתנו. הם לא ישיגו את מבוקשם. אנחנו בקרב על ירושלים בירתנו הנצחית. בקרב הזה צריך לאחד כוחות, זהו צו השעה, ותמיד ידענו להתאחד ברגעי מבחן. צריך לשים בצד את כל המחלוקות הקטנות ולהתאחד סביב הדבר הגדול – הגנה על ירושלים, הגנה על ביטחון אזרחי ישראל. אני חושב שזה מה שאזרחי ישראל מצפים מאיתנו ברגע זה. לעמוד יחד, כאיש אחד, מלוכדים, מאוחדים. מה שנדרש בעת הזאת זה אחדות לאומית.”

Israel Brief November 18, 2014: At funerals for synagogue terror victims, mourners grieve with ’24 orphans from one street’

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At funerals for synagogue terror victims, mourners grieve with ’24 orphans from one street’

Source: Times of Israel, 11-18-14

Thousands attend funerals of Aryeh Kupinsky, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Rabbi Kalman Levine, and Rabbi Moshe Twersky, killed at prayer in Jerusalem Tuesday morning…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 18, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu demands world ‘denunciation’ of Palestinian terror attack on Jerusalem Synagogue

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Netanyahu demands world ‘denunciation’ of Palestinian terror

Source: Times of Israel, 11-18-14

Four Israelis with UK, US citizenship killed, several injured as 2 East Jerusalem terrorists storm morning prayers before being shot dead by police; Abbas, Western diplomats condemn assault; PM says Israel to ‘settle score’ with killers….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 18, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Holds Security Consultation after Jerusalem Synagogue Terror Attack

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PM Netanyahu Holds Security Consultation

Source: PMO, 11-18-14

יום שלישי כ”ה חשון תשע”ה
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon at his Jerusalem office, held a security consultation. Among the participants were: Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, ISA Director Yoram Cohen, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, State Attorney Shai Nitzan, Jerusalem District Police Commander Moshe Edri and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai.

Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered the demolition of the homes of the terrorists who perpetrated the recent attacks and directed that enforcement against those who incite toward terrorist attacks be significantly increased. The foregoing is in addition to the series of additional decisions that have been made in order to strengthen security throughout the country.

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 18, 2014: President Barack Obama’s Statement on Attack in Jerusalem

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Statement by President Barack Obama on Attack in Jerusalem

Source: WH, 11-18-14

I strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Jerusalem, which killed four innocent people, including U.S. citizens Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine, and Mosheh Twersky, and injured several more.  There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians.  The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims and families of all those who were killed and injured in this horrific attack and in other recent violence.  At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace.

Israel Brief November 18, 2014: Four killed in terror attack at Jerusalem synagogue

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Four killed in terror attack at Jerusalem synagogue

Source: Times of Israel, 11-18-14

East Jerusalem men armed with pistol and axes target worshipers at prayer in Har Nof yeshiva complex; 6 injured, including two police; assailants killed…READ MORE

 

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 11, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks for The Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly warning of a Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks for The Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly

Source: PMO, 11-11-14
יום שלישי י”ח חשון תשע”ה
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Photo by: GPO Click Here to Enlarge Picture
Photo by: GPO

[Transcription]

Greetings to all of you, my friends, all of you who are attending the General Assembly 2014. Greetings from Jerusalem – the eternal and united capital of the Jewish people.

Michael are you speaking or am I speaking?

Thank you, Michael, and thank you all.

I want to thank my friend of many decades, Michael Siegal, for the kind introduction, and I want to thank you, Michael, for the exemplary work you’re doing as Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Federations.

And I also want to acknowledge and salute DeDe Feinberg, Chair of the Executive Committee;

Jerry Silverman, the JFNA President and CEO;

and the hundreds of leaders and professionals who are there tonight, for the terrific job you do to strengthen the Jewish communities of North America and to strengthen support for Israel.

Your communities have stood resolutely by our side as Israel has defended itself time and again against enemies bent on our destruction, including during this past summer in Operation Protective Edge.

You led solidarity missions; you raised money to help those in need; and you held rallies in support for Israel. And as our soldiers defended Israel on the battlefield, you helped defend Israel in another battlefield – in the court of public opinion. And you did that by doing something very simple – you just told the truth. You told the truth about Israel’s just battle against Hamas terrorists.

I want to say two words to you: Thank you. Thank you for standing up for Israel. Thank you for standing up for the truth.

I also want to recognize Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, a true hero of the Jewish people. Natan, like you, works day and night to strengthen the Jewish future.

And finally, I want to recognize Ron Dermer, Israel’s exceptionally talented ambassador in Washington.

Thank you, Ron, for all you are doing to strengthen the bonds between Israel and the United States and between Israelis and Americans – American Jews and American non-Jews.

And by the way, Ron, you can tell Vice President Biden that I know we’re still buddies. We’ll always be buddies.

The Vice President said yesterday that we don’t always agree. That’s true.

But we definitely agree that Israel has no greater friend and ally than the United States, and that the United States has no greater friend and ally than the State of Israel.

I deeply appreciate the unique and special friendship between Israel and the United States of America, as well as the great friendship between Israel and the state of Canada.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It’s important to have friends like the United States and Canada because, it’s important for any country to have such alliances, but especially for a country like Israel that faces many challenges unlike any other nation on Earth.

But none of these challenges is more important than the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Our goal must not be merely to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons today. We must also prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons tomorrow.

Iran is openly committed to Israel’s destruction. And even as Iran negotiates a nuclear deal with the leading powers in the international community, its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, brazenly calls for Israel’s annihilation. These are not my words, these are his words: Israel’s annihilation.

He just did it again three days ago on his Twitter account. That’s apparently the Iranian regime’s idea of modernity – tweeting about the annihilation of Israel.

But I’m afraid these aren’t mere words. These aren’t mere words; they’re not just statements thrown out in the air, which is harmful enough. The regime in Iran’s wild rhetoric is also backed by murderous action.

Iran arms, trains, finances the Palestinian terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It has supplied them, and its main terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, with tens of thousands of rockets to fire on Israeli citizens. Iran perpetrates murder and mayhem throughout the Middle East – in Syria, in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen and elsewhere. It has spread a reign of terror across five continents – from Bangkok to Burgas, and even an attempt in Washington, DC.

Iran’s savagery abroad is also matched by its brutality at home. The ayatollah regime executes political opponents, religious and ethnic minorities, gays, feminists and journalists. And executions have increased, not decreased, under the supposedly moderate Rouhani regime.

This is how Iran acts without nuclear weapons; now imagine how Iran will act if a deal is made that leaves it as a threshold nuclear power.

My friends,

It’s obvious that Iran wants to remove the sanctions that have had such a devastating impact on its economy. But it should be equally obvious that Iran is not prepared to dismantle its nuclear weapons program in return.

Unfortunately, instead of holding firm and demanding that Iran dismantle its program, the international community is reportedly, and I hope these reports do not prove to be true, but the international community is reportedly willing to leave Iran’s nuclear program largely intact. They hope to rely on intelligence and inspectors to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

I believe this would be a bad deal and a huge mistake.

We must recognize the limitations of our own intelligence gathering capabilities. Remember – for years, both Israel’s intelligence and US intelligence failed to discover Iran’s secret enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom. And given that record, there is no reason to believe that our intelligence facilities will be perfect in the future.

As for inspectors, they weren’t able to stop North Korea from getting the bomb. And if the ten year run-around that Iran has given the International Atomic Energy Agency is any indication, inspectors won’t stop Iran from getting the bomb either.

The IAEA itself has reported just last week that Iran continues to conceal the most suspicious aspects of its nuclear program from the international inspectors that are already in Iran.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Some people have suggested that Iran can help America solve the problems of the Middle East.

But Iran is not part of the solution.

It’s a huge part of the problem.

The Islamic State of Iran is not a partner of America.

It’s an enemy of America.

And it should be treated as an enemy – by keeping tough sanctions on the regime; by making clear that the international community is determined to do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from breaking out or sneaking out to get the bomb.

See, the worst thing that can happen now is for the international community to agree to a deal that leaves Iran as a threshold nuclear power and removes the sanctions.

That would be a disaster of historic proportions. It would embolden all of Iran’s terrorist proxies throughout the region; it would trigger a nuclear arms race between Sunnis and Shi’ites that would endanger the entire planet. And it would pose, needless to say, a grave danger to the State of Israel.

Israel cannot allow a regime committed to its destruction to develop the weapons to achieve that goal.

But the alternative to a bad deal is not war.

It means giving existing sanctions and even stronger sanctions more time to work to achieve the goal of fully dismantling Iran’s military nuclear capabilities.

To remove sanctions before that goal is reached is to remove any hope of a genuine diplomatic solution.

That is why avoiding a bad deal and maintaining strong pressure on Iran should be the policy of all responsible governments. So too, all responsible governments should help President Obama in his effort to degrade and defeat ISIS.

But as I said to the United Nations a few months ago, to defeat ISIS and allow Iran to be a threshold nuclear power would be to win the battle and lose the war.

The greatest threat facing our world is to have the forces of militant Islam get the bomb.

That must never be allowed to happen, for Israel’s sake, for the peace in the Middle East, for the peace and security of the entire world.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we work to prevent the ultimate danger of a nuclear-armed Iran, we must also act forcefully to confront Palestinian terrorism and incitement.

In recent weeks, we have seen a dramatic rise in terrorist attacks against Jews across the country, including here in Jerusalem.

These attacks have been accompanied by a systemic campaign of incitement, including libels about Israel trying to change the status quo on the Temple Mount and even wild allegations that we are planning to destroy Muslim holy sites.

These are false accusations. They’re absolute fabrications. Israel is fully committed to the status quo.

Last week, I spoke to King Abdullah of Jordan, and I reiterated Israel’s commitment to maintain the religious status quo on the Temple Mount.

I will continue to make every effort to restore calm, to restore quiet and security, so that all may enjoy the religious freedom guaranteed by Israeli law.

But I regret to say that the Palestinian Authority, which should also be working to calm tensions, has joined Hamas and other radical Islamists in fanning the flames.

President Abbas himself called on Palestinians to prevent Jews from entering the Temple Mount. He used the words: “by any means possible.”

See, this – the Temple Mount, the holiest place in Judaism, where Jews have visited peacefully for years – President Abbas says we should not set foot there. That’s changing the status quo.

President Abbas publicly praised the Islamic Jihad terrorist who tried to murder Rabbi Yehuda Glick, declaring that the would-be assassin would, and here’s his quote: “would go to heaven as a martyr defending the rights of our people and its holy places.” That’s the end of the quote.

And just today President Abbas accused Jews of “contaminating,” his word – contaminating the Temple Mount.

Once again, this incitement to violence is coupled with revisionist history intended to delegitimize the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

The official Facebook page of Fatah, just turn it on, you’ll see it, you have to Google this to believe this. The official Facebook page of Fatah denies that the Jewish people have any connection to the Temple Mount or that there was ever a Temple Mount at all – a temple on the Temple Mount.

Jerusalem, the ancient City of David, like the Land of Israel, is simply erased by the Palestinians from their history books.

Unfortunately, the international community does not hold the Palestinians responsible for this sort of incitement and denial of history, and I think that’s tragic, because these distortions and this incitement are so corrosive to the effort to reach a genuine peace.

Rather than help advance peace, many in the international community are setting back the cause of peace by convincing Palestinians that they can have a state without making peace with Israel.

Recognizing a Palestinian state without demanding an end to the Palestinian Authority’s pact with Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization is absurd.

Recognizing a Palestinian nation-state without demanding that the Palestinians recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people is unjust.

Recognizing a Palestinian state without demanding an end to incitement in official Palestinian media and schools is reckless.

And recognizing a Palestinian state without demanding robust security arrangements to enable Israel to protect itself and the peace, that is dangerous.

If the issue of Palestinian statehood is brought before the UN Security Council outside the context of a peace agreement with Israel, this should be flatly rejected. If any one-sided anti-Israel resolution is brought before that council, it should be vigorously opposed.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not be solved by exploiting the automatic anti-Israel majorities in the UN bodies. You can pass anything there. But that is not the way to achieve peace.

The only way to peace is through direct negotiations that address all the core issues.

Israel is ready for these negotiations; Israel is ready for peace; I am ready for peace. But it must be a genuine peace, a durable peace, and for that, we must have a Palestinian partner who is committed to forging such a genuine peace – a partner who is prepared to confront terrorism and end incitement; a partner who is prepared to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people; a partner who is prepared to address Israel’s legitimate security concerns seriously; a partner who wants a Palestinian state not to continue the conflict with Israel, but to end it once and for all.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are many countries in the region today who do want to put the conflict behind us. I think that offers hope.

There are leading Sunni Arab states that are re-evaluating their traditional hostility towards Israel. They increasingly understand that the real threat to them doesn’t come from Israel. It comes from militant Sunni radicals like ISIS and from a nuclear-armed Iran.

And I believe that cooperation with these states – that are more ready to work for peace and security with Israel than ever before – I believe that cooperation with them can help open the door to peace with the Palestinians, and I believe this is possible. But for that, we need the international community to stand by Israel, to demand from the Palestinians to stop incitement and to demand from them to go for peace.

My friends,

For 66 years, the Jewish communities of North America have been dedicated partners in building the State of Israel.

You have helped us transform Israel into a global technological powerhouse, a wonder of medicine and science and innovation, a vibrant and dynamic democracy.

You have stood by Israel’s side as we forged historic peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, and as we have worked to advance peace with the Palestinians.

And just as you have stood with Israel, Israel stands with you in confronting anti-Semitism; in strengthening Jewish identity; in working to ensure that the next generation of Jews remains just as committed to our remarkable partnership; and in ensuring that all Jews around the world know that they will always have a home in Israel.

We are one people.

We share one history,

And we have one destiny.

Thank you all.

Thank you for standing by Israel, and good bye from Jerusalem.

Israel Political Brief November 10, 2014: VP Joe Biden at Jewish Federations General Assembly: US will never abandon Israel

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Joe Biden at Jewish Federations General Assembly: US will never abandon Israel

Source: Jerusalem Post, 11-10-14

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly on Monday and said that the United States will never abandon Israel….READ MORE

Israel Musings October 29, 2014: US-Israel crisis reactions: Obama official calls Netanyahu coward, chickenshit

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US-Israel crisis reactions: Obama official calls Netanyahu coward, chickenshit

By Bonnie K. Goodman

United States Israel relations have gone downhill fast. At the beginning of the month, President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a friendly meeting at the White House, but in four weeks, the fragile personal relationship has…READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief October 29, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech at the Special Knesset Session in Memory of Rehavam Ze’evi — Responding to Obama Official’s Insults, Name Calling — Transcript

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PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the Special Knesset Session in Memory of Rehavam Ze’evi

Source: PMO, 10-29-14

29/10/2014

Photo: Haim Zach, GPO
Translation
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your important and moving words. I believe they reflect the feelings of a great many Israeli citizens. When Israel is pressured to make concessions regarding its security, it is easiest to give in. We receive applause and attend ceremonies on lawns, but later the rockets and tunnels come.

As Prime Minister, I stand firm with regard to Israel’s security. I care about the lives of each and every citizen and each and every soldier. I have been on battlefields many times. I risked my life for this country, and I am not prepared to make concessions that will endanger it. And it must be understood, our supreme interests, first and foremost security and the unity of Jerusalem, are not the top priority of those same anonymous sources that attack us and me personally. I am being attacked only because I am protecting the State of Israel. If I did not protect the State of Israel, if I did not stand up decisively for our national and security interests, they would not attack me. And despite the attacks I face, I will continue to protect our country; I will continue to protect the citizens of Israel.

I would also like to add that I respect and appreciate our deep connection with the United States. Since the establishment of the country, we have had disagreements with the US and we will have disagreements in the future as well. However, they are not at the expense of the close relationship between our peoples and our countries. We have seen time and again, this year as well, that support for the State of Israel is ever increasing among the American public, and this support reached an all-time high. The strategic alliance and the moral covenant between our countries continues and will continue.

Dear Ze’evi family, my colleagues, Members of Knesset,
It is the way of the world that after a person’s death, as the years pass the lines of their personality fade from our memories and their presence dims in public opinion and public consciousness. This did not happen in the case of Gandhi, Rehavam Ze’evi. In the 13 years that have passed since his horrendous murder here in the heart of Jerusalem, the special figure he represented has become sharper.
Gandhi was a fighter and a man of letters. He walked the length and breadth of the country. Nothing undermined his confidence in the justness of Zionism’s path. He was consumed with a fire to complete his mission – to share his love for the Land of Israel, to contribute to the strength of the State of Israel and to ensure the well-being and security of the people of Israel.

Gandhi dedicated the best years of his life to defending the country and protecting its borders. He knew that the fight against our enemies was not only a security-military campaign, but also a fight to prove the rightness of our path and the justness of our historic rights to the Land of Israel and in the Land of Israel. These two challenges still concern us today, just as they did in the past. Even in the sixty-seventh year of our independence, we still have to deal with significant threats to the security of Israel in a changing Middle East, a Middle East in which radical Islam has raised it head and its proxies compete to see which of them can be the most extreme. It is enough to look at an updated map of Iraq and Syria to see the chaos that is raging there, instigated by the followers of the idea of a caliphate. The black flags are flying and the crimson blood is spilling like water.

In the face of the multitude of threats that surround us, we are determined to protect ourselves as necessary, first and foremost by defending our borders, and of course within our borders. Gandhi contributed significantly to this security doctrine. The more veteran members among us remember the years after the Six Day War. We remember the attacks that came from the Jordanian border, and we came to conclusions. Just recently we built a fence along a different border, our border with the Sinai Peninsula, a fence more than 200 kilometers long, a tremendous engineering wonder that helps us stop terror attacks from Sinai and the penetration of illegal infiltrators to the State of Israel. We are working diligently to strengthen our other borders similarly.

Gandhi was a pioneer in creating a security doctrine and implementing it. When he was Head of the Central Command, he led IDF soldiers in a joint engineering and operational campaign to prevent penetration from the Jordan River. He led IDF fighters in dozens of pursuits of terrorists who sought to break through our eastern defensive line. “In Israel, the commanders led the charge in pursuits; they adhered to their mission, charged forward, sometimes at the cost of their own lives.” And indeed within a few years quiet was restored to the Jordan Valley, which was and remains the State of Israel’s eastern security border.

As to the second challenge, Israel has long faced attacks on its right to exist. Some people deny the strong affinity of the people of Israel for its land, an affinity that was formed 4,000 years ago in the Land of Israel and 3,000 years ago with Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Some people are not willing to recognize the right of our people to a nation-state of their own, who are not willing to recognize the right of the people of Israel to a nation-state for the Jewish people. This was and remains the root of the conflict. There are also quite a few people who accuse IDF soldiers of war crimes, even when we defend ourselves – when we defend ourselves with the highest morality against rocket attacks and terror tunnels, against a blood-thirsty enemy that uses its own children as human shields and does not care that these victims pile up. Or perhaps the opposite is true – the enemy does care and wants more and more victims, and more victims from among its own people. When we defend ourselves against such an enemy, we still face unbelievable hypocrisy and disrespect and baseless accusations.

Quite a bit of this slanderous propaganda was discredited by Gandhi, using his knowledge and expertise which were matchless. He knew very well that the light of Israel had never been extinguished in the Land of Israel, and even when we were exiled from our land we yearned to return of the land of our forefathers. Zionism led to an unbelievable change: It ingathered the exiles back to our homeland; it transformed us into a strong and independent people; and it transformed Israel into a flourishing and prosperous country.
Gandhi said, “The IDF is the only army in history that conquered the Temple Mount and did not destroy or loot the houses of worship on it.” This is a proven fact – only under Israeli sovereignty was the freedom of access to the holy places of all religions upheld. Only under Israeli sovereignty.

So at this session in memory of Minister Rehavam Ze’evi, we will honor his great contribution, a dual contribution: First, his contribution to Israel’s security; and second, his contribution to deepening our national consciousness and proving our justness.

May Gandhi’s memory be blessed.

Israel Musings October 26, 2014: Women of the Wall’s historic Torah scroll smuggling reading at Kotel bat mitzvah

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Women of the Wall’s historic Torah scroll smuggling reading at Kotel bat mitzvah

By Bonnie K. Goodman

They finally did it, feminist Jewish prayer group Women of the Wall (WoW) smuggled in a tiny Torah scroll on Rosh Hodesh Chesvan Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 for a bat mitzvah torah reading to the women’s section….READ MORE

Israel Brief October 22, 2014: US condemns ‘despicable’ Jerusalem terror attack

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US condemns ‘despicable’ Jerusalem terror attack

Source: Times of Israel, 10-22-14

State Department still will not confirm that 3-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun was an American citizen…READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief October 22, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Response to Jerusalem Terrorist Attack — Transcript

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PM Netanyahu Holds Security Consultation

Source: PMO, 10-22-14 

22/10/2014
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, held a security consultation in conjunction with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino and ISA Director Yoram Cohen.

In the telephone consultation, the Prime Minister was updated on the details of vehicular terrorist attack in Jerusalem; he ordered that security forces in Jerusalem be reinforced. “This is how Abu Mazen’s partners in government act, the same Abu Mazen who – only a few days ago – incited toward a terrorist attack in Jerusalem,” the Prime Minister said.

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