Full Text Israel Political Brief March 14, 2013: US President Barack Obama’s Interview with Yonit Levy on Israel’s Channel 2 Excerpts — White House Interview Ahead of Israel Visit

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Obama: Diplomatic fix with Iran would be ‘a more lasting solution’

Source: Times of Israel, 3-14-13

Channel 2 broadcasts White House interview with the president ahead of his visit next week

President describes ‘terrific, businesslike’ relationship with ‘Bibi’

US President Barack Obama is interviewed on Channel 2 News, Thursday, March 14 (photo credit: image capture Channel 2)

US President Barack Obama is interviewed on Channel 2 News, Thursday, March 14 (photo credit: image capture Channel 2)

Ahead of his first visit to Israel as president next Wednesday, Barack Obama was interviewed Wednesday by Israel’s Channel 2. The interview at the White House, with news anchor Yonit Levy, was screened on Thursday.

20:47

As president, you can’t just interact with people informally

“You can’t just slip out and interact with people without having a bunch of guys with machine-guns” hanging out with you….

Ventures Levy: There must be some compensations?

Obama: Well, there’s “a nice plane.”

20:40

Jonathan Pollard committed a very serious crime

“I recognize the emotions involved in this… My first obligation is to observe the law.”…

20:37

Coming to ‘listen’ on the Palestinian issue…

20:33

‘Terrific, businesslike’ relationship with ‘Bibi’

Levy pushes on the Obama-Netanyahu relationship.

“The bottom line is that Israel’s security is going to be at the forefront.” It’s not a factor of who’s president or prime minister.

“Any time you read something where the president allegedly said something in as private meting, I think you should … take that with a pinch of salt.”…

20:30

Israel has right ‘to be secure as a homeland of the Jewish people’

Levy asks about some Israelis’ negative perceptions of him.

“Some of this is politics… There are conservative views both here in the United States and Israel that may not jive with mine.”… “I’ve run my last election…”

“The fundamental right of Israel to be secure as a homeland of the Jewish people, and its connection to the land.”

“Resolving the Palestinian issue is good” for Israel’s security. If it can be resolved, he stresses….

20:26

On Iran, my cabinet is prepared for a whole range of contingencies

“My cabinet is prepared for a whole range of contingencies.” Kerry and Hagel “share my fundamental view” on a nuclear Iran as a threat to US interest….

20:23

I’ve been crystal clear on Iran

“We think it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close.”…

20:20

It’s a chance to connect with the Israeli people

What took you so long to come?

Well, we’ve had some crises in the United States…. It’s a chance to connect with the Israeli people. The bonds.. are so strong. Shared values. Shared families… Unshakeable commitment… and a shared vision… I’m really looking forward to it.

20:18

The Obama interview in full

20:15

‘I’d love to sit at a cafe and just hang out’

“I’d love to sit at a cafe and just hang out. Sometimes I have this fantasy that I can put on a disguise and wear a fake mustache” and wander into Tel Aviv, go to a university and speak to some students, “in a setting that wasn’t so formal.”…

20:06

Obama: It would take Iran over a year to build the bomb

We think that it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close. So when I am consulting with Bibi… my message to him will be the same as before: If we can resolve it diplomatically, that’s a more lasting solution.

When I say that all options are on the table, all options are on the table….

19:59

Obama: No plan to release Pollard

Obama: We think that it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon.

And: I have no plans for releasing Jonathan Pollard immediately….

19:58

Plenty of hype ahead of the broadcast

19:51

Channel 2 set to broadcast its Obama interview

Full Text Israel Brief March 14, 2013: Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s Statement: Expects New Pope Francis to Strengthen Ties with the State of Israel & the Jewish People

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Chief Rabbinate Expects New Pope to Strengthen Ties

Source: Arutz Sheva, 3-14-13

The Chief Rabbinate issued a statement, Thursday, in which it expressed its confidence in newly-elected Pope Francis to maintain the philo-Semitic trends of his immediate predecessors. 

“Over the past twelve years there has been a rich and fruitful dialogue between the Holy See and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel on primary issues such as banning terrorism in God’s Name, the sanctity of life, the sanctity of the family unit, etc. This dialogue has led to significant achievements over the years, such as Holy See’s decision to heed the Chief Rabbinate’s request and suspend Holocaust-denier Bishop Richard Williamson, and the modification of sections of the Good Friday liturgy that were harsh and insulting towards the Jewish People.”

“Statements by the two previous Pontiffs have played a significant role in the fight against anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond. The dialogue between the Holy See and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel was welcomed and nurtured with personal involvement by the two previous Pontiffs. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is confident that Pope Francis, whose good relations with the Jewish People are well known, will keep the same spirit, and strengthen and develop the Roman Catholic Church’s connections with the State of Israel and the Jewish People.”

Israel Political Brief March 14, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett, Yair Lapid expected to sign government coalition agreement Thursday

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Netanyahu, Bennett, Lapid expected to sign coalition agreement Thursday

Source: Haaretz, 3-14-13

Israel’s new government expected to be sworn in Monday; universal IDF draft a top priority; Ze’ev Elkin in line to become deputy foreign minister.

Netanyahu, right, and Lieberman at a Likud-Beiteinu faction meeting on March 14.

Netanyahu, right, and Lieberman at a Likud-Beiteinu faction meeting on March 14. Photo by Emil Salman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to meet with Habayit Hayehudi chairman Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on Thursday to sign a coalition agreement after a breakthrough the day before following weeks of negotiations.

The 33rd government of Israel is expected to be sworn in on Monday….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 14, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Likud succeeded in keeping top ministry portfolios נתניהו: השארנו את התיקים החשובים אצלנו

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נתניהו: השארנו את התיקים החשובים אצלנו

נתניהו: “השארנו את התיקים החשובים אצלנו”. ראש הממשלה שיחרר הצהרה ראשונה על אופי הממשלה בישיבת סיעת הליכוד בכנסת. לדבריו המפלגה שמרה על תיק

Israel Political Brief March 14, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Likud succeeded in keeping top ministries

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PM: Likud succeeded in keeping top ministries

Source: JPost, 3-14-13

Netanyahu says preserving Foreign, Defense portfolios a victory; Lapid, Bennett holding up coalition deal over deputy PM row.

Liberman and Netanyahu at Likud Beytenu faction meeting, Feb 5 2013

Liberman and Netanyahu at Likud Beytenu faction meeting, Feb 5 2013 Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post

Likud Beytenu succeeded in retaining the most important portfolios for itself in coalition negotiations, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday as he neared signing a final agreement on the next government.

Speaking at a Likud Beytenu faction meeting, Netanyahu stated that he was finishing the work of building the coalition for the upcoming term which he said would be “one of the most difficult ever.”…

“I insisted that Likud Beytenu have a majority of ministers in government so we can get things done,” he stressed….READ MORE

Related:

Israel Political Brief March 14, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Reaches Coalition Deals for Israel Government

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Netanyahu Reaches Coalition Deals for Israel Government

Source: Bloomberg, 3-14-13

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has reached agreements with other parliamentary factions to form a new government, according to a spokeswoman for his Likud party.

“We expect that the coalition agreements will be signed by the party leaders later today,” Likud spokeswoman Noga Rappaport said in a phone interview….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 14, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu is Expected to Announce the Formation of a New Government Today נתניהו צפוי להודיע היום על הקמת הממשלה החדשה

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

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נתניהו צפוי להודיע היום על הקמת הממשלה החדשה

Source: כיכר השבת, 3-14-13‎
ממשלת ההחרמות יוצאת לדרך: לאחר היום הסוער אמש (רביעי) והשימוש הציני של ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו בציבור החרדי, כדי לכופף את הזוג יאיר לפיד ונפתלי בנט, צפויים היום השלושה להיפגש כדי לחתום על ההסכם הקואליציוני. צוותי הליכוד ביתנו, יש עתיד והבית היהודי נפגשו אמש כדי לסגור את הקצוות האחרונים, ועידת הבית היהודי צפויה להתכנס במהלך היום כדי לאשר את ההסכם הקואליציוני. גם סיעת הליכוד תתכנס כדי להחליט על חלוקת התיקים, ושם צפוי לנתניהו קרב לא פשוט, לאחר שנסחט כהוגן ונותר עם שבעה תיקים בלבד מול מספר לא מבוטל של חברי-הכנסת שמעוניינים בשדרוג מעמדם.
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