Israel Musings December 24, 2014: Netanyahu might be barred from running for prime minister in Israel’s elections

ISRAEL MUSINGS

ISRAEL MUSINGS: OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Netanyahu might be barred from running for prime minister in Israel’s elections

By Bonnie K. Goodman

President Barack Obama, the European Union and United Nations nearly had their wish that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not be the country’s prime minister after the March 17, 2015 early elections. On Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014…READ MORE
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Full Text Israel Political Brief December 17, 2014: PM Netanyahu’s Statement on the Removal of Hamas from the EU List of Terrorist Organizations — Transcript

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

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PM Netanyahu’s Statement on the Removal of Hamas from the EU List of Terrorist Organizations

Source: PMO, 12-17-14

יום רביעי כ”ה כסלו תשע”ה
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement on the decision of the General Court of the European Union to remove Hamas from the European Union list of terrorist organizations:

“We are not satisfied with the European Union’s explanation that the removal of Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations is a ‘technical matter’. The burden of proof is on the European Union and we expect it to put Hamas back on the list forthwith given that it is understood by all that Hamas – a murderous terrorist organization, the covenant of which specifies the destruction of Israel as its goal – is an inseparable part of this list. We will continue to fight Hamas with strength and determination so that it never achieves this goal.”

Full Text Israel Political Brief December 15, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks in Rome about EU and Palestinians Aim for Statehood Israel Withdrawal — Transcript

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PM Netanyahu’s remarks in Rome

Source: MFA, 12-15-14 

I very much appreciate the Secretary of State’s efforts to prevent a deterioration in the region. Attempts by the Palestinians and several European countries to force conditions on Israel will only lead to a deterioration in the regional situation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks (Monday, 15 December 2014) in Rome:

“I would like to send my condolences to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and to the Australian people over the loss of innocent life. International Islamic terrorism knows no borders; therefore, the struggle against it must be global.

This afternoon I met with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. This was our first meeting since he was elected Prime Minister and it was very good. Israel and Italy have much in common and many joint interests and we decided to expand cooperation in very many areas and on all levels.

I come here from a serious conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry. We discussed a range of issues including Iran, Syria, the war against ISIS and others. Of course, we also discussed at length the Palestinian issue. I very much appreciate the Secretary of State’s efforts to prevent a deterioration in the region. I said that the attempts of the Palestinians and of several European countries to force conditions on Israel will only lead to a deterioration in the regional situation and will endanger Israel; therefore, we will strongly oppose this.”

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

ISRAEL MUSINGS

ISRAEL MUSINGS: OP-EDS & ARTICLES

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

Full Text Israel Political Brief December 7, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech at the 11th Annual Saban Forum — Transcript

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

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PM Netanyahu addresses 11th Annual Saban Forum

Source: MFA, 12-7-14

Excerpts

While stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program is by far the most vital national security challenge we face, the unprecedented instability afflicting the entire region poses an enormous challenge for our common security as well. Violence and fanaticism are spreading throughout the Middle East.

Following is an excerpt from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recorded remarks (Sunday, 7 December 2014) to the 11th Annual Saban Forum in Washington, DC:

The prestigious Saban Forum discusses so many of the important issues facing America and Israel today. And of these, none is more important to our common security than Iran’s ongoing pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The November 24th deadline for an agreement has come and gone. That’s fortunate because a deal was not signed last month that would have effectively left Iran as a threshold nuclear power. And even though Israel isn’t part of the P5+1, our voice and our concerns played a critical role in preventing a bad deal. Now we must use the time available to increase the pressure on Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons capability.

While stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program is by far the most vital national security challenge we face, the unprecedented instability afflicting the entire region poses an enormous challenge for our common security as well. Where once seemingly coherent nations and clearly defined borders stood, we now see chaos – in Iraq, in Syria, in Libya, in Yemen and Lebanon.

The entire region is hemorrhaging. Violence and fanaticism are spreading throughout the Middle East, and ISIS’s savagery is merely one example of it. The collapse of the old order has made clear to pragmatic Arab governments that Israel is not their enemy. On the contrary, Israel and our moderate Arab neighbors have much to gain by cooperating. And this cooperation could, in turn, open the door to peace…

… Like the moderate Arabs, I want Israel to have peace with the Palestinians: a genuine peace, an enduring peace, a secure peace. I stress the word secure because for years I demanded that any peace agreement be founded upon robust security arrangements. That was always understood by Israelis, but I hope, I sincerely hope that it’s now better understood internationally for there can be no peace without real security and there can be no real security without a long-term IDF presence to provide it.

For nine months we negotiated with the Palestinians, but they consistently refused to engage us on our legitimate security concerns, just as they refused to discuss recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, while at the same time insisting that Israel recognize a nation-state of the Palestinian people.

The talks didn’t end because Israel announced that it would build apartments in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem – neighborhoods that will remain a part of Israel under any conceivable peace agreement.

The talks ended because the Palestinians wanted them to end. The talks ended because President Abbas unfortunately chose a pact with Hamas over peace with Israel.

Unfortunately, the Palestinian leadership is simply not prepared, and I hope this changes, but it’s not yet prepared to truly confront violence and fanaticism within Palestinian society, within their own ranks. The jihadist murderers in the tragic attack on the Har Nof synagogue were not focused on how many apartments Jews were building in Jerusalem. They were focused on killing Jews. After Secretary Kerry spoke with him, President Abbas condemned the Har Nof murderers, but still blamed Israel for their heinous actions. And Abbas remains in a political pact with those who celebrated the murder of the rabbis, three of whom were also American citizens.

Regrettably, the Palestinian leadership not only refuses to confront that extremism, at times, it even fuels it. It engages in incitement day in and day out. Just look at their webpages. Look at their websites – it’ll make your hair stand on end. And I think it’s important to confront this. I don’t think sticking our head in the sand promotes real peace and I don’t believe that false hopes promote real peace. I think they just push peace further away.

Real peace will only come with leadership that demands from the Palestinians to accept the three pillars of peace: one, genuine mutual recognition; two, an end to all claims, including the right of return; and three, a long-term Israeli security presence. Now, I will never give up on this triangle of true peace.

Israel seeks peace. I seek peace, but for peace we need a Palestinian partner willing to stand up to Palestinian extremists – as other Arab governments are now doing throughout the region. I hope that we will find such a partner – a partner who will recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, who will take our security concerns seriously, who will end all claims…

…Last week, we celebrated the 67th anniversary of the United Nations’ call for the establishment of the Jewish state. Today, we are proud that the Jewish people have achieved our national self-determination in a genuinely democratic state, one that guarantees equal rights for all its citizens, regardless of race, religion or sex – as promised in our Declaration of Independence. And this will not change. In standing up for Israel’s identity as the nation-state of the Jewish people, I will never agree to legislation that undermines Israel’s democratic character. Not now, not ever…

…The great bond between Israel and America is anchored in our shared democratic values and our friendship was demonstrated again over the summer when President Obama and the Congress provided Israel with that additional funding for Iron Dome, which has saved so many lives. And that friendship was demonstrated yet again last week when an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House followed the Senate in approving the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act. I thank our many friends from both parties in the House and the Senate who – like me -are committed to strengthening even further the US-Israel alliance.

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 December 3, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu addresses Fuel Choices Summit — Transcript

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PM Netanyahu addresses Fuel Choices Summit

Source: MFA, 12-3-14

This event has become the Nobel Prize for alternative fuels and it’s akin to the Nobel Prize for peace because the work that is being done here is meant to produce a cleaner, better and safer world.

I want to welcome all of you to this annual event. There are 140 guests here from 36 countries, seven auto-makers, energy companies, technology companies, including 130 Israeli startup companies.

We have here government ministers and officials from Israel and from around the world, researchers and scientists. I want to welcome the Chairman of Keren Hayesod, Moodi Sandberg; the Head of the National Economic Council, Professor Eugene Kandel; the Minister of Science, Yaakov Peri; the Director of Alternative Fuels Administration, Eyal Rosner.

I want to recognize and thank the benefactors of tonight’s prize, Eric and Sheila Samson; you are doing extraordinary, extraordinary work. And I want to also welcome the Chairman of the Prize Committee, Professor Yitzhak Apeloig.

This event has become the Nobel Prize for alternative fuels and it’s akin to the Nobel Prize for peace because the work that is being done here is meant to produce a cleaner, better and safer world. It will also have cheaper energy, more efficient energy, and that’s something that has [unclear] political consequences, environmental consequences and economic consequences.

Now since we’ve started this program, there has been a palpable change. I asked Professor Kandel how many startup companies did we have, how many companies did we have in Israel dealing in this field two-and-a-half years ago. The number was 45. Today with the startups and the established companies, that number is 200. It’s grown four-fold, four-fold in two-and-a-half years and I think that tells you, I think, everything. What we need of course is the collaboration between government, industry and academia.

I stress the importance of this collaboration and there is the flow of people from one sector to the other, but I think this is so valuable and so important. And it mirrors the changes that are taking place in the world.
We established last year here JAFA, the Joint Alcohol Fuel Alliance. It includes China, Brazil, Israel, Australia, US participants; and it’s advanced efforts to develop alcohol-based alternative fuels. And we’ve seen a lot of progress in related areas. We’ve seen natural gas in the US from shale. We’ve seen methanol in China, hydrogen in Japan, expanded use of electric and hybrid vehicles.

In this regard, I want to congratulate the two Samson Prize winners, Professor Michael Grätzel of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne; and Professor Thomas Meyer of the University of South Carolina. They have done, you have done ground-breaking research in the development of effective and inexpensive solar-based methods in order to convert solar energy into electricity, allowing solar energy to be harnessed for transportation.

I think this is one of the great challenges that face us. Now I know that people don’t really believe that our dependence on oil for transportation is surmountable. I beg to disagree. I’m convinced it is. It requires a continuous effort, continuous. It shouldn’t be subjected to the volatility in oil prices. It has to have a determined, long-term effort that the kind of things that we are doing here in this forum and that you are doing in your respective organizations requires. But it also requires feats of brilliance. It requires the leap of imagination and technology and science. Not everything moves incrementally. Sometimes it moves in rapid jumps, rapid climbs, what we call a step-function. And I think all of you are contributing to climbing those steps and I think it can be done.

I often give the example of the world’s dependence on salt. They had salt wars in the 19th century. Salt was the preservative for food. It was the indispensable commodity. The world depended on it. And one day, somebody invented refrigeration, and that dependence was gone, gone forever. I think the same can be done with our dependence on oil in transportation. It will give people a choice. It will give consumers freedom. It will give us cleaner air. It will give us a safer world.

I want to congratulate our two honorees for giving us a better future. Thank you and congratulations. Mazal Tov. Thank you.

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