Israel Musings August 9, 2013: Israel decides to refuse any EU agreements with settlement guidelines



Israel decides to refuse any EU agreements with settlement guidelines

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Israel decided on August 8, 2013 that it will boycott any agreement with the European Union (EU) unless they drop major stipulations of the guidelines they published last month which cuts off funding and projects to any area beyond Israel….READ MORE

Israel Musings July 30, 2013: EU faces backlash from Israel for sanction guidelines beyond 1967 borders



EU faces backlash from Israel for sanction guidelines beyond 1967 borders

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Israel is retaliating back at the European Union for issuing guidelines against the areas beyond the 1967 borders. On Friday, July 26, 2013 Israel prevented European Union workers from entering the West Bank for projects to aid Palestinians. Israel…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief July 18, 2013: Full text of the European Union’s guidelines for Israel’s settlements and areas beyond the 1967 borders



Full text of the European Union’s settlement guidelines

New directives prohibit Israeli companies located beyond the 1967 lines from receiving prizes, grants, or financing

Source: Times of Israel, 7-18-13

The Times of Israel has obtained a copy of the new European Union directive concerning EU funding for entities established beyond the 1967 border lines including the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.

Israel Political Brief June 13, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu at Auschwitz: Israel will defend itself



Netanyahu at Auschwitz: Israel will defend itself

Source: USA TODAY, AP, 6-13-13

In a defiant speech coming from the place symbolizing the suffering of Jews during World War II, Israel’s prime minister warned on Thursday that the Jewish state will do everything to prevent another Holocaust and to defend itself….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief June 12, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech at the Inter-Governmental Consultations in Poland הצהרת ראש הממשלה בוורשה, פולין



Remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Inter-Governmental Consultations in Poland

Source: PMO, 6-12-13

Prime Minister Tusk,

My friend Donald.

I very much appreciate your warm hospitality to me, to the ministers of the Israeli government and to my delegation. I appreciate your friendship to my country, to my people and to me, personally.

You know Donald.  I think I’ve made about half a dozen visits to Poland.  Each time I come here, I am impressed with the tremendous increase in the standard of living, in the achievements of Poland as a country and as a society, against sometimes very difficult odds.  But you have shown great initiative, great success, and it reminds me of my own country.  And each time that we meet, I am impressed both with your friendship to me personally, but also your deep sympathy to the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

You know, I told you over our meetings that my  late father was born in Warsaw in 1910.  This was when my Grandfather came here to be the head of Hebrew studies in the great, the most eminent Jewish school of Warsaw at the time.  My father studied in that school.  Warsaw was a great center of Jewish learning, of Jewish culture, of Jewish life.  So the histories of our two peoples are intertwined over a thousand years – in great achievement, great beauty as you just said correctly and also great tragedy.

The murder of millions of Jews by the Nazis on Polish soil is a crime that has no parallel in history.  Tomorrow, I will participate in the opening ceremony of the Jewish exhibit at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  We will never forget the victims of the Holocaust; we will never forget the ultimate crime against humanity; we will never forget the crime perpetrated against our people; and we will never forget our obligation to prevent this from ever happening again.

I would like to thank you, Donald, personally, and the Polish government for your support of this important project of remembrance, and also for your support of the Jewish Museum in Warsaw.  I know your own personal involvement in this and it is something that is important to set history right and to give justice to those who deserve it.  I think this is a moral act and an important act in today’s world which seeks to deny the Holocaust.  We know that during those years of horror, the Nazi invasion brought terrible suffering to the Polish people, and we stand here today when both our peoples have overcome adversity.

Today, we see a strong and free Poland and a strong and free Israel.  We are two confident, prosperous democracies.  There are different counts of how many genuine democracies are in the world, but there is no question that Poland and Israel are among them, and I think not coincidently we are two prosperous, free democratic societies that have a common invested interest with each other.  We are both shaped by our past, and we are both focusing together on shaping our future.

And the future in this fast changing technological world belongs to those who innovate.  That is why I am here today in Warsaw.  I believe we have much to gain by strengthening our cooperation.  We have free economies and a proven capacity for enterprise and technological achievement.  This is the key to competitive advantage in today’s world and in tomorrow’s world.  We cooperate in all these areas: in the economy, in science, in trade, and on the level of people – youth exchanges as you mentioned, education, culture.  And we also cooperate in diplomacy and security.  On security and on defense matters, you correctly said that we have constantly improved our cooperation and we will continue to do so.

And in the quest for peace, we share a common desire.  Both Poland and Israel want peace.  Everyone in Israel wants peace.  I want peace.

To achieve peace, we must negotiate peace.  This is why we both support the efforts of the American Secretary of State John Kerry to restart the peace negotiations.  We want to see this American effort succeed.  Israel is ready for the resumption of direct negotiations for peace without pre-conditions.  I think it is time to stop squabbling over preconditions.  I think it’s time to stop negotiating about the negotiations.  I think we have to start peace talks immediately.

My goal is to see a historic compromise that ends the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians once and for all.  This will entail a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state, with iron clad security arrangements for Israel – recognition, security, demilitarization.  I believe that these are the elements for peace.  I don’t pose them as preconditions for negotiations.  I look forward to enter those negotiations without preconditions without delay.  I am ready for such a peace.  I hope the Palestinians are ready too.

Prime Minister,

We both agree on the importance of preventing Iran from attaining a nuclear weapons capability.  We agree that the pressure on Iran must be significantly increased.  Recently, as we just spoke, we have all seen what happens when a rogue regime enters the nuclear age.  In East Asia, vis-à-vis North Korea, tough talk and sanctions were not enough. The same is true of Iran, which is much more dangerous than North Korea.  To stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions, sanctions alone will not be enough.  They must be coupled with a credible military threat.  The Iranian regime must understand that, one way or the other, it will be prevented from completing its nuclear weapons program.

And as for the so-called “elections” taking place in Iran this week – some election.  They decide who the candidates are.  That’s an interesting concept but we’re not going to adopt it.  So as for these so-called elections taking place in Iran this week, well unfortunately, they will change nothing of significance.

This regime will continue to be led by one man, one ruler, who will continue Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.  This is a regime that sponsors terrorism around the world, that actively participates in the murder in Syria, that is building ICMB’s to reach Europe and America, and that seeks to control the energy markets of the world and the flow of Middle East oil.  On top of all this, this is a regime that is building nuclear weapons with the express purpose to annihilate Israel’s six million Jews.

We will not allow this to happen.  We will never allow another Holocaust.

On Syria, both our countries are concerned about the terrible carnage occurring in that country.  Israel is not a party to the internal conflict in Syria.  But Israel will defend itself if attacked, and we reserve the right to act if our national security is threatened.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Poland and Israel agree that terrorism must be defeated.  Recently we have seen terrorist operations on European soil.  In Bulgaria, innocent tourists were murdered in a brutal attack initiated, planned and carried out by Hezbollah.  In Cyprus, local authorities arrested a Hezbollah operative that was in the process of planning an identical attack.  Hezbollah-Iranian terrorist activity is not limited to Europe.  We see it across the globe –in the Middle East, in Africa, in Asia even in the United States of America.

Today, Europe faces the question of whether to officially define Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.  What a question.  If Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, I don’t know what a terrorist organization is, but it’s not just an Israeli problem.  Hezbollah has murdered innocent civilians on European soil.  And Europe cannot, must not, be indifferent to this.

Prime Minister Tusk, Donald,

Both Poland and Israel have fought hard for independence and freedom.  We take neither for granted.  Working together I think we can enhance our freedoms, provide greater prosperity for our peoples, and strive for security and peace for all.  I know that in you, we have a partner for all these great tasks which are a common mission of our peoples.

Once again, I want to thank you for your hospitality and friendship, and I look forward to welcoming you and your ministers, well as we say, next year in Jerusalem.

Thank you again for your hospitality.  Thank you.

הצהרת ראש הממשלה בוורשה, פולין

Source:  PMO, 6-12-13

יום רביעי ד’ תמוז תשע”ג

צילום: לע”מ לחץ להגדלה
צילום: לע”מ


ראש הממשלה טאסק, ידידי דונאלד, אני מעריך מאוד את קבלת הפנים החמה שהענקת לי, לשרי ממשלת ישראל ולחברי משלחתי. אני מעריך את ידידותך כלפי מדינת ישראל, כלפי עם ישראל וכלפיי אישית.

כפי שידוע לך, דונאלד, דומני שביקרתי בפולין לפחות שש פעמים. בכל פעם שאני בא לפולין אני מתרשם מהשיפור המשמעותי ברמת החיים פה ובהישגים של פולין הן כמדינה והן כחברה, לפעמים כנגד סיכויים קשים. הפגנתם יוזמה גדולה והצלחה רבה, וזה מזכיר לי את ישראל. כל פעם שאנחנו נפגשים אני מתרשם גם מידידותך כלפיי וגם מההזדהות העמוקה שלך כלפי העם היהודי והמדינה היהודית. במהלך המפגשים שלנו, סיפרתי לך שאבי המנוח נולד בוורשה ב-1910. זה היה כשסבי הגיע לפולין כדי לשמש מנהל לימודי העברית בבית הספר היהודי הנודע של ורשה. אבי למד באותו בית ספר. ורשה הייתה מרכז גדול של למידה יהודית, תרבות יהודית וחיים יהודיים. תולדות שני עמינו היו שזורים זה בזה במשך אלף שנה – בהישגים אדירים, וכפי שאמרת, יופי אדיר, וגם בטרגדיה אדירה.

לרציחתם של מיליוני יהודים בידי הנאצים על אדמת פולין אין אח ורע בהיסטוריה. מחר, אשתתף בטקס הפתיחה של הביתן היהודי באושוויץ-בירקנאו. לעולם לא נשכח את קורבנות השואה. לעולם לא נשכח את הפשע הנורא ביותר נגד האנושות. לעולם לא נשכח את הפשע שבוצע נגד עמנו. ולעולם לא נשכח את מחויבותנו למנוע הישנותה של טרגדיה כזאת.

אני מבקש להודות לך באופן אישי, דונאלד, ולממשלת פולין, על תמיכתה בפרויקט זיכרון חשוב זה, וגם על תמיכתך במוזיאון היהודי בוורשה. אני מודע להתערבותך האישית בפרויקט זה, וזה דבר חשוב לעמוד על דיוקה של ההיסטוריה ולהעניק צדק לאנשים שמגיע להם צדק. מדובר במהלך מוסרי וחשוב בעולם של היום, עולם שבו מנסים להכחיש את השואה.

אנו יודעים שבמהלך אותן שנים נוראות, הפלישה הנאצית המיטה סבל רב על העם הפולני, ואנו עומדים פה היום כאשר שני עמינו התגברו על מצוקות. היום, אנו רואים פולין חזקה וחופשייה וישראל חזקה וחופשייה. שתינו דמוקרטיות, בטוחות ומשגשגות. לפעמים יש חילוקי דעות לגבי מספר הדמוקרטיות האמיתיות בעולם, אולם אין כל ספק שפולין וישראל נמנות ביניהן. זה לא מקרי שיש לנו חברות משגשגות, חופשיות ודמוקרטיות, ולשתיהן אינטרס משותף אחת עם השנייה. שנינו עוצבנו על ידי עברנו, אולם אנו ממוקדים בעיצוב פני העתיד.

במאה זו, המאופיינת בשינויים טכנולוגיים מהירים, העתיד שייך לממציאים. זו הסיבה שאני נמצא כאן היום בוורשה. אני מאמין כי נוכל להפיק תועלת רבה מחיזוק שיתוף הפעולה בינינו. יש לנו כלכלות חופשיות ויכולת מוכחת להישגים טכנולוגיים. זה המפתח ליתרון תחרותי בעולם של היום ובעולם של מחר. אנו משתפים פעולה בכל התחומים הללו: בכלכלה, במדע, במסחר, וגם ברמה האנושית – בחילופי נוער כפי שציינת, בחינוך ובתרבות. אנו משתפים פעולה גם בדיפלומטיה ובענייני ביטחון והגנה. אמרת בצדק שאנו משפרים את שיתוף הפעולה בינינו כל הזמן, ונמשיך כך.

לשתי מדינותינו גם רצון משותף לשלום. ישראל ופולין רוצות שלום. כל אחד בישראל רוצה שלום. אני רוצה שלום. על מנת להשיג שלום יש לנהל משא ומתן לשלום. זו הסיבה ששנינו תומכים במאמציו של מזכיר המדינה האמריקני ג’ון קרי להביא לחידוש המשא ומתן. אנו רוצים לראות בהצלחת המאמצים האמריקניים. ישראל מוכנה לחידוש המשא ומתן הישיר לשלום ללא תנאים מוקדמים. הגיע הזמן להפסיק את הוויכוח על תנאים מוקדמים. הגיע הזמן להפסיק לשאת ולתת בקשר למשא ומתן. הבה נפתח בשיחות באופן מיידי.

היעד שלי הוא להגיע לפשרה היסטורית שתשים קץ לסכסוך בין ישראל לפלסטינים אחת ולתמיד.
זה מצריך מדינה פלסטינית מפורזת המכירה במדינה היהודית, עם הסדרי ביטחון הדוקים לישראל. הכרה, ביטחון והפרזה – לדעתי אלו המרכיבים לשלום. אינני מציב אותם כתנאים מקדימים למשא ומתן. אני מצפה לחדש את המשא ומתן ללא תנאים מוקדמים באופן מיידי. אני מוכן לשלום מסוג זה. אני מקווה שגם הפלסטינים מוכנים.

ראש הממשלה, שנינו מסכימים על חשיבות המאמץ למנוע מאיראן להשיג נשק גרעיני. אנו מסכימים כי יש להגביר באופן משמעותי את הלחץ על איראן. כולנו ראינו לאחרונה מה קורה כאשר שלטון חשוך נכנס לעידן הגרעיני. במזרח אסיה עם קוריאה הצפונית, דיבורים חריפים וסנקציות לא הספיקו.

הדבר נכון גם לגבי איראן, המסוכנת פי כמה מצפון קוריאה. כדי לשים קץ לשאיפות הגרעיניות של איראן, סנקציות לכשעצמן לא יספיקו. יש לשלב את הסנקציות עם איום צבאי אמין. המשטר האיראני חייב להבין שבדרך זו או אחרת, לא יתאפשר לו להשלים את תכניתו להשגת נשק גרעיני. ובאשר ל”בחירות” כביכול המתקיימות באיראן השבוע, אפשר לחשוב – “בחירות”. הם בוחרים מיהם המתמודדים. זה רעיון מעניין אבל לא נאמץ אותו. למרבה הצער, הן לא יניבו שום שינוי משמעותי. המשטר ימשיך להיות מובל על ידי אדם אחד, שליט אחד, שימשיך את המרוץ של איראן לעבר פצצה גרעינית. מדובר במשטר הנותן חסות לטרור ברחבי העולם, נוטל חלק פעיל בטבח בסוריה, בונה טילים בליסטיים בין-יבשתיים במטרה להגיע לאירופה ואמריקה, וחותר להשתלט על שווקי האנרגיה העולמיים ובנפט במזרח התיכון. ובנוסף לכל זאת, מדובר במשטר הבונה נשק גרעיני במטרה מוצהרת להשמיד את ששת מיליוני היהודים בישראל.
לא נאפשר לזה לקרות. לעולם לא נאפשר שואה נוספת.

באשר לסוריה, ישראל ופולין מודאגות מהטבח הנורא המתחולל במדינה מיוסרת זאת. ישראל אינה צד בסכסוך הפנימי בסוריה. אולם ישראל תגן על עצמה אם תותקף, ואנו שומרים לעצמנו את הזכות לפעול במקרה של איום על ביטחוננו הלאומי.

גבירותיי ורבותיי, פולין וישראל מסכימות כי יש להכריע את הטרור. ראינו לאחרונה פעולות טרור על אדמת אירופה. בבולגריה נרצחו תיירים חפים מפשע במתקפה אכזרית שנהגתה, תוכננה ובוצעה על ידי החיזבאללה. בקפריסין עצרו הרשויות המקומיות פעיל חיזבאללה בעיצומן של הכנות לקראת מתקפה זהה. פעילות הטרור של איראן-חיזבאללה אינה מוגבלת לאירופה בלבד. אנו רואים אותה בכל רחבי הגלובוס – במזרח התיכון, באפריקה, באסיה ואפילו באמריקה. היום, אירופה ניצבת בפני השאלה האם להגדיר באופן רשמי את החיזבאללה כארגון טרור. איזו שאלה!
אם חיזבאללה אינו ארגון טרור, אינני יודע מהו ארגון טרור. החיזבאללה אינו רק בעיה של ישראל. חיזבאללה רצח על אדמת אירופה. אסור לה, אל לה לאירופה להיות אדישה לכך.

ראש הממשלה טאסק, דונלד, פולין וישראל לחמו שתיהן רבות למען עצמאות וחירות. איננו לוקחים אף אחד מאלה כמובן מאליו. אם נפעל יחד, נוכל לחזק את חירותנו, להיטיב עם עמינו ולחתור לביטחון ושלום לכולם. אני יודע שאתה תהווה שותף לכל המשימות הללו שהן משימות המשותפות לשני עמינו. אני מבקש להודות לך שוב על קבלת הפנים ועל הידידות. אני מצפה לקבל את פניך ואת פני שריך, כפי שנהוג אצלנו לומר – בשנה הבאה בירושלים.

תודה רבה שוב על קבלת הפנים.


Jewish Political Brief June 3, 2013: Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov Addresses AJC Global Forum



Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Mammadyarov Addresses AJC Global Forum

Source: AJC, 6-3-13

Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, addressing an audience of more than 1,500 at the AJC Global Forum, spoke about his country’s close ties to Israel and important strategic relationship with the U.S.

“Azerbaijan is a natural bridge that connects various civilizations and cultures,” said Mammadyarov. “Azerbaijan serves as a critical link for outreach to the Muslim world for our partners like the United States and Israel.”…READ MORE

Jewish Political Brief June 3, 2013: Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos Addresses AJC Global Forum




Greek Foreign Minister Addresses AJC Global Forum

Source: AJC, 6-3-13

H.E. Dimitris Avramopoulos Foreign Minister of Greece

H.E. Dimitris Avramopoulos

“Greece will never allow hate to grow and spread. Hate will be confronted and stopped,” said Foreign Minister Avramopoulos, referring to rising anti-Semitism in Europe. FULL SPEECH

Israel Political Brief June 3, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Poland in spite of labor dispute



Netanyahu to visit Poland in spite of labor dispute

Source: Jerusalem Post, 6-3-13

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is going ahead with plans to visit Poland next week, even though Foreign Ministry officials are not providing any preparatory or logistical support for the visit because of an ongoing labor dispute….READ MORE

Jewish Political Brief June 2, 2013: American Jewish Committee AJC Global Forum Day 1 Highlights



AJC Global Forum

Sunday, June 2, Highlights

Source: AJC, 6-2-13

The 2013 AJC Global Forum opened Sunday evening with moving addresses from three key foreign ministers who personally, and whose countries, have deep, ongoing ties with AJC….READ MORE

Jewish Political Brief June 2, 2013: Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski Addresses AJC Global Forum



Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski Addresses AJC Global Forum

Source: The Herald |, 6-2-13

The Foreign Minister of Poland, Radoslaw Sikorski, delivered a moving address to the annual AJC Global Forum this evening. He stressed his country’s enduring commitment to the transatlantic….READ MORE

H.E. Radosław Sikorski

Foreign Minister of Poland


“Poland’s basic policy on Israel is principled and unambiguous,” said Foreign Minister Sikorski. “Poland affirms Israel’s right to exist within secure borders. Poland affirms Israel’s right to defend itself.” FULL SPEECHPRESS RELEASE

Jewish Political Brief June 2, 2013: Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan H.E. Elmar Mammadyarov Addresses AJC Global Forum



AJC Global Forum

H.E. Elmar Mammadyarov

Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan


Foreign Minister Mammadyarov spoke about the key role his country plays as an important energy producer and the “close and friendly” relationship between his country and Israel that goes “far beyond diplomatic ties.”

Jewish Political Brief June 2, 2013: Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic H.E. Karel Schwarzenberg Addresses AJC Global Forum



AJC Global Forum

H.E. Karel Schwarzenberg

Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic

Czech Republic

“The Czech Republic will continue to firmly stand behind the government of Israel in its responsibility to provide basic security for its citizens,” Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg told the AJC Global Forum. FULL SPEECH, PRESS RELEASE

Israel Political Brief May 29, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Praises Greek – Israeli Similarities



Netanyahu Praises Greek – Israeli Similarities

Source: Arutz Sheva, 5-29-13

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met this evening (Wednesday) with Greece’s Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos. The Prime Minister stated “the colors of our flags are similar, which is not surprising, since Jerusalem and Athens are the foundations….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 24, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu endorses Meyer Habib for French parliament



Netanyahu endorses Habib for French parliament

Source: JTA, 5-24-13

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed the campaign of Jewish businessman Meyer Habib for a seat in the French parliament. Habib is hoping to enter France’s National Assembly as the representative of French citizens living in Israel, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, the Vatican and San Marino. “I have known Meyer Habib for many years… READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 24, 2013: President Shimon Peres: US Secretary of State John ‘Kerry Initiative can create breakthrough in peace process’



‘Kerry Initiative can create breakthrough in peace process’

Source: Jerusalem Post, 5-24-13

In a meeting with British Secretary of State Hague, President Peres says that though the process to renewing Palestinian-Israeli talks is long and hard, it is important to note positive developments in the area….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 23, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu & UK Foreign Secretary William Hague’s Remarks at the Start of their Meeting ראש הממשלה נתניהו נפגש עם שר החוץ הבריטי וויליאם הייג



PM Netanyahu’s & UK Foreign Secretary William Hague’s Remarks at the Start of their Meeting

Source: PMO, 5-23-13

יום חמישי י”ד סיון תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, today, made the following remarks at the start of their meeting:

Prime Minister Netanyahu:

“Secretary Hague, I am pleased to welcome you in Jerusalem.

First, I want to express my solidarity and the solidarity of the people of Israel with the government and people of Britain following this horrific terrorist attack against a British serviceman in London. We wish to send condolences to the family and to the people of Britain.

We’ve experienced such horrors here, and we sympathize deeply. We both are facing this battle against this savagery and this terrorism in our own countries and throughout the world.

Mr. Secretary,

The just released report of the International Atomic Energy Agency shows clearly that Iran is continuing to expand its nuclear enrichment program.

In parallel, it’s working on a heavy-water reactor to build a plutonium-based bomb.

So it’s clear that despite the economic and diplomatic pressure, the international community has so far been unable to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear weapons program.

Obviously, this is the biggest challenge facing us. I think it’s the biggest challenge of our time, and I look forward to discussing this with you, as well as the unraveling situation in Syria which is causing horrible human tragedies, but also potentially destabilizing the entire region.

And I also look forward to discussing with you also our efforts right now with Secretary Kerry to revitalize the peace process.

I’m sure these are enough for many meetings. But, put it this way: I think that we have a lot on our plate, and I look forward to working with you to achieve these goals of security, peace and stability in our area and beyond.

Welcome to Jerusalem.”

UK Foreign Secretary Hague:

“Thank you very much Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you very much indeed, and thank you Prime Minister for your condolences, and those expressed by many other people in Israel today on the terrible murder that happened yesterday in London. As our Prime Minister has said this morning: We will never give in to terror in the United Kingdom, and we know the importance of defeating terrorism. That is well understood here in Israel as well.

I’m looking forward to discussing with the Prime Minister the whole range of international issues including all of the issues that he has just mentioned. Israel is an important friend and strategic partner for the United Kingdom and we are strongly committed, as you know, to the security of Israel. I look forward to discussing with the Prime minister our cooperation in that area, including the very strong concerns that we have of about the nuclear program of Iran. We pursue the approach of sanctions and negotiations but nobody should doubt our resolve in these matters. And it is important that we discuss the latest reports and developments today and of course we must discuss the crisis in Syria. I’ve come from meetings in Jordan with Secretary Kerry and the foreign ministers of nine other nations and with the Syrian National Coalition, as we attempt to make some progress to a political resolution in Syria.

And of course the Middle East peace process is also an urgent priority for the United Kingdom and the world and we welcome the very strong commitment shown by President Obama on his recent visit here and by Secretary Kerry who is here again showing once again his great energy and commitment on this issue.

So my visit is in support of those efforts and to discuss the contribution and assistance the United Kingdom can provide. We urge all parties to move the process forward and to really give the bold and decisive leadership that will allow success to happen and avoid steps that undermine it.

And I welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu’s clear commitment to a two-state solution and to work to achieve peace. We think, as President said two months ago, peace is necessary and just and possible. And so I look forward to discussing all of those issues with the Prime Minister and his colleagues today.”

Minister Yuval Steinitz and Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin also attended the meeting.

ראש הממשלה נתניהו נפגש עם שר החוץ הבריטי וויליאם הייג

Source: PMO, 5-23-13 

יום חמישי י”ד סיון תשע”ג
לחץ להגדלה
צילום: לע”מ

ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו נפגש היום עם שר החוץ של בריטניה וויליאם הייג. בפגישה השתתפו גם השר יובל שטייניץ וסגן שר החוץ זאב אלקין.

בפתח הפגישה אמר ראש הממשלה נתניהו: “ברצוני להביע את הסולידריות שלי ואת הסולידריות של העם בישראל עם הממשלה והעם בבריטניה בעקבות התקפת הטרור המזעזעת נגד איש הצבא הבריטי בלונדון. אנו שולחים את תנחומינו למשפחה ולכל העם הבריטי. אנו חווינו זוועות כאלו, ומזדהים עמוקות. שנינו ניצבים לקרב מול הברבריות הזאת והטרור במדינותינו ובכל העולם.

הדו”ח האחרון של הסוכנות הבין-לאומית לאנרגיה אטומית מראה בבירור שאירן ממשיכה לפתח את תכנית ההעשרה הגרעינית שלה. במקביל, היא עובדת על כור למים כבדים כדי לבנות פצצה שמבוססת על פלוטוניום. ברור שלמרות הלחץ הכלכלי והדיפלומטי, הקהילה הבין-לאומית לא הצליחה עד עכשיו למנוע מאירן לשקוד על תכנית הנשק הגרעיני שלה.

זהו בבירור האתגר הגדול ביותר מולו אנו ניצבים. אני סבור שזהו האתגר הגדול יותר של התקופה, ואני מצפה לדון איתך על כך, כמו גם על המצב המידרדר בסוריה, שמביא עמו טרגדיה אנושית איומה, אך גם עלול לערער את האזור כולו.

כמו כן אני מצפה לשוחח איתך על המאמצים המשותפים שלנו, עם מזכיר המדינה קרי, להחיות את תהליך השלום.

אני בטוח שנושאים אלה יספקו דיונים רבים. יש לנו דברים רבים לטפל בהם, ואני מצפה לעבוד בשיתוף איתך כדי להשיג את היעדים האלה של ביטחון, שלום ויציבות באזור שלנו ומעבר לו.

השר הייג אמר: “תודה רבה לך ראש הממשלה, על תנחומיך והתנחומים שהביעו אנשים רבים בישראל היום על הרצח הנורא שהתרחש אתמול בלונדון. כפי שאמר הבוקר ראש הממשלה שלנו: לעולם לא נוותר לטרור בבריטניה, ואנו מכירים בחשיבות של ניצחון על הטרור. את זה מבינים היטב גם פה, בישראל.

אני מצפה לדון עם ראש הממשלה בכל מגוון הנושאים הבין-לאומיים, כולל הנושאים שהוא הזכיר כעת. ישראל היא ידידה חשובה ושותפה אסטרטגית של בריטניה, וכפי שאתם יודעים, אנו מחויבים לביטחון ישראל. אני מצפה לדון עם ראש הממשלה על שיתוף הפעולה שלנו בתחום, כולל הדאגה העמוקה שלנו בנוגע לתכנית הגרעין של אירן. אנו תומכים בגישה של סנקציות ומשא ומתן, אך שלא יהיה ספק בליבו של איש לגבי הנחישות שלנו בנושאים אלה. חשוב שנשוחח על הדו”חות האחרונים ועל ההתפתחויות האחרונות היום, וכמובן שגם על המשבר בסוריה. הגעתי עכשיו מירדן, מפגישות עם המזכיר קרי ועם שרי החוץ של תשע מדינות אחרות ועם האופוזיציה הלאומית בסוריה, בניסיון להתקדם לעבר פתרון דיפלומטי בסוריה.

וכמובן, תהליך השלום במזרח התיכון הוא עדיפות עליונה לבריטניה ולעולם, ואנו מברכים על המחויבות העמוקה שהפגין הנשיא אובמה במהלך ביקורו כאן לאחרונה, ושמפגין המזכיר קרי שנמצא פה שוב ומראה את האנרגיה הרבה והמחויבות העמוקה שלו לעניין.

ביקורי כאן היא הפגנת תמיכה לכל המאמצים האלה, כדי לדון בתרומה ובסיוע שבריטניה יכולה לספק. אנו מעודדים את כל הנוגעים בדבר להתקדם בתהליך ולהנהיג באומץ ובהחלטיות שיאפשר להצלחה להתרחש ולמנוע צעדים שיפגעו בה.

אני מברך על מחויבותו של ראש הממשלה נתניהו לפתרון שתי מדינות ולתהליך השלום. כפי שאמר הנשיא אובמה לפני חודשיים, אנו סבורים שהשלום הוא הכרחי, צודק ואפשרי. אני מצפה לשוחח עם ראש הממשלה ועם עמיתיו על כל הנושאים האלה היום”

Israel Political Brief May 5, 2013: President Shimon Peres: We Left Gaza, so Why Fire Rockets?



President Peres: We Left Gaza, so Why Fire Rockets?

Source: Arutz Sheva, 5-5-13

President Peres addressed the PA peace process during his meeting with Swiss FM Didier Burkhalter Sunday, “The State of Israel wishes to restart dialogue with the PA, but we have the minimal demand of them to put an end to terror and violence towards our….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief April 18, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu among dignitaries at Margaret Thatcher funeral



Netanyahu among dignitaries at Thatcher funeral

Source: Jerusalem Post, 4-17-13

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara joined a host of British and international dignitaries in London on Wednesday, as the British capital stages its biggest political funeral in almost half a century for former prime minister Margaret Thatcher….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief April 8, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Mourns Margaret Thatcher, ‘Staunch Friend of Israel’



Netanyahu Mourns Thatcher, ‘Staunch Friend of Israel’

Source: The Jewish Press, 4-8-13

“Today I mourn the passing of Prime Minister Baroness Margaret ,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said shortly after her death was announced Monday….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief March 12, 2013: President Shimon Peres’ Speech to European Union Parliament – Transcript



Full text of Peres speech to European Parliament

President Shimon Peres’ at the seat of the parliament in Strasbourg.

Source: Haaretz, 3-12-13

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and President Shimon Peres
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and President Shimon Peres at the exhibition ‘Tough Choices that make a difference: The fate of the Bulgarian Jews,’ European Parliament, Brussels, March 6, 2013. Photo by AP

I stand here before you, burning memories in my heart, great hopes in my soul.I carry profound pain concerning the past. And look with confident eyes to the future.

I immigrated to Israel in 1934, at the age of 11. In 1942, most of the inhabitants of my town were burned alive. Had my family delayed their emigration by 8 years, we would have been exterminated.

A year before the creation of Israel, in 1947, I was recruited to the Haganah headquarters.

Since then, Israel has been attacked seven times in its 65 years of existence. We were outmanned and outgunned. The choice was to win or to die. I participated as well in confronting another enemy – the desert.

We won. We made it bloom. No other people experienced anything similar.

I have my memories, but I carry my dreams. I did not come to reminisce, but to continue to dream.

People age. Dreams are ageless. We changed. Europe changed. I came to express our admiration for the changed Europe. Europe picked itself up in the wake of the worst of world wars.

It divorced its past, it created a new Europe. You converted the divided Europe of the last thousand years, to the united Europe of today. You replaced military camps with scientific campuses. Europe which knew racism now considers it a crime. I know that you are facing an economic crisis, but your skies are without clouds of war. A European country introduced the Nobel Prize. And now a united Europe won it rightly.
Europe corrected its mistakes and is building a better world.
For us, the Europe of the Shoah is becoming a Europe supporting our renaissance.

Friends, the idea of the rebirth of Israel was born on European soil.
In the past thousand years, more Jews lived in Europe than in any other continent.

Alas, more Jews were murdered in Europe in the last hundred years than in the preceding two thousand years.

We experienced here the worst tragedy of our history. Here we dreamed an impossible rebirth.

Six million, a third of our people, were murdered here by starvation, gas, rifles and fire. What remains from them is ashes. We shall not forget that the righteous among the nations carried candles of light in the darkness.
They were small in number but great in heroism.

Israel was born from the ashes at the end of the Second World War. If someone had stood up then and said that within three years a Jewish state would be created – he would have been considered a delirious visionary.

But the dream became a reality.

And if somebody would have stood up on that very day, and said that in six short years a new united Europe would be born, with borders erased, barriers lowered, he would have been considered an author of fiction.

And another miracle occurred.

Six countries signed the Treaty of Paris and became a community of 27 nations across Europe.

Our relations here and now are a dialogue between two miracles.

Israel enjoys an Association Agreement with Europe, and close ties with the European Union in nearly all fields. I have come to thank you for your friendship, based on common values, geographic proximity and a long history. Politically – Israel is a Western democracy with a Mediterranean experience.

Religiously – Israel is the cradle of the three great monotheistic religions.
Scientifically – Israel is advanced, even by European standards.
Israel is small: One pro mil of the Middle Eastern area.

Its soil is barren rather than fertile. A typically Middle Eastern soil.

Water is sparse. We have two lakes, one is dead, the other is dying. We have a single river – the Jordan – rich in history, poor in water. The land is rich in archeology and poor in natural resources.

The only natural resource we discovered is the human potential.
Israel is an example where the people enriched the land more than the land enriched the people.

It is an example where the devotion of people and merits of hi-tech forced deserts to surrender. To flourish.

We went through seven wars. We won them. But when peace became possible, we returned all the land and assets which we won at war to Egypt and Jordan. We started a peace process with the Palestinians which enabled to build a Palestinian Authority. Then, we evacuated the Gaza Strip. We dismantled 22 settlements and brought back home all the settlers. The Palestinians could have used the Strip to build an independent entity. Unfortunately, they turned it into a terrorist base instead.

It became a setback to the peace process.

Israel is an island in a stormy ocean. We have to defend our island. And we are interested in the tranquilization of the sea. Some people claim it will take generations. Europe has proved that great events can be achieved in six years. We live in a new era where events are moving at the speed of a plane and no longer at the speed of a carriage. For that reason, I believe that peace can be achieved in a short while.
The peace process with the Palestinians already has an agreed beginning and an agreed solution.

Two states for two nations.

An Arab state – Palestine. A Jewish state – Israel – living in peace, security and economic cooperation.

The remaining disputed issues can and should be negotiated.

Peace for Israel is not just a strategic choice. It is a moral call which stems from the depth of our heritage.

Since the Exodus, our heritage condemns slavery and rejects mastery, as all persons were born equal.

Our legacy calls upon us to pursue peace.

Together with my partner Yitzhak Rabin, we laid down the foundations for peace with the Palestinians.

Now it is time to continue. To renew the peace process. We must continue to work with the Palestinian Authority. Support its economy. Achieve peace. A Palestinian security force was formed. You and the Americans trained it. And now we work together to prevent terror and crime.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our hand remains stretched out in peace to all the countries in the Middle East.

In a short while, a new Israeli government will be formed. It is an occasion to resume peace negotiations. To realize the two-state solution. There is no other solution.

It is not only our preference but the call of the present reality.

Jordan, Israel and Palestine, find themselves in a similar situation. Terror endangers each of them separately and the three of them collectively. Collective dangers call for collective security. I have the highest regard for the King of Jordan. Like his father, he has proved to be courageously committed to peace.

I have known the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmud Abbas for many years. He condemns terror and is a real partner for peace.
Europe has been and continues to be a major partner for peace and against terror.

Next week, we will be hosting President Obama in Israel as a welcome and esteemed guest. His support for our security is extraordinary and his devotion to peace is unshakeable.

We are glad that the United States and Europe are now working together, supporting peace and rejecting terror.

The greatest danger to peace in the world is the present Iranian Regime. It became a dictatorship cloaked in a religious mantle. It developed an imperial appetite.

Nobody threatens Iran. Iran threatens others.

It endangers the independence of Arab countries. It menaces the mere existence of Israel.

It smuggles arms into many countries in order to undermine their stability.
They deny the Holocaust. They call for another Holocaust.

They are aiming to build a nuclear weapon and they deny it. A nuclear bomb in the hands of an irresponsible regime is an imminent danger to the world.

The European Union and the United States drew the conclusions and together created a policy to stop this danger. To this end, you rightly decided to impose economic sanctions. You made it clear that if the Iranians will not respond, other options are on the table.

In addition to the nuclear bomb, Iran is constructing long-range missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. It can reach the far corners of the world, including Europe.

I believe that in addition to controlling the production of highly enriched uranium – there is a need to control the means of delivery. To control the production of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Khamenei declared that religion prohibits the production and use of nuclear arms. Why then does he build missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads?

During the Helsinki conference which took place in 1975, the U.S.A. placed the issue of human rights in the Soviet Union at the top of the world’s agenda. It was surprising and effective.

It shows that the moral voice is no less important than a diplomatic demarche.

Today, this call should apply to Iran. A clear voice must be raised against the violation of human rights by the Iranian regime.

A clear voice must be raised against a regime that hangs people without bringing them to court, that throws journalists into prison without trial.
That fires live bullets at civilian demonstrators, without respect for their lives.

A clear voice must be raised against a regime that discriminates against women.

And instead of sharing the oil-generated profits with their own people, they spend them on terror and arms to endanger people all over the world.
Enriched uranium impoverishes hungry children.

A moral voice will encourage the Iranian people in their fight for freedom, in their struggle against misery.

Very soon, elections will take place in Iran. The Ayatollahs should not be allowed to falsify the results. To frustrate the right of the people to make their own free choice.

Your voice will show the Iranian people that the world has not turned its back on them.The present leaders of Iran are violating the charter of the United Nations which condemns the violation of human rights and aggression against other nations. Yet they are given the opportunity in the United Nations to abuse its platforms.

Iran supports terrorism throughout the world. Its main proxy, Hezbollah, carries out terror attacks and threatens the stability of the entire region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The historic Sykes–Picot agreement between France and England, gave birth to modern Lebanon to be a multi-cultural country where Muslims, Christians and Druze live together in peace.

Today, Hezbollah, supported by Iran, is destroying Lebanon. Hezbollah is a terror organization. Not a political movement. They collect missiles. They are trigger-happy. They hide missiles in peaceful towns and villages. By doing so, they turn them into a war target.

Hezbollah divided Lebanon politically, religiously and ethnically. It turned the land of the cedar tree into a scorched and barren land.

Hezbollah is a state within a state. A private army apart from the national army. It sends soldiers to support the massacre of a bloody dictator in Syria. With no authorization of the government of which it is a member.

Recently, 20 terror attempts by Hezbollah were counted all over the world, in India, Thailand, Georgia, South Africa, the U.S.A., Egypt and Greece, among others.

Last month, the government of Bulgaria, a member of this European Union, reported that it had identified that the terror attack in Burgas, was carried out by Hezbollah. Five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian citizen lost their lives.

Cyprus recently arrested a Hezbollah terrorist planning a terror attack.
Distinguished Members of Parliament,

Your voice is highly respected. We appeal to you – call terror – terror. Save Lebanon from terrorist madness. Save the Syrian people from Iran’s proxies. Save your citizens and ours from Hezbollah.

The international community must designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Today, terror’s extent reaches far beyond its previous limitations. Recently, terrorists attempted to take over Mali. Were they to succeed, it would have halted the impressive endeavor of the African continent to recover from its past.

One of the highest hopes for all of us is to see the brave attempt of the African people to build a new science-based economy. The free world cannot stand by as terror imposes its grip onto any part of the world, far or near.

It cannot stand by when a massacre is carried out by the Syrian president against his own people and his own children. It breaks all our hearts.
Assad secretly built a nuclear installation and an arsenal of chemical weapons.
While the nuclear installation was destroyed in time, the chemical arms remain in his hands to this very day. This terrible danger threatens the Syrian people, the entire region and even Europe.

A solution must be found to prevent the chemical weapons from falling into the wrong hands.
The best solution to put an end to the Syrian tragedy might be achieved by empowering the Arab League, of which Syria is a member, to intervene.
The intervention of Western forces would be perceived as a foreign interference.

The Arab League can and should form a provisional government in Syria to stop the massacre, to prevent Syria from falling to pieces. The United Nations should support an Arab force in blue helmets.

Dear friends, 18 years ago I came to Brussels to sign the Association Agreement between the European Union and Israel.

I am happy that reality has surpassed my expectations. Indeed, the association agreement became a partnership. And before long, the partnership became a friendship.

It is on these steady grounds that I propose to the European Union and Israel to cooperate for the benefit of stability and prosperity in the Middle East, and the developing world at large.

Israel is described as a Start-Up Nation. I believe that the whole Middle East can become a Start-Up region.

Hi-tech incubators can be created all over the region to escape poverty.
Israel is small. So we try to take advantage of our smallness. We discovered that small countries can become great pilot plans.

Today, we are trying to build a social model that will bridge the gap between the have and have-nots. The social gap is a major problem for all of us, rich and poor.

We are looking for new ways to overcome this gap by democratizing health, education, communication and by reducing the cost of food and housing. This is a burning need for the young generation.

We intend to improve the human condition. To enable each person to possess the capacity of making a free choice for their way of life, by entering the secrets of our brains. The brain is the most illustrious instrument of the world. It has enabled us to build artificial brains. Yet we are still far from understanding the way it functions.

We are strangers to ourselves. Discovering the mechanism of our brain will enable us to become friendly with ourselves and our fellow men. I am glad that this effort gained a new priority and became a major topic for cooperation between our governments, non-governmental organizations, and between us as individuals.

Our global world has no global government. It has become almost ungovernable. We have to look for an alternative.I believe the future ways of governing shall rely on three pillars: National governments will continue to be in charge of the husbandry of the national state.

Global companies will invest in research and development. And the individual will enjoy the capacity to govern themselves by knowing the way their brain functions. Science today is more telling than politics. It is universal and borderless. Armies cannot conquer wisdom. Police cannot arrest science.

I believe that scientific aid to developing countries can enable them to escape poverty. Science-based global companies can help change the world. Globalization put an end to racism.

It empowers the individual. Global companies do not impose their will upon people. On the contrary, they respect the will of their clients. They can provide scientific know-how for growth. They can assist young people to acquire high education. To create jobs befitting their skills.

This may be the best help we can offer to the young generation in the Arab world to answer the challenges of the new age. I proposed a plan for a joint venture for the European Union between national governments and global corporations in order to cope with these challenges.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I know it requires your support as the European Parliament. But allow me to count on your help.

Joining Europe’s wisdom and Israel’s experience, we can overcome tomorrow’s challenges. Facing the lack of global governance, we can foster close cooperation between governments and global companies. Facing the dangers which threaten the values for which we stand, we shall fight terror wherever it is, relentlessly.

President Schulz, esteemed Members of Parliament, Jean Monnet, the father of the European Union, once said: “Everybody is ambitious. The question is whether he is ambitious to be, or ambitious to do.”

The time has come to do. Let us remember that we are only ever as great as the purpose we serve.

Yes, the challenges ahead of us are daunting But who better to defy the seemingly impossible than two miracles? Let us join forces, the European Union and Israel. To fulfill the teachings of our heritage.

In the words of my forefathers, let us fix the world – Tikkun Olam. In the words of Jean Monnet – let us do. Let us work together for a better Middle East, for a forward-thinking Europe.  Let us fulfill our values of peace, democracy, human rights. Yielding at no obstacle. Daring the new.
We shall be servants of the future rather than rulers of the past.

As I look upon the future of the friendship which ties Israel to the European Union, I am filled with hope and determination. Hand in hand, we shall build a brighter tomorrow for tomorrow’s generation.

Thank you and Shalom.

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