Full Text Israel Political Brief September 28, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Canadian PM Stephen Harper’s Statements on Iran

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Statements by PM Netanyahu and Canadian PM Stephen Harper

Source: PMO, 9-28-12

Photo by GPO

Following is a transcription of today’s statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “I want to express my pleasure at seeing Stephen Harper again. He’s proved he’s a real statesman, and Stephen, I think that what you did, severing ties with Iran, was not only an act of statesmanship, but an act of moral clarity.

We’ve heard Iran talk about destroying Israel, even now, here at this current round of the UN General Assembly, and the fact that you took such clear, decisive steps is a great example to be followed by other nations, many of which attended a conference in Tehran and said nothing.

I tried to say something yesterday, that I think reverberates now around the world, as you just told me, and that is to translate the agreement and principle of stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons to practice. In practice, that means setting red lines on their enrichment process. It’s their only discernible and vulnerable part of their nuclear program.

I think that if such red lines are set, I believe that Iran will back off, and I think this message is percolated [unclear] a lot of debate and also considerable discussions between the United States and us, And I also hope to take some minutes to discuss it with you as a great champion of freedom, and a great friend of Israel.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “Thank you, Prime Minister. It’s always wonderful to see you again and I look forward to discussing these very critical issues, obviously, our bi-lateral issues but some of these global issues. I spoke last night, certainly our country has not been shy about warning the world about the danger that the Iranian regime ultimately presents to all of us. As you know we want to see a peaceful resolution of all this and we work closely with our allies to try and alert the world to the danger this presents and the necessity of dealing with it.

I look forward to discussing that with you, and our shared values.

[French]

I look forward once again, great to see you and I look forward to our discussions.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Je suis d’accord…”

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Full Text Israel Political Brief September 27, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York

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PM Netanyahu’s Speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York

Source: PMO, 9-27-12

Photo by GPO

-Transcription-

Thank you very much Mr. President.
It’s a pleasure to see the General Assembly presided by the Ambassador from Israel, and it’s good to see all of you, distinguished delegates.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon disappear.
Throughout our history, the Jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who have sought our destruction. It’s their ideologies that have been discarded by history.
The people of Israel live on. We say in Hebrew Am Yisrael Chai, and the Jewish state will live forever.
The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. Even after most of our people were exiled from it, Jews continued to live in the land of Israel throughout the ages. The masses of our people never gave up the dreamed of returning to our ancient homeland.
Defying the laws of history, we did just that. We ingathered the exiles, restored our independence and rebuilt our national life. The Jewish people have come home.
We will never be uprooted again.

Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Every year, for over three millennia, we have come together on this day of reflection and atonement. We take stock of our past. We pray for our future. We remember the sorrows of our persecution; we remember the great travails of our dispersion; we mourn the extermination of a third of our people, six million, in the Holocaust.
But at the end of Yom Kippur, we celebrate.
We celebrate the rebirth of Israel. We celebrate the heroism of our young men and women who have defended our people with the indomitable courage of Joshua, David, and the Maccabees of old. We celebrate the marvel of the flourishing modern Jewish state.
In Israel, we walk the same paths tread by our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we blaze new trails in science, technology, medicine, agriculture.
In Israel, the past and the future find common ground.

Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other countries. For today, a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval.
The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life is sacred.
The forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are subjugated, in which knowledge is suppressed, in which not life but death is glorified.
These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East.
Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens:  men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians – all are equal before the law.

Israel is also making the world a better place: our scientists win Nobel Prizes. Our know-how is in every cell-phone and computer that you’re using. We prevent hunger by irrigating arid lands in Africa and Asia.
Recently, I was deeply moved when I visited Technion, one of our technological institutes in Haifa, and I saw a man paralyzed from the waist down climb up a flight of stairs, quite easily, with the aid of an Israeli invention.
And Israel’s exceptional creativity is matched by our people’s remarkable compassion. When disaster strikes anywhere in the world – in Haiti, Japan, India, Turkey Indonesia and elsewhere – Israeli doctors are among the first on the scene, performing life-saving surgeries.

In the past year, I lost both my father and my father-in-law. In the same hospital wards where they were treated, Israeli doctors were treating Palestinian Arabs. In fact, every year, thousands of Arabs from the Palestinian territories and Arabs from throughout the Middle East come to Israel to be treated in Israeli hospitals by Israeli doctors.
I know you’re not going to hear that from speakers around this podium, but that’s the truth. It’s important that you are aware of this truth.
It’s because Israel cherishes life, that Israel cherishes peace and seeks peace.

We seek to preserve our historic ties and our historic peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. We seek to forge a durable peace with the Palestinians.

President Abbas just spoke here.
I say to him and I say to you:
We won’t solve our conflict with libelous speeches at the UN. That’s not the way to solve it. We won’t solve our conflict with unilateral declarations of statehood.
We have to sit together, negotiate together, and reach a mutual compromise, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the one and only Jewish State.
Israel wants to see a Middle East of progress and peace. We want to see the three great religions that sprang forth from our region – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – coexist in peace and in mutual respect.

Yet the medieval forces of radical Islam, whom you just saw storming the American embassies throughout the Middle East, they oppose this.
They seek supremacy over all Muslims. They are bent on world conquest. They want to destroy Israel, Europe, America. They want to extinguish freedom. They want to end the modern world.
Militant Islam has many branches – from the rulers of Iran with their Revolutionary Guards to Al Qaeda terrorists to the radical cells lurking in every part of the globe.
But despite their differences, they are all rooted in the same bitter soil of intolerance. That intolerance is directed first at their fellow Muslims, and then to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, secular people, anyone who doesn’t submit to their unforgiving creed.
They want to drag humanity back to an age of unquestioning dogma and unrelenting conflict.
I am sure of one thing. Ultimately they will fail. Ultimately, light will penetrate the darkness.
We’ve seen that happen before.
Some five hundred years ago, the printing press helped pry a cloistered Europe out of a dark age. Eventually, ignorance gave way to enlightenment.
So too, a cloistered Middle East will eventually yield to the irresistible power of freedom and technology. When this happens, our region will be guided not by fanaticism and conspiracy, but by reason and curiosity.

I think the relevant question is this: it’s not whether this fanaticism will be defeated. It’s how many lives will be lost before it’s defeated.
We’ve seen that happen before too.
Some 70 years ago, the world saw another fanatic ideology bent on world conquest. It went down in flames. But not before it took millions of people with it. Those who opposed that fanaticism waited too long to act. In the end they triumphed, but at an horrific cost.
My friends, we cannot let that happen again.
At stake is not merely the future of my own country. At stake is the future of the world. Nothing could imperil our common future more than the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons.
To understand what the world would be like with a nuclear-armed Iran, just imagine the world with a nuclear-armed Al-Qaeda.
It makes no difference whether these lethal weapons are in the hands of the world’s most dangerous terrorist regime or the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization. They’re both fired by the same hatred; they’re both driven by the same lust for violence.
Just look at what the Iranian regime has done up till now, without nuclear weapons.
In 2009, they brutally put down mass protests for democracy in their own country. Today, their henchmen are participating in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians, including thousands of children, directly participating in this murder.
They abetted the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and continue to do so in Afghanistan. Before that, Iranian proxies killed hundreds of American troops in Beirut and in Saudi Arabia. They’ve turned Lebanon and Gaza into terror strongholds, embedding nearly 100,000 missiles and rockets in civilian areas. Thousands of these rockets and missiles have already been fired at Israeli communities by their terrorist proxies.
In the last year, they’ve spread their international terror networks to two dozen countries across five continents – from India and Thailand to Kenya and Bulgaria. They’ve even plotted to blow up a restaurant a few blocks from the White House in order to kill a diplomat.
And of course, Iran’s rulers repeatedly deny the Holocaust and call for Israel’s destruction almost on a daily basis, as they did again this week from the United Nations.

So I ask you, given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear weapons. Imagine their long range missiles tipped with nuclear warheads, their terror networks armed with atomic bombs.
Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in Europe? Who would be safe in America? Who would be safe anywhere?

There are those who believe that a nuclear-armed Iran can be deterred like the Soviet Union.
That’s a very dangerous assumption.
Militant Jihadists behave very differently from secular Marxists. There were no Soviet suicide bombers. Yet Iran produces hordes of them.
Deterrence worked with the Soviets, because every time the Soviets faced a choice between their ideology and their survival, they chose their survival.
But deterrence may not work with the Iranians once they get nuclear weapons.

There’s a great scholar of the Middle East, Prof. Bernard Lewis, who put it best. He said that for the Ayatollahs of Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it’s an inducement.
Iran’s apocalyptic leaders believe that a medieval holy man will reappear in the wake of a devastating Holy War, thereby ensuring that their brand of radical Islam will rule the earth.
That’s not just what they believe. That’s what is actually guiding their policies and their actions.
Just listen to Ayatollah Rafsanjani who said, I quote:  “The use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything, however it would only harm the Islamic world.”
Rafsanjani said: “It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.”
Not irrational…
And that’s coming from one of the so-called moderates of Iran.

Shockingly, some people have begun to peddle the absurd notion that a nuclear-armed Iran would actually stabilize the Middle East.
Yeah, right…
That’s like saying a nuclear-armed Al-Qaeda would usher in an era of universal peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’ve been speaking about the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons for over 15 years.
I spoke about it in my first term in office as Prime Minister, and then I spoke about it when I left office. I spoke about it when it was fashionable, and I spoke about it when it wasn’t fashionable.
I speak about it now because the hour is getting late, very late. I speak about it now because the Iranian nuclear calendar doesn’t take time out for anyone or for anything. I speak about it now because when it comes to the survival of my country, it’s not only my right to speak; it’s my duty to speak. And I believe that this is the duty of every responsible leader who wants to preserve world peace.
For nearly a decade, the international community has tried to stop the Iranian nuclear program with diplomacy.
That hasn’t worked.
Iran uses diplomatic negotiations as a means to buy time to advance its nuclear program.

For over seven years, the international community has tried sanctions with Iran. Under the leadership of President Obama, the international community has passed some of the strongest sanctions to date.
I want to thank the governments represented here that have joined in this effort. It’s had an effect. Oil exports have been curbed and the Iranian economy has been hit hard.
It’s had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth. Sanctions have not stopped Iran’s nuclear program either.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, during the last year alone, Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges in its underground nuclear facility in Qom.
At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs. That’s by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines prevent war.
Look at NATO’s charter: it made clear that an attack on one member country would be considered an attack on all.  NATO’s red line helped keep the peace in Europe for nearly half a century.
President Kennedy set a red line during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That red line also prevented war and helped preserve the peace for decades.
In fact, it’s the failure to place red lines that has often invited aggression.

If the Western powers had drawn clear red lines during the 1930s, I believe they would have stopped Nazi aggression and World War II might have been avoided.
In 1990, if Saddam Hussein had been clearly told that his conquest of Kuwait would cross a red line, the first Gulf War might have been avoided.
Clear red lines have also worked with Iran.
Earlier this year, Iran threatened to close the Straits of Hormouz. The United States drew a clear red line and Iran backed off.
Red lines could be drawn in different parts of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But to be credible, a red line must be drawn first and foremost in one vital part of their program: on Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium. Now let me explain why:
Basically, any bomb consists of explosive material and a mechanism to ignite it.
The simplest example is gunpowder and a fuse. That is, you light the fuse and set off the gunpowder.
In the case of Iran’s plans to build a nuclear weapon, the gunpowder is enriched uranium. The fuse is a nuclear detonator.
For Iran, amassing enough enriched uranium is far more difficult than producing the nuclear fuse.
For a country like Iran, it takes many, many years to enrich uranium for a bomb. That requires thousands of centrifuges spinning in tandem in very big industrial plants. Those Iranian plants are visible and they’re still vulnerable.
In contrast, Iran could produce the nuclear detonator – the fuse – in a lot less time, maybe under a year, maybe only a few months.
The detonator can be made in a small workshop the size of a classroom. It may be very difficult to find and target that workshop, especially in Iran. That’s a country that’s bigger than France, Germany, Italy and Britain combined.
The same is true for the small facility in which they could assemble a warhead or a nuclear device that could be placed in a container ship. Chances are you won’t find that facility either.
So in fact the only way that you can credibly prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, is to prevent Iran from amassing enough enriched uranium for a bomb.
So, how much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb? And how close is Iran to getting it?
Let me show you. I brought a diagram for you. Here’s the diagram.

**************

This is a bomb; this is a fuse.
In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages.
The first stage: they have to enrich enough of low enriched uranium.
The second stage: they have to enrich enough medium enriched uranium.
And the third stage and final stage: they have to enrich enough high enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Where’s Iran? Iran’s completed the first stage. It took them many years, but they completed it and they’re 70% of the way there.
Now they are well into the second stage. By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage.
From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.

*****************

Ladies and Gentlemen,
What I told you now is not based on secret information. It’s not based on military intelligence. It’s based on public reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Anybody can read them. They’re online.
So if these are the facts, and they are, where should the red line be drawn?

The red line should be drawn right here
…………..

Before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb.
Before Iran gets to a point where it’s a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon.
Each day, that point is getting closer. That’s why I speak today with such a sense of urgency. And that’s why everyone should have a sense of urgency.
Some who claim that even if Iran completes the enrichment process, even if it crosses that red line that I just drew, our intelligence agencies will know when and where Iran will make the fuse, assemble the bomb, and prepare the warhead.
Look, no one appreciates our intelligence agencies more than the Prime Minister of Israel. All these leading intelligence agencies are superb, including ours. They’ve foiled many attacks. They’ve saved many lives.
But they are not foolproof.
For over two years, our intelligence agencies didn’t know that Iran was building a huge nuclear enrichment plant under a mountain.
Do we want to risk the security of the world on the assumption that we would find in time a small workshop in a country half the size of Europe?

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. The relevant question is at what stage can we no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb.
The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target.
I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.
This will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether.

Two days ago, from this podium, President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be contained.
I very much appreciate the President’s position as does everyone in my country. We share the goal of stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This goal unites the people of Israel.  It unites Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike and it is shared by important leaders throughout the world.
What I have said today will help ensure that this common goal is achieved.
Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The clash between modernity and medievalism need not be a clash between progress and tradition.
The traditions of the Jewish people go back thousands of years.  They are the source of our collective values and the foundation of our national strength.
At the same time, the Jewish people have always looked towards the future. Throughout history, we have been at the forefront of efforts to expand liberty, promote equality, and advance human rights.
We champion these principles not despite of our traditions but because of them.
We heed the words of the Jewish prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Jeremiah to treat all with dignity and compassion, to pursue justice and cherish life and to pray and strive for peace.
These are the timeless values of my people and these are the Jewish people’s greatest gift to mankind.
Let us commit ourselves today to defend these values so that we can defend our freedom and protect our common civilization.

Thank you.

Israel Political Brief September 27, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu draws “red line” on Iran’s nuclear program in UN Speech

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Netanyahu draws “red line” on Iran’s nuclear program

http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20120927&t=2&i=657485540&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=460&pl=300&r=CBRE88Q1ETE00
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew his “red line” for Iran’s nuclear program on Thursday despite a U.S. refusal to set an ultimatum, saying Tehran will be on the brink of a nuclear weapon in less than a year…..READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief September 26, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Statement on Yom Kippur & United Nations General Assembly

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Statement from PM Netanyahu

Source: PMO, 9-26-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released the following statement this evening :

“Citizens of Israel,

Tonight, I am leaving for New York to represent the State of Israel at the United Nations.

On the issue of Iran, we are all in agreement on the goal of preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weapons.

On the day when we pray to be inscribed in the Book of Life, a platform was given to a dictatorial regime that strives, at every opportunity, to sentence us to death.

On the eve of Yom Kippur, which is sacred to the Jewish People, the Iranian tyrant – before the whole world – chose to publicly call for our disappearance.

This is a black day for those who chose to stay in the hall and listen to such slander.

In my remarks to the UN General Assembly, they will hear my response.

As the Prime Minister of Israel, the state of the Jewish People, I am working in every way so that Iran will not have nuclear weapons.

History has proven that those who have wanted to wipe us off the map have failed, as the Jewish People have overcome all obstacles.

We have set up a magnificent state, among the most advanced in the world.

Israel is a modern and strong state thanks to the strength and talents of its citizens and to our faith in the justice of our cause.

I wish you all gmar hatima tova!”

Israel Political Brief September 24, 2012: Defense Minister Ehud Barak proposes unilateral withdrawal from outlying settlements, outposts

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Barak proposes unilateral withdrawal from outlying settlements, outposts

Source: JTA 9-24-12

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak proposed in a newspaper interview that Israel unilaterally withdraw from outlying West Bank settlements and outposts….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 24, 2012: Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert gets probation, fine for breach of trust

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Olmert gets probation, fine for breach of trust

Source: JTA, 9-24-12

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to one to three years of probation and fined about $19,000 for a breach of trust conviction….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 23, 2012: Iranian general threatens attack on Israel

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Iranian general threatens attack on Israel

Source: JTA, 9-23-12

An Iranian general threatened to launch a preemptive attack on Israel and said that any attack by Israel on Iran could start “World War III.”…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 23, 2012: Mitt Romney’s peace pessimism draws muted response from Jewish groups

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Romney’s peace pessimism draws muted response from Jewish groups

Source: JTA, 9-23-12

Mitt Romney’s pessimistic take on Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects drew some media attention but not much noise from centrist Jewish groups….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 23, 2012: Israel envoy to UN: Act to right wrong to Jews expelled from Arab lands

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Israel envoy to U.N.: Act to right wrong to Jews expelled from Arab lands

Source: JTA, 9-23-12

The United Nations must act to right the “historic wrong” done to Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries, said Israel’s U.N. ambassador to the world body, Ron Prosor….READ MORE

Israel Brief September 23, 2012: Israel moves to Standard Time amid demonstrations

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Israel moves to Standard Time amid demonstrations

Source: JTA, 9-23-12

Israel moved back to Standard Time, bringing out demonstrators in protest of the early switch due to Yom Kippur….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 23, 2012: Islamic terror group in Sinai claims responsibility for deadly attack on Israeli troops

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Islamic terror group in Sinai claims responsibility for deadly attack on Israeli troops

Source: JTA, 9-23-12

An Islamic terror group based in the Sinai claimed responsibility for an attack that killed an Israeli soldier, saying it was in response to an anti-Muslim film….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief September 23, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

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

Source: PMO, 9-23-12

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s and Minister Yossi Peled’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today:

“Good morning.

Last Friday there was a terrorist attack on our border with Egypt in which IDF soldier Netanel Yahalomi fell. Netanel had a non-combat [medical] profile but insisted on serving as a combat soldier so he could defend the homeland. We send our condolences to his family. In the same incident, the men and women soldiers of the Caracal unit stormed the terrorists’ position and killed three of them. An IDF soldier was wounded; we wish him a rapid recovery.

I would like to praise the action of our fighters in preventing a terrorist attack that could have been much deadlier, and I think that this underscores the importance of the Government’s decision to build a security fence on the border with Sinai. Without a Government decision to build a security fence on our border with Sinai, Israel would be flooded with illegal work infiltrators, as well as terrorist cells on the ground. This has been prevented due to this decision and due to the action of the IDF’s fighters. This was done of course, we made our decision, after the issue had not [previously] been dealt with.

Today, I would also like to focus on another thing that the Government did after many years in which the issues were not dealt with – I mean in the health field. We will hear a briefing by Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman on the Government’s impressive activity in this area. We are now adding hospital beds after a decade in which not a single bed was added. In the decade before the Government was established, not one hospital bed was added – we are adding 1,000 hospital beds. We recently dedicated a medical school in Safed, after almost 40 years in which no new medical school was opened in Israel.  We all know that there is always a shortage of doctors – we are trying to close this gap, inter alia, by this measure.

We are also taking a series of steps to lower the cost of medical treatments. We enacted free dental care up to age 12 – as of now there have been approximately two million free treatments. We also canceled the fee for infant care clinics; it had risen by hundreds of shekels. We are subsidizing things such as hearing aids. We have strengthened medicine in the Galilee and the Negev by opening forwar5d emergency rooms, emergency rooms in 12 communities. We have added MRI machines to the hospitals there; this had been a continuing complaint for years and this was also dealt with.

I would like to say that this investment has had results. Recently, Israel was ranked 6th in the global health index of 143 countries. One item that was checked was life expectancy. For men, we ranked second among OECD member states; the life expectancy of women is higher, and it is increasing. This, of course, is good news. I would like to thank you, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, and the people at your ministry for this important work in strengthening the health of Israeli citizens.

After Yom Kippur, I will take off for the US in order to speak there before the UN General Assembly on behalf of the citizens of Israel. After the speech, I will meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who recently made a moral and brave decision against Iran, and with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. I will reiterate that the most dangerous country in the world must not be allowed to arm itself with the most dangerous weapon in the world.

In conclusion, this is the last Cabinet meeting for our friend, Minister Yossi Peled. Yossi, yours is the story of the State of Israel. You survived the holocaust and came to contribute to the revival of our nation: You were an IDF soldier and then commander, and afterwards GOC Northern Command, and afterwards you entered public life and became a Government minister.

We attended several ceremonies together. Perhaps the most moving of these was at the Wansee Villa in Germany, where the Final Solution, was decided upon, and I remember that we stood together and were moved to the depths of our souls by the story encapsulated in your life’s work. I was repeatedly impressed by this there, in the many conversations that we had, and I know that you will yet continue in public life, but I would like to thank you on behalf of the Cabinet, your friends, and on behalf of all Israelis, for your contribution to the revival of Israel. Good luck Yossi and I think that you would like to say a few words.”

Following is an excerpt from Minister Peled’s remarks:

“…I want to tell you, to you [Mr. Prime Minister] and to everyone – this Government, in one area, did something that no government has done since 1953, in caring for Holocaust survivors…And do you know what, Mr. Prime Minister? Just for this it was worth it for me to be in the Government…”

Israel Political Brief September 21, 2012: Israeli soldier, assailants killed in skirmish near border with Egypt

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Israeli soldier, assailants killed in skirmish near border with Egypt

Source: JTA, 9-21-12

One Israeli soldier and three armed assailants died in a skirmish near the border with Egypt….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 21, 2012: Mossad failed to warn about 1973 war, declassified papers show

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Mossad failed to warn about 1973 war, declassified papers show

Source: JTA, 9-21-12

The Mossad failed to pass on warnings by credible sources that Egypt would strike Israel in 1973, newly declassified Israeli documents show….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 20, 2012: Turkey’s Erdogan says Israel sent ‘richest Jew’ to intercede

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Turkey’s Erdogan says Israel sent ‘richest Jew’ to intercede

Source: JTA, 9-20-12

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a Turkish newspaper that Israel sent “the richest Jewish man in the world” to create better relations between the two countries….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 20, 2012: Israel’s nuke head invites IAEA inspection

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Israel’s nuke head invites IAEA inspection

Source: JTA, 9-20-12

The head of Israel’s nuclear agency invited the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect its Soreq nuclear research center….READ MORE

 

Israel Political Brief September 16, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu on US news shows calls for red line on Iran

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Netanyahu on U.S. news shows calls for red line on Iran

Source: JTA, 9-16-12

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to American news shows to push for red lines on Iran’s nuclear program….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 16, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Iran six to seven months from nuclear bomb capability

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ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Netanyahu: Iran six to seven months from nuclear bomb capability

The Israeli premier calls the US to spell out limits that Tehran must not cross or else face military action – something Obama has refused to do….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 16, 2012: President Shimon Peres stresses family in Rosh Hashanah message to Diaspora, tolerance to Israelis

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Peres stresses family in Rosh Hashanah message to Diaspora, tolerance to Israelis

Source: JTA, 9-16-12

Israeli President Shimon Peres in a Rosh Hashanah message called Diaspora Jews “full partners” with Israel….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief September 14, 2012: Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Rosh Hashanah Statement

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA
ON ROSH HASHANAH

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on Rosh Hashanah:

“This weekend marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah and the Jewish New Year, signifying the time for a new beginning.“Rosh Hashanah is one of the most sacred days of the Jewish calendar. It is the first of the High Holy Days, a 10-day period of repentance in which the Jewish people around the world reflect on their faith, re-examine the past year and look to the year ahead.

“The Jewish community has greatly enriched our country, and this holy day presents an opportunity to acknowledge their invaluable contributions to all aspects of Canada’s society.

“To all those celebrating Rosh Hashanah, Laureen and I extend our warmest wishes for a healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.

“L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu.”

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