Israel Political Brief January 31, 2013: UN: Israel must withdraw from settlements immediately

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U.N.: Israel must withdraw from settlements immediately

Source: JTA, 1-31-13

A U.N. report on the impact of Jewish West Bank settlements on Palestinians said Israel immediately should begin withdrawing all settlers from the territory….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 31, 2013: Israel notified US about attack on Syria

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Report: Israel notified U.S. about attack on Syria

Source: JTA, 1-31-13

Israel gave Washington advanced notice about its attack Wednesday on a Syrian target, U.S. officials told The New York Times….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 30, 2013: Israel fires missile along Lebanon-Syria border

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Israel fires missile along Lebanon-Syria border

Source: Washington Post, 1-30-13

Israeli aircraft fired at a truck convoy along the Lebanon-Syria border early Wednesday, a Western official and a former Lebanese security official said, days after a cabinet minister warned Israel might take action to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 30, 2013: President Shimon Peres receives official Knesset elections results

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Peres receives official Knesset elections results

Source: JTA, 1-30-13

Israeli President Shimon Peres received the official results of the elections for the 19th Knesset….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 30, 2013: Israel to boycott UN Human Rights Council review

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Israel to boycott UNHRC review

Source: Ynet News, 1-30-13

A diplomatic crisis in the making? In an unprecedented move, Israel announced that it will boycott a regular review by the UN’s Human Rights Council….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 29, 2013: Sunday Times editor apologizes over Benjamin Netanyahu cartoon

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Sunday Times editor apologises over Benjamin Netanyahu cartoon

Source: The Guardian, 1-29-13

The acting editor of the Sunday Times has apologised unreservedly to Jewish community leaders for what he said was “a terrible mistake” in publishing a cartoon featuring Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which prompted a wave of complaints….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 29, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu offers Yair Lapid Foreign Minister post or Treasury portfolio

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PM offers Lapid FM post or Treasury portfolio

Source:  YNet, 1-29-13

Netanyahu offers Yesh Atid chairman one of two top cabinet posts, sources say. Analysts believe Lapid in fact keener on housing, internal affairs portfolios

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid a choice between the foreign affairs or finance portfolios, sources close to the two said.

The two met at the prime minister’s residence on Thursday away from the public eye in a meeting that kicked off the coalition negotiations….READ MORE 

Israel Political Brief January 29, 2013: Israel Boycotts UN Rights Review

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Israel Boycotts UN Rights Review

Source: New York Times, 1-29-13

Israel became the first country to boycott a United Nations review of its human rights practices on Tuesday, shunning efforts by the United States and others to encourage its participation in a process in which all countries have hitherto….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief January 28, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Meets with Delegation of US Congressmen Led by Rep. Rob Wittman

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PM Netanyahu Meets with Delegation of US Congressmen Led by Rep. Rob Wittman

Source: PMO, 1-28-13
יום שני י”ז שבט תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today met with a bipartisan delegation from the US House of Representatives led by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA). The Prime Minister said: “We’ve had very close cooperation on all things, including the developing matters in Syria, very close cooperation between our two governments. I think this is important for the stability of the region, for the security of Israel and it’s much appreciated.”

Rep. Wittman said: “We deeply value the relationship between the United States and Israel. With all the challenges in the region, as you spoke about, we are very committed to make sure we are here to understand the challenges and where we can help Israel meet these challenges and make sure that the region operates in the best interests of all.”

Israel Political Brief January 28, 2013: 19th Knesset: Israel’s new Knesset members

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Meet some of Israel’s new Knesset members

Source: JTA, 1-28-13

Last week’s Israeli election saw 53 new members elected to the Knesset. Meet five of the lesser-known lawmakers likely to make a splash in the coming years….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 28, 2013: Knesset approves plan to recognize Bedouin settlement

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Knesset approves plan to recognize Bedouin settlement

Source: JTA, 1-28-13

Israel’s Cabinet approved a plan to formalize the status of Bedouin settlement in the Negev….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief January 28, 2013: President Barack Obama congratulates PM Benjamin Netanyahu on election victory in phone call

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Obama congratulates Netanyahu in phone call

Source: JTA, 1-28-13

President Obama congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on winning the most seats in the next Knesset and said he looked forward to working with the new government.

Readout of the President’s Call with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

“President Obama spoke today by telephone with Prime Minister Netanyahu to congratulate him on his party’s success in winning a plurality of Knesset seats in Israel’s recent election.  The President indicated that the United States looks forward to working with the next government.  He also reiterated his commitment to the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel, and pledged to work closely with Israel on our shared agenda for peace and security in the Middle East.”…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 27, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu warns on Iran: Its Holocaust is the demise of Israel

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Netanyahu warns on Iran: Its Holocaust is the demise of Israel

Source: JTA, 1-27-13

Iran is preparing for another Holocaust — the destruction of Israel — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on International Holocaust Remembrance Day….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief January 27, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Cabinet Meeting on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

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

Source: PMO, 1-27-13

יום ראשון ט”ז שבט תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

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

“Today, we mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. I welcome Yad Vashem Council Chairman Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Board of Directors, Avner Shalev. This day was established at the initiative, and as a result, of systematic action by Silvan Shalom, who was then Foreign Minister, and I welcome the work of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, who has struggled for the commemoration of the Holocaust, and who has struggled against the new anti-Semitism that is flooding the world. Anti-Semitism has not disappeared and – to our regret – neither has the desire to destroy a considerable part of the Jewish People and the State of Israel. They exist and they are strong. Holocaust-denial is being spread by one of the world’s major countries, not by a group or by individual countries or by marginal elements, but by Iran which, today, from the UN or any other platform, is the leader of Holocaust-denial while preparing for what they deem to be another Holocaust – the destruction of the state of the Jews. They are not halting their relentless and systematic race to achieve a nuclear weapons capability in order to realize this intention. We do not make light of these threats and we will prevent them. This is our primary mission as a government and as a people.

In the perspective of the almost 75 years that have passed since the Holocaust, what has not changed is the desire to annihilate the Jews. What has changed is the ability of the Jews to defend themselves. This ability finds expression in the state, the military, and the security services and in our willingness to act against those who come to destroy us. This ability is the difference between what was then and what there is today. Nobody will defend the Jews if they are not ready to defend themselves; this is another lesson of the Holocaust. It is impossible to rely on separate and independent action to defend the Jews if the Jews will not defend themselves.

Therefore, the root of the issue today, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is not what happened, but how we can prevent it from happening again and this depends on the ability and the determination of the state of the Jews to defend itself against those who would destroy it. To this end, we must look around us, at what is happening in Iran and its proxies and at what is happening in other areas, with the deadly weapons in Syria, which is increasingly coming apart. The Middle East is not waiting on the results of the elections and it will not stop during the formation of the government. There are many threats here, among the more difficult that I have pointed out and others, and the reality is developing apace. In the east, north and south, everything is in ferment and we must be prepared. Strong and determined in the face of all possible developments. To this end, I would like to form the broadest and most stable government as possible in order – first of all – to meet the significant security threats that face the State of Israel, and I am convinced of our ability to deal with these threats.”

Israel Political Brief January 25, 2013: Ehud Barak: US Could Strike Iran

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Barak: U.S. Could Strike Iran

If sanctions fail to halt Tehran’s nuclear weapons development, the Pentagon has plans for a ‘surgical operation’ to end the threat, the Israeli defense minister told The Daily Beast in a wide-ranging interview at Davos….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 25, 2013: Hareidi Parties May Form ‘Blocking Bloc’ to Yair Lapid

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Hareidi Parties May Form ‘Blocking Bloc’ to Lapid

Source: Arutz Sheva, 1-25-13

Shas and United Torah Judaism may work together to prevent Lapid from drafting yeshiva students….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 25, 2013: Shelly Yacimovich’s magnificent failure

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Yacimovich’s magnificent failure

Source: Haaretz, 1-25-13

Yacimovich’s magnificent failure. Shelly Yacimovich’s campaign was saturated with serious strategic errors stemming from her personality – but she’d never admit it….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 24, 2013: Elections 2013: Estimated voter turnout 3 percent higher than in 2009

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Estimated voter turnout 3 percent higher than in 2009

Source: Haaretz, 1-24-13

Estimated voter turnout 3 percent higher than in 2009. This is up from the previous 66.6 percent figure estimated by the Central Elections Committee Wednesday night, based on a sampling of 60 polling stations….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 24, 2013: Elections 2013: Final Israeli vote: Jewish Home gains a seat to give right wing a majority with 61 Seats

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Final Israeli vote: Jewish Home gains a seat to give right wing a majority

Source: JTA, 1-24-13

The Jewish Home party gained one seat in the final results of Israeli voting, pushing the right-wing bloc to a majority in the 19th Knesset….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 23, 2013: Elections 2013: Right bloc slips to exactly half of Israeli vote

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Right bloc slips to exactly half of Israeli vote

Source: JTA, 1-24-13

Israel’s final election results showed the right wing with exactly half of the Knesset’s 120 seats, down five from its current number….READ MORE

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