Full Text Israel Political Brief May 31, 2015: PM Netanyahu’s Condolences to the Biden Family on the death on Beau Biden

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

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PM Netanyahu’s Condolences to the Biden Family

Source: PMO, 5-31-15

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his statement at the end of his meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier:

“I would like to offer Israel’s sincere condolences to my good friend Vice President Joe Biden on the passing of his son Beau. Vice President Biden spoke many times to me about Beau over the years, we’ve known each other for many, many years. And in his all too short life, Beau Biden achieved a great deal, and gave so much. Our thoughts and our prayers are with the entire Biden family at this difficult time.”

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Full Text Israel Political Brief May 31, 2015: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks to Celebrate Israel 2015 in New York

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s remarks to Celebrate Israel 2015 in NY

Source: PMO, 5-31-15
PM Netanyahu’s Greetings to ‘Celebrate Israel 2015 Parade’ in NY:

Our dear friends,
I salute you for saluting Israel.
Israel has no greater friend than America.
America has no greater friend than Israel.
I salute you from Jerusalem, the capital of our people for 3,000 years and the united capital of Israel for the last 48 years.
I send warm greetings to the thousands of you honoring Israel at the 2015 Celebrate Israel Parade.

You have gathered to express your solidarity with the one and only Jewish state. And in so doing, you are sending a powerful message of support for the essential justice of Israel’s cause.
In this turbulent region of the middle east, where countries are imploding, militant Islam runs rampant, terrorists butcher the innocent and human rights are routinely trampled upon, Israel stands out as a beacon of freedom and human rights, as a model of tolerance and diversity and as the one country in which the equal rights of all citizens are fiercely protected under the law.
So as y
ou salute Israel today in the streets of Manhattan, know that you are standing up for what is right and what is just.
Thank you. God bless you.

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 17, 2015: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Official Jerusalem Day Ceremony Marking 48 Years since the Unification of Jerusalem

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Excerpt from PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Official Jerusalem Day Ceremony Marking 48 Years since the Unification of Jerusalem

Source: PMO, 5-17-15

“Islamic fanaticism threatens Jerusalem, the Middle East and the entire world: Sunni fanaticism, such as that of Islamic State, and the Shi’ite extremists led by the Ayatollahs in Tehran. Extremist Sunni and Shi’ites are fighting each other but they have a common enemy – the West and the culture of freedom and progress that it represents. Only last night, after vigorous action by the US against the terrorism of Islamic State, the leader of Iran, Khamenei, attacked the US and said: It is the United States, so said the man who is heading the negotiations between Iran and the major powers, that is causing and supports terrorism. These words were said when Iran still does not have nuclear weapons and it is still not too late to go back on the plan to give Iran a deal that would pave for it a certain path to nuclear weapons. We oppose this deal and we are not the only ones who do so. It is both necessary and possible to achieve a better deal because extremists cannot be allowed to achieve their aims, not in Iran, not in Yemen and not in Jerusalem.”

דברי ראש הממשלה נתניהו בעצרת הממלכתית בגבעת התחמושת לציון 48 שנים לאיחוד ירושלים

17/05/2015
יום ראשון כ”ח אייר תשע”ה
צילום: קובי גדעון, לע”מ לחץ להגדלה

– הטקסט עבר התאמת עריכה –

נשיאנו, ראובן ריבלין ורעייתו נחמה,
סגן יו”ר הכנסת, חבר הכנסת נחמן שי,
המשנה לנשיאת בית המשפט העליון, השופט אליקים רובינשטיין, גם הוא איש ירושלים,
שרים, חברי כנסת,
ראש עיריית ירושלים, ניר ברקת,
יו”ר הסוכנות היהודית, נתן שרנסקי,
המפכ”ל, יוחנן דנינו,
מפקד פיקוד המרכז, האלוף רוני נומה,
מפקדים ולוחמי צה”ל,
משפחות יקרות,

לפני 48 שנים נתאחו קרעיה של בירתנו ירושלים, והיא שבה להיות עיר שחוברה לה יחדיו. חלוקתה גרמה לניוונה – איחודה הביא לפריחתה. ועל כן ירושלים לא תהפוך עוד לעיר פצועה ומבותרת; אנחנו נשמור לעד על ירושלים מאוחדת בריבונות ישראל.

במעמד זה אנו מרכינים ראש לזכרם של חללי צה”ל במלחמת ששת הימים, ובתוכם הנופלים בקרבות להגנת ירושלים ולשחרורה. אין עתיד בלי תקווה, ואין תוחלת לאומה בלי הנכונות להקרבה. וההקרבה שהייתה בעיר הזאת, בגבעה הזאת, השאירו חותם של מופת לדורות של לוחמים. לא בכדי המתגייסים הטריים לצבא הגנה לישראל מירושלים באים למקום הזה. הייתה לי הזכות לפני כמה חודשים, יחד עם רעייתי, ללוות את בננו שהתגייס להיות לוחם בצה”ל והתרגשנו מאוד, מטבע הדברים – כמו שאר ההורים שהיו כאן – מהיום, אבל גם התרגשנו מהמקום.

אני רוצה לומר לכם, בני המשפחות השכולות, שאני יודע את עומק כאבכם ואני שותף ליגונכם. פצעי האובדן חתומים בבשרכם. אם יש גמול ונחמה על הקורבן היקר – הם טמונים בהכרה של העם כולו לגיבורינו שבזכותם נחלצה ישראל מסכנה קיומית. בני דורי זוכרים היטב את שש היממות שהסירו את לולאת החנק מצווארה של המדינה. אבל לא פחות מכך חקוקים בנו ימי החרדה וההמתנה הדרוכה שקדמו למלחמה.

כולנו ידענו שגורלה של ישראל מונח על כפות המאזניים. קמנו כאיש אחד, התלכדנו, אזרנו עוז, והדפנו את אויבינו שסגרו עלינו בשלוש חזיתות. אין מלחמה צודקת ומוסרית מהמערכה הזאת, שבה התגלה רצון-החיים של עם ישראל במלוא עוצמתו. גולת הכותרת של הניצחון המזהיר הייתה ירושלים. במשך 19 שנים, מאז מלחמת העצמאות, היא הייתה עיר שסועה, סגורה מכל עבר, חנוקה.
יש פה הרבה צעירים, אז אני מזמין אתכם לדבר עם ותיקי ירושלים, בראשם הנשיא ריבלין וגם אנוכי, מי כמונו זוכרים זאת. תשמעו מאיתנו על שטחי ההפקר, על סכנת צליפה מצלפי הלגיון שעל החומות, על קירות הבטון שהגנו על עוברים ושבים בלב העיר מסכנת הירי, על גדרות תיל, ביצורים, מכשולים ושלטים שעליהם כתוב: “עצור, גבול לפניך”.

אני זוכר את זה היטב משכונת ממילא, ששם היה משרדו של אבי ז”ל. ואני זוכר גם את מעבר מנדלבאום. על נגישות לעיר העתיקה בכלל לא היה על מה לדבר. מעמדות התצפית שסמוכות לקו שחצה את הבירה – בהר ציון, באבו תור, על גג מנזר נוטרדם, ניסינו להביט במשקפות מאולתרות על “העיר האסורה”. תמיד הרגשנו שמשהו חסר, תמיד הייתה עננה בלתי-נראית תלויה מעל ראשינו.
כך הייתה ירושלים, וכל זה השתנה בבת אחת לפני 48 שנים. כאן, בגבעת התחמושת, התחולל קרב גבורה מכונן בין תעלות קשר, מחסני נשק ובונקרים. שני דורות לפני שחיילינו התמודדו בגבורה עם איום המנהרות של החמאס במבצע “צוק איתן”, היו התעלות הללו כאן סמל לנחישות ולהקרבה של לוחמי ישראל. ובמרחק של כשני קילומטרים מכאן התהווה הסמל האחר של הלחימה בירושלים, ואני זוכר את הרגעים ששמענו: ‘נכנסנו לעיר העתיקה’.

אני זוכר את הדברים של מוטה גור שהרטיטו את נימי הנפש של כולנו, אני זוכר צנחנים קשוחים שהתרפקו בדמעות על אבני הכותל המערבי. כל אחד מהם הרגיש שהוא נושא על גופו לא רק נשק וקסדה – אלא גם מטען היסטורי עצום של כיסופי הדורות לציון. ביום שחרור ירושלים הגיעה האחדות בעם לפסגות חדשות – בארץ ובתפוצות. המחיצות שנפלו בלבה של ירושלים, נפלו גם בתוכנו. גלים עצומים של הזדהות ושל רגש עמוק שטפו אותנו. הם הביאו להתעוררות ציונית אדירה בכל העולם, גם מעבר למסך הברזל, ולזינוק משמעותי בשיעורי העלייה לארץ.
ואכן, “היום השביעי” שלאחר המלחמה היה מסעיר לא פחות מקודמיו: שחררנו את ירושלים, ירושלים שחררה אותנו. מעיר מכווצת שהקיום בה מנוגד לחיים נורמליים – ירושלים נפתחה למרחב. היא הולכת ונבנית בתנופת פיתוח אדירה, וצדקת הנשיא כשאמרת: תנופת הפיתוח הזו חייבת לכלול גם את מזרח העיר.

אמר הנביא ישעיהו: “הִנְנִי יִסַד בְּצִיוֹן אָבֶן, אֶבֶן בֹּחַן”. ירושלים היא אכן אבן בוחן. היא מעמידה אותנו במבחן – עד כמה אנחנו נכונים להיאחז בה ולשמור עליה. בשנה האחרונה ידענו מעשי טרור חמורים בירושלים – בראשם הטבח המזעזע במתפללי בית-הכנסת בשכונת הר נוף, פיגועי דריסה קטלניים, דקירות בסכינים וידויי אבנים שנועדו לפצוע ולהרוג. גם ביום הזה יש מי שמנסה לאתגר אותנו בירושלים, ואני שולח מכאן איחולי החלמה לשוטרים, ואני משבח את שוטרי משטרת ישראל על כל פעולתה לשמור על ביטחון ירושלים, על ביטחוננו. לא נשלים עם הטרור. נרדוף את מחולליו עד חורמה. נילחם בהסתה שנובעת מהתכחשות אויבינו לזיקה ההיסטורית שלנו לירושלים, לעומק שורשינו, למורשתנו. הם מבינים שירושלים היא נקודת המוקד של הזהות שלנו. יש לנו איתה ברית בת אלפי שנים. כשיהודי אומר “ירושלים” – במלה הזאת מקופלים כל תולדותינו, חלומותינו וערכינו.
ומי מתנגד להימצאותנו בירושלים? מי שמסרב להכיר בזכותנו להתקיים כעם ריבוני במדינתנו. הם רואים בנו נטע זר שצריך לעקור אותו מכאן. אנחנו נטע זר? ציטטתי לפני כמה דקות את הנביא ישעיהו, איש ירושלים, הוא ונביאי ישראל ניבאו בירושלים, מלכי ישראל, מלכי יהודה מלכו בירושלים. צריך לומר את האמת, בלי מורא: ירושלים הייתה מאז ומעולם בירתו של העם היהודי בלבד, ולא של שום עם אחר. כאן החלה דרכנו כאומה, זהו ביתנו ופה נישאר. בד בבד, אנחנו דואגים לכך שירושלים תישאר עיר פתוחה וסובלנית. רק תחת שלטון ישראל נשמר בירושלים חופש הפולחן של בני הדתות, כל הדתות. מאמיניהם מתפללים במקומות הקדושים להם – לא חרף שליטתנו בעיר, אלא דווקא בגלל שליטתנו בעיר.

הקנאות האיסלאמית מאיימת על ירושלים, על המזרח-התיכון, על העולם כולו. הקנאות של הסונים הקיצוניים דוגמת דאע”ש, ושל השיעים הקיצוניים בהנהגת האייתוללות בטהראן. הסונים והשיעים הקיצוניים נלחמים זה בזה, אבל יש להם אויב משותף – המערב ותרבות החופש והקדמה שהוא מייצג. רק אמש, אחרי פעולתה הנחושה של ארצות-הברית נגד הטרור של דאע”ש, תקף מנהיג איראן חמינאי את ארצות הברית ואמר: ארצות הברית – כך אומר האיש שעומד בראש המשא ומתן בין איראן למעצמות – היא-היא המחוללת והתומכת טרור. הדברים הללו נאמרים כשעדיין אין לאיראן נשק גרעיני, ועדיין לא מאוחר לחזור מהתוכנית לתת לאיראן עסקה שתסלול עבורה דרך בטוחה לגרעין.

אנחנו מתנגדים לעסקה הזאת, ואנחנו לא היחידים שמתנגדים לה. צריך ואפשר להשיג עסקה טובה יותר, כי אסור לתת לקיצונים להשיג את מבוקשם, לא באיראן, לא בתימן, לא בירושלים. ירושלים נמצאת באחת מתקופות הזוהר הגדולות שלה. אנחנו מוסיפים לבנות ולטפח אותה, להרחיב את שכונותיה, ויש לנו עוד הרבה מה לעשות ולשפר בכל חלקי העיר למען כל תושביה. אנו מקימים בה פנינות חן תרבותיות, ואדוני ראש העיר, אתה עושה כאן עבודת קודש. אנחנו מקימים בה את הספרייה הלאומית החדשה והקריה לארכיאולוגיה של ארץ-ישראל.

תסתכלו סביבכם, ירושלים – מנופים סביב לה. כל מי שמגיע משער הגיא לבירה רואה שאנחנו חוצבים באבן, מרחיבים את כביש 1, משדרגים נתיבים, מניחים מסילות רכבת. המהפכה שמתחוללת במעמד ירושלים – בתוך העיר ובסביבתה – רק תלך ותגבר בשנים הבאות. יותר מאשר בכל זמן אחר, ביום המיוחד הזה ברור לנו שירושלים המחולקת היא זיכְרון עבר. העתיד שייך לירושלים השלמה שלא תחולק עוד – עיר שהיא “כְּלִילַת יֹפִי, מָשׂוֹשׂ לְכָל הָאָרֶץ”.
חג שמח לתושבי ירושלים, חג שמח לכל עם ישראל.

 

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 15, 2015: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at first meeting of the 34th Government

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s remarks at first meeting of the 34th Government

Source: PMO, 5-15-15

We will work with determination, responsibility and vigor in the face of attempts to test our borders and our security. We will continue to promote a diplomatic settlement while upholding the vital interests and security of the citizens of Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Copyright: GPO/Avi Ohayon

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the first meeting of the 34th Governmentearlier today (Friday, 15 May 2015):

“Despite all the ups-and-downs we had to go through to reach this moment, I am still moved by the position and I am certain that you are too. From this moment on we must leave disagreements outside this room and focus on good work for the citizens of Israel – all citizens of Israel.

We will work with determination, responsibility and vigor in the face of all attempts to test our borders and our security from both near and far. Israel’s enemies must know that any threated directed at us has red lines. This has been our policy under previous governments and will be under the current government as well.

We will continue to promote a diplomatic settlement while upholding the vital interests and security of the citizens of Israel. At the same time and perhaps in assistance, we will try to realize the opportunity of regional developments and new possibilities of action with the moderate and responsible countries around us.

We will work to improve social welfare with emphasis on lowering the cost of living in general and housing costs in particular. We will work to continue to reduce the gaps in Israeli society. We will continue to link the Negev and the Galilee with the center and to strengthen employment there and throughout the country. We are attentive to the cry of immigrants from Ethiopia and their families and next week we will form a special ministerial committee, under my chairmanship, to deal with this problem. We are obligated to work for the good of all Israeli citizens and we will do everything we can to justify the confidence the nation has vested in us.

Now the time has come to roll up our sleeves and get to work. May our efforts be successful.”

The 34th Government of Israel

(Knesset website)

Benjamin Netanyahu – Prime Minister, Minister of Health, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Communications, Minister of Regional Cooperation
Silvan Shalom – Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs

Ofir Akunis – Minister
Uri Yehuda Ariel – Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
David Azoulay – Minister of Religious Services
Ze’ev Binyamin Begin – Minister
Naftali Bennett – Minister of Education, Minister of Diaspora Affairs
Danny Danon – Minister of Science, Technology, and Space
Aryeh Machluf Deri – Minister of the Economy, Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galil
Zeev Elkin – Minister of Immigration and Absorption
Avi Gabai – Minister of Environmental Protection
Yoav Galant – Minister of Construction
Gila Gamliel – Minister for Senior Citizens
Moshe Kahlon – Minister of Finance
Haim Katz – Minister of Welfare and Social Services
Yisrael Katz – Minister of Transportation and Road Safety, Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy
Yariv Levin – Minister of Tourism, Minister of Internal Security
Miri Regev – Minister of Culture and Sport
Ayelet Shaked – Minister of Justice
Yuval Steinitz – Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water
Moshe Ya’alon – Minister of Defense

Israel 34th Government Cabinet Members List

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

The 34th Government of Israel

Ministers and Senior Officials

Source: MFA, 5-14-15

The new government of Israel headed by PM Benjamin Netanyahu was approved in the Knesset with 61 MKs voting in favor, and 59 opposed, and its ministers were sworn in on May 14, 2015.

President

Government Ministers

Senior Government Officials


34th Government Cabinet Members

Portfolio Minister Party
Prime Minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Communications
Minister of Regional Cooperation
Minister of Health
Benjamin Netanyahu Likud
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely Likud
“Ministerial Post” in Communications Ofir Akunis Likud
Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara Likud
Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman United Torah Judaism
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Uri Ariel The Jewish Home
Minister of Construction Yoav Galant Kulanu
Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev Likud
Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon Likud
Deputy Minister of Defense Eli Ben-Dahan The Jewish Home
Minister of Economy
Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee
Aryeh Deri Shas
Minister of Education
Minister of Diaspora Affairs
Naftali Bennett The Jewish Home
Deputy Minister of Education Meir Porush United Torah Judaism
Deputy Minister of Education Meshulam Nahari Shas
Minister of Energy and Water Yuval Steinitz Likud
Minister of Environmental Protection Avi Gabai Kulanu
Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon Kulanu
Deputy Minister of Finance Yitzhak Cohen Shas
Minister of Immigrant Absorption
Minister of Strategic Affairs
Zeev Elkin Likud
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of the Interior
Silvan Shalom Likud
Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked The Jewish Home
Minister of Pensioner Affairs
Minister of Gender Equality
Gila Gamliel Likud
Minister of Religious Affairs David Azulai Shas
Minister of Science, Technology and Space Danny Danon Likud
Minister without Portfolio Benny Begin Likud
Minister of Tourism
Minister of Public Security
Yariv Levin Likud
Minister of Transportation
Minister of Intelligence[9]
Yisrael Katz Likud
Minister of Welfare and Social Services Haim Katz Likud

Security cabinet

Minister Party
Yuval Steinitz Likud
Naftali Bennett The Jewish Home
Yisrael Katz Likud

Committee chairs

Committee Chairman Party
Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Yisrael Eichler United Torah Judaism
Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Unnamed Shas
Science and Space Committee Unnamed United Torah Judaism
Finance Committee Moshe Gafni United Torah Judaism
Education Committee Unnamed Shas
Labor and Welfare Committee Unnamed Kulanu
Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Ayelet Shaked The Jewish Home
Committee of Nuclear Energy Yuval Steinitz Likud
Committee for Foreign Affairs and Defense
Coalition Chair
Tzachi Hanegbi Likud

Government agencies and special committees

Agency / Committee Chairman Party
Israel Land Administration Yoav Galant Kulanu
World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division Uri Ariel The Jewish Home
Israel Atomic Energy Commission Yuval Steinitz Likud

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 13, 2015: PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Knesset Special Session Marking Victory Over Nazi Germany Day

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Knesset Special Session Marking Victory Over Nazi Germany Day

Source: PMO, 5-13-15

-Translation-
Every child in Israel learns the story of Joseph Trumpeldor, whose bravery still serves as an example of sacrifice for one’s country. But anyone who digs deeper into the role played by Jewish fighters in the campaign to defeat Nazi Germany discovers that in the ranks of our people are hundreds of thousands of additional heroes. These courageous fighters, imbued with a sense of mission, were the ones who seven decades ago freed humanity from the bloody nightmare imposed on it during six years of war.

Approximately one and a half million Jewish soldiers were among the ranks of the Allied armies fighting the Nazis. The majority of them served in the Red Army and the American army. Out of half a million Jewish fighters in the Red Army, more than 200,000 men and women died in battle. This is an unbelievable percentage of fallen soldiers by any measure, both in terms of the rate and in terms of the enormous number. Anyone who has been in battle knows how vast that number is. Many of them were young men and women, 17, 18 years old, who said goodbye to their parents before leaving for the front and never saw them again.

The fighting along the long and twisting Eastern Front, in snow, in mud, took place over 1,418 days, from Moscow to Berlin and Prague, and yes, Mr. Speaker, through Stalingrad and Kursk and all those places which echo from the pages of history. For you, they are a part of your personal history. This whole route is littered with your fallen countrymen, buried without a grave or a headstone.

This was not just the collision of tank with tank, submarine with submarine, plane with plane. In numerous cases, the soldiers of the Red Army charged at the Germans with knives, axes, shovels, even pitchforks, and often with bare hands.

The holding actions and the shift to counterattacks between 1942 and 1943 succeeded in shattering the myth of an invincible Nazi army. This is the first stage of any victory – the change, the enemy’s understanding that they are going to lose. And as the war progressed, the Soviet Army landed blow after blow on the Germans. It happened parallel to and at the same time as the attacks by the other Allied armies from the West, including Jewish fighters who landed and fought on the beaches of Normandy, and in all the battles from that point on. This effort pushed the Nazis back and led to their final surrender in May 1945.

Dear veterans, I know your lives were divided in two – before the war and after it. And despite the time that has passed, you can still recall the smallest details of every step, every operation, every battle. Your lives changed beyond recognition during those difficult years. Your remember with great pain your comrades who fell, your loved ones who did not live to see the moment of victory, but at the same time you can hold your heads high because it is thanks to you that the free world survived and that the Jewish people were saved from annihilation.

The historical lesson of what occurred is that radical regimes that call for genocide and seek to invade other countries cannot be conceded to. When faced with the enemies of freedom, enlightenment and progress, one should stand forcefully, in a timely fashion, to prevent them from having the opportunity to make use of destructive tools to realize their murderous aspirations.

The new government that will soon be sworn in will face many challenges – political, military, economic and social, but the ongoing challenge of the Iranian threat will take a central place. Just today the Arab press quoted an Iranian senior official saying that Iran has divine permission to eliminate Israel. He said that even if an agreement is not reached on the nuclear issue, Iran has a holy mission that it will not give up – to destroy the State of Israel. These statements are heard by representatives negotiating with Iran and they continue on as usual.

The Iranian threat does not pass over any of us – Jew and Arab alike. The missiles their Hezbollah proxies fired at us did not distinguish between Jew and Arab in the State of Israel. Iran’s efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon, while at the same time expanding its tentacles of terror across the Middle East, obligate us to determinedly defend our sovereignty and security.

We do not stand alone against Iran’s fanaticism. There are many countries, even in our immediate surroundings, which correctly see in Iran’s steps the danger to the peace of the world and to their own peace. I believe that here are sown the seeds to expand the circle of parties in our region that will soon extend their hands to us in peace. The horrible damage caused Islamist extremism is clear to everyone. It is time that the moderate countries make their voices heard – to make alliances, to create cooperation, to establish friendly relations and peace.

At the same time, we do not stop in our efforts to warn the world powers that a conciliatory agreement with Iran will turn out to be a mistake that will exact a very heavy cost, and in any event Israel will defend itself by itself against any threat. Unlike in the past, we have the strength to defend ourselves from threats of destruction, those same threats we could not defend ourselves against 70 years ago.

One of the veterans said to me, “In the Soviet Union and in Israel, defending the homeland is a profession.” I would add also a mission. There were years during which we stared in amazement and wonder at your many medals, even though not everyone knew your stories. However, with time, things have changed and today, when you march in front of us in glory and splendor, we see ourselves as those who stand with you in a single line.

I participated in a moving and wonderful ceremony at Latrun the other day. It was an experience for all the participants to see the stories of the Jewish fighters from around the world, dramatic, heartwarming, heartbreaking stories. It was just as moving to see the grandchildren – officers and soldiers in the IDF – your grandchildren, standing there and expressing the meaning of heritage, their profound commitment, what they learned from you. Because your heroism, the heroism of the veterans who saved the world, is the heroism of the fighters in the Israel Defense Forces who defend the State of Israel. Both that heroism and this one are intertwined. Your past and your present are integrated in order to ensure a better and safer future for the State of Israel.

We salute your courage and honor your resilience. The people of Israel owe you their lives, and humanity owes you its deliverance from the darkness. Be strong and of good courage, congratulations on your tremendous work. Thank you.

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 12, 2015: PM Benjamin Netanyahu addresses 5th Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu addresses 5th Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism

Source: MFA, 12 May 2015

Today’s antisemitism is not limited to the various sects of militant Islam, nor is it limited just to the xenophobic elements on the fringes of European society. Because today it often wears the mask of so-called progressive thinking in the West.

PM Netanyahu addresses 5th Global Forum for Combating Antsemitism

PM Netanyahu addresses 5th Global Forum for Combating Antsemitism
Copyright: GPO
I’m very pleased to welcome you all to Jerusalem. There are senior government ministers here from Germany, from Romania, from Bulgaria, from Canada. Our own Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett, the Mayor of Paris, the UN Coordinator for the Peace Process, religious leaders from across the face, many from the Muslim community. I had an excellent discussion just now with the Imam of Paris. There are ambassadors here and distinguished guests from so many walks of life, from so many lands, including great actors.

So I’m delighted to see all of you here, even though the subject of our deliberations is not a source of delight.

Seventy years ago, with the end of World War II and the revelation of the horrors of the Holocaust, some believed that humanity would discard one of history’s oldest hatreds – antisemitism. And it’s true that in the years immediately following World War II, blatant expressions of hatred for the Jews appeared to take a respite, at least in the liberal West.

Yet today there is no doubt that we are living in an age of resurgent antisemitism. Jews everywhere are once again being slandered and vilified.

This is taking place in the intolerant parts of the Middle East but it’s also taking place in what otherwise would be expected to be the tolerant parts of the West. It’s taking place in Beirut, in Damascus, in Tehran. But it’s also taking place, violently so, in Toulouse, in Paris, in Brussels. Because along with vilification come the inevitable violent attacks.

And Jews are now being targeted for being Jews. Jews have the right to live freely and safely wherever they choose. And governments everywhere are responsible for guaranteeing this right.

I want to take this opportunity to praise all the governments that have been witnessing this resurgent antisemitism, their commitment to protect the rights of the Jews, the rights of individuals, the rights of their citizens. Their representatives are here, and I praise you for it. But Jews also have the right to join us here in Israel, and if they make that choice, we will welcome them with open arms.

Contemporary antisemitism doesn’t just slander, vilify and target the Jewish people. It first and foremost today targets the Jewish state. That’s the nexus, that’s the core, that’s the focus of antisemitism.

I want to give you an example of this from today, this morning. I went down to Ben-Gurion airport to welcome home the IDF’s humanitarian mission to Nepal.

The UN filed a report. Actually, this is a good UN report about Israel. It said that of all the countries in the world, and Israel is one of the smallest countries in the world, Israel fielded the second largest rescue and relief team in Nepal. Of all the nations in the earth. Our people did a magnificent job. They saved lives. They took people out of the rubble. They treated 1,600 wounded people and sick people. They delivered life, several births.

Yet yesterday state television in both Iran and Venezuela accused our humanitarian team of trafficking in babies. Now, did any of you see an Iranian rescue team in Nepal? This is the quintessential example of the Big Lie technique. The aggressor accuses his victim.

And this big lie of antisemitism is propagated most enthusiastically by those who trample on the human rights of their own people.

Iran will speak of human rights? I don’t want to talk about Venezuela. I’ll leave that to you. They lecture us on human rights, on the rule of law, on safeguarding human decency? They string people in cranes, innocent people in cranes in the squares of Tehran and Iran’s other cities. They send their goons to Lebanon, to Syria, to Yemen, slaughtering people by the thousands. They slaughter Muslims, they target Muslims who do not share their violent creed.

Today, a lot of the extreme antisemitism that we see today is coming from old quarters, intolerant quarters, xenophobic ones in parts of Europe, in a peculiar marriage with the militants who seek to overtake the world of Islam, and they have integrated the most extreme antisemitism into this murderous theology.

I want to give you an example. First, recognize that their first and greatest number of victims are their fellow Muslims. But they also target us, and I give you the Hamas Charter. It repeats the ancient libels against the Jews. It openly calls for the murder of Jews wherever they are and for the destruction of their state.

And the same can be said of Hezbollah and for the common patron of both Hezbollah and Hamas, which is of course Iran.

And of course they have competition. The militant Shi’ites have competition from the militant Sunnis of al-Qaida, of ISIS and al-Nusra who echo their murderous creed not only about Israel. You’ve seen the horrors they commit on their fellow Muslims.

Today’s antisemitism, as I said, is not limited to the various sects of militant Islam, nor is it limited just to the xenophobic elements on the fringes of European society. Because today it often wears the mask of so-called progressive thinking in the West. Some of those who consider themselves champions of tolerance are remarkably intolerant when it comes to Jews and the Jewish state.

The classic antisemite portrayed the Jews as the embodiment of all evil in the world. Modern antisemites portray the Jewish state as the embodiment of all evil in the world.

When Hamas and Hezbollah rocketed our cities, thousands and thousands and thousands of rockets, fired directly at our cities – that’s a war crime, hiding behind their civilians – that’s a second war crime – when they committed these dual war crimes, tens of thousands demonstrated on the streets of European capitals, not against Hamas, not against Hezbollah, but against Israel.

Now, thousands are being killed in the brutal conflict in Yemen. You see any demonstrations in London or Paris? A quarter of a million people have been savagely butchered in Syria. You hear any word of academic boycotts on the Assad regime? And in Iran now under the Rouhani government, executions have gone up, innocent people are taken to death. You hear any UN resolutions condemning these violations of basic human rights?

And the answer regrettably is no. The demonstrations, the boycotts, the resolutions are all reserved for the Middle East’s one true democracy, in fact it’s the most beleaguered democracy on earth – Israel.

This is a travesty. You can try to explain it away in many ways and it’s true that the internet has a multiplier effect, but you can have a multiplier effect on many, many lies, on many slanders, and yet this has a global multiplying effect, and there is something fundamentally wrong that this slander is reserved for the one country in the region where the death penalty is not even used against the most gruesome terrorist murderers, the one country that holds human rights sacrosanct, where equality is protected under the law – for women, for Christians, for minorities, for all.

You can ask yourself how is that possible, how could it be that the Jewish state is treated like that. There’s got to be fire if there’s smoke.

How do think the Jews were treated for generations? The things that peoples said about the Jews for generations were believed across so many lands. They believed that we poisoned the wells, that we drank the blood of Christian children, that we were spreading disease deliberately. By the way, these are all repeated as we speak.

You see, how could it be that they believed it? But they did. Not only did they believe it, you say, well, that’s because of ignorance. Yeah, that’s true. Except that some of the most educated people in history believed it – Voltaire, Dostoyevsky, and the list is a lot longer, by the way.

So education and knowledge may be a partial protector against this slander, but there’s something deeper here because these are such patent falsehoods. It is the willingness to submit to slander, the willingness to believe this. This is what creates the ground, and it starts not from the bottom. It starts with the elites. And that’s where it has to be challenged.

And today the treatment of Israel is no different from the treatment of our forbearers. The Jewish state is being treated among the nations the way the Jewish people were treated for generations.

And we’re not perfect, by the way. We have a lot of things that we can improve. We have a very boisterous and robust democracy. You should come to the Knesset. I invite all of you. What fun. But it is. It’s alive. It’s free. Everything is debated, everything is open, and there is a system of justice, a system of laws and true tolerance. With all the imperfections of any society, we’ve built here a tremendous society. Beleaguered? Yes, but with great success.

And our best allies actually these days are some of our Arab neighbors because they know we face a common threat.

So we see this country. How can it be that this country is slandered like no other country? Well, probably because old habits die hard.

But the sad truth is that some of them don’t die. The sad truth is that no rational examination can justify the obsession with the Jewish state, and this obsession with the Jewish state and the Jewish people has a name. It’s called antisemitism. I know you understand all this. I know that the people in this room have learned the painful lessons of 70 years ago.

I appreciate your commitment to fighting antisemitism because the battle starts from the top. Antisemitism, contrary to what people think, does not just bubble up from below. It percolates also from the top. And that’s why it’s so important that there are leaders here, across lands, across faiths, across professions, from the public and the private domain, who are gearing up to fight this old obsession.

You have learned from history, but regrettably, many around the world have yet to do so.

I want to assure you that we have. We are no longer a stateless people searching for a safe haven. We are no longer a powerless people begging others to protect us. Today we have an independent and sovereign state. Today we can protect ourselves and defend our freedoms, our lives.

What has changed in the history of the world for the Jewish people is not the hatred of the Jews, but with the founding of the Jewish state, the rediscovery by the Jews of the capacity to defend ourselves against slander and against attack. Today we can speak up against our vilification – as I am doing right now and as you have been doing, and I know you will continue to do.

Because there is a simple fact – a lie that is left unchallenged and endlessly repeated assumes the cachet of self-evident truth. Our biggest job – our biggest job – is to go and light a candle of truth.

When I came to the United Nations many years ago to serve as Israel’s ambassador, I met a famous Jewish religious leader, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and he said to me: You know, you’ll be going into a house where many, many lies will be leveled at Israel and at our people, and he said, “Remember that in the darkest halls, if you light one candle, then people will see the light of truth for a very long distance. They’ll see it from afar, and your job,” he said to me, “is to light a candle of truth in a dark hall.” Well, I’ll tell you, we need a lot of candles, a lot of lighters of candles, and that’s how I see you.

Because nowhere is this calumny that is leveled against our people more systematically propagated than in Iran. The ayatollah regime is conducting as we speak a competition. The competition is an international competition. It parallels our conference, except it’s the very reverse. It’s a competition of Holocaust deniers from around the globe, who can better deny the Holocaust. And while they are denying the Holocaust, they’re planning another genocide against our people. They openly threaten to annihilate the State of Israel.

Just a few weeks ago, a few days before the Lausanne agreement was signed, an Iranian general said, “The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.” Openly. And of course they seek to build nuclear weapons to implement this mad design.

I have to tell you honestly that the Lausanne framework won’t stop them. Israel wants to see a peaceful solution, a better deal that will actually block Iran’s path to the bomb. But I want to be absolutely clear. The Jewish state will defend itself by itself against any threat.

That’s what we’ve learned from history. That’s what the Jewish state is all about.

But we’ve also learned something else. I don’t know if we’ll be able to eradicate the scourge of antisemitism. I know we have to fight it. We have learned that if you don’t fight it, if unstopped, these fires of antisemitism eventually spread and they consume everyone. That is I think the central lesson of the 20th century, in many ways the central lesson of modern times.

So for the sake of decency, for the sake of our common humanity, for the sake of our common future, we must all continue to stand up and fight antisemitism. The Jewish people and decent people everywhere will salute you for doing just that.

Thank you, thank you for coming to Jerusalem, thank you.

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 10, 2015: Last Cabinet meeting of the 33rd Government

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Last Cabinet meeting of the 33rd Government

Source: MFA, 10 May 2015

In the over two years of this government’s existence, since its first meeting, the region around us has been roiling and stormy. And despite the many attempts to challenge us on our borders, we rebuffed all of these attempts.

Israel Cabinet meeting

Israel Cabinet meeting
Copyright: PMO webcast
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Sunday, 10 May 2015), made the following remarks at the start of the Cabinet meeting:

“Today we are holding the last Cabinet meeting of the 33rd Government and we are preparing for the first meeting of the new government. I always regard the task of leading the country as being entrusted with a valuable asset – the country – and my responsibility as Prime Minister, and ours as a government, is to return to the public a more secure, prosperous and developed country.

As I summarize the activity of the 33rd government, I can certainly say that despite the difficulties, and there were many, we advanced – during these years – the State of Israel on three main axes. In the over two years of this government’s existence, since its first meeting, the region around us has been roiling and stormy. And despite the many attempts to challenge us on our borders, we rebuffed all of these attempts bar none: From Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, through Iran’s attempts to develop a new front against us on the Golan Heights, to the unceasing efforts to bring advanced weaponry from Syria to Lebanon, and including Hamas’s efforts to perpetrate strategic attacks against us in the south. In Operation Protective Edge, we hit Hamas as hard as it has ever been struck since its founding.

Above all, we have acted unceasingly against Iran’s attempts to arm itself with nuclear weapons. This effort is at its peak. We will not relent. We will continue to maintain Israel’s right to defend itself under any conditions and in any situation.

In the diplomatic sphere, we made another effort to move forward on an agreement with the Palestinians, but once again when there was a need to make tough decisions; Abu Mazen decided to abandon the negotiations. He appealed unilaterally, and in contravention of all the agreements, to the international arena. He abandoned the negotiations and entered into an alliance with Hamas.

In the diplomatic arena, we started to develop new markets for the Israeli economy – in both the diplomatic and the economic arenas – vis-à-vis the giant economies of Asia: India, China and Japan. We joined the Latin American Pacific Alliance as an observer.

We are developing a new industry that is essential to the future of humanity – cybersecurity. This is developing very quickly and dramatically. We are devoting many resources to it, including a special IDF unit and my instructions are to not only develop this ability for the security of the State of Israel, but to integrate it with Be’er Sheva and the Negev, with our academic ability and with industrial development for Israeli and foreign companies. This is happening before our eyes and is changing the face of the Negev and – in effect – the face of the country. It will turn – it is already turning – Be’er Sheva into a global cyber capital.

We raised the minimum wage again. Unemployment continues to be low. Israel’s credit rating is stable, which is no small feat given the economic upheavals that are continuing to rock the world. Additionally, we have continued the accelerated link between the Negev and the Galilee and the center of the country. In the past six years, we laid twice as much railroad track as in the previous six years. We did likewise with highways and interchanges and we are still busy.

We completely blocked illegal migration across our borders, something that no other country in the western world has succeeded in doing. The fence that we built has completely proven itself. We added to this legislative and enforcement measures, as well as others, and in this context I note the opposite trend that is now taking place in Western Europe. As Europe notes an increase of hundreds of percent in the influx of illegal migrants, thousands of illegal migrants are leaving Israel per annum. This is a very important achievement for assuring Israel’s image and character as a Jewish and democratic state.

There is no doubt that much work is yet before us and I promise to do everything so that the next government continues to do it and will even add many more important actions in various areas for the security and welfare of Israel’s citizens.

I would like to thank the members of the outgoing government once again and may we continue to work on behalf of the State of Israel in order to build its security, assure its prosperity and – of course – continue its development.”

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