Full Text Israel Political Brief February 10, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting on US President Barack Obama’s Israel Visit



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

Source: PMO, 2-10-13
יום ראשון ל’ שבט תשע”ג

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

“I welcome President Obama’s intention to visit Israel. This will be a very important visit that will emphasize the strong alliance between Israel and the US. I think that the importance of this alliance stands out even more given what is happening, in light of the great revolutions, the earthquakes that are taking place around us throughout the Middle East, from the Atlantic Ocean and North Africa and eastwards to Iran. The President and I have discussed this visit. We agreed that we will discuss three main subjects: Iran’s arming itself, Iran’s attempt to arm itself with nuclear weapons, the unstable situation in Syria and its consequences for the security of the region and, of course, for Israel and the US, and efforts to advance the peace process between us and the Palestinians. These issues, and others that will come up, are weighty concerns and require the most serious consideration on Israel’s part. I also believe that they require as broad a national unity as possible; the harnessing of all forces in the State of Israel, and this is the nature of our efforts at this time to form a government.

In this context, I would like to say something that we want, and something that we do not want. We want unity, dialogue and cohesiveness. The last thing we want, and which we absolutely reject is violence, racism and boycotts. These are unacceptable to us. I say this in regards to a team that I have supported for years, Beitar Jerusalem. It has good and dear fans. Lately, we have seen displays of extremism that we find unacceptable. These must be uprooted, of course, from the world of sports. Therefore, I call on all fans, and also on those who are not fans, to disavow these phenomena. We need dialogue and partnership. We do not need extremism and violence, and neither do we need boycotts, in any sphere.

Today’s discussion will be devoted to the issue of the green revolution that the Government has led under the leadership of Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan. If you look back at the data from 2009 and consider what has been done over the past four years, you will see a genuine revolution. I call this a green revolution. But it is unlike the green revolution around us. There is a green revolution in our region that has only one aspect but the internal revolution that has been done here is great and very significant in every sphere, and not just in the resources that have been invested, but in results as well, in what is going on in our homes, in recycling, and in what is happening in our great municipal parks. We were recently in Ariel Sharon Park and we saw the difference there with our own eyes, millions of people go there. It is happening in the Haifa Bay area, in Tel Aviv and in Be’er Sheva. And, of course, all this has additional implications for this revolution, for both air and water quality, for Israel’s being considered among the most advanced countries in this sphere, for meeting international expectations and for future industry as well. In all these respects, I think that Minister Erdan is deserving of all praise for leading this great and fundamental change in our lives.”

Israeli Ministers Inaugurate New East Jerusalem Settlement Ma’aleh Zeitim

Day after Netanyahu addresses Congress, his ministers inaugurate East Jerusalem settlement

Knesset speaker at ceremony comments on Obama’s recent Mideast policy speech, asking what will happen if ‘one day there is a president that thinks Israel’s existence contradicts America’s interest?’

Source: Haaretz, 5-25-11

One day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Jerusalem will not be divided, the speaker of the Knesset and several other government ministers attended a dedication ceremony for the new Jewish settlement of Ma’aleh Zeitim, in East Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, and Information Minister Daniel Hershkovitz all participated in the ceremony – this despite the fact that the Jewish neighborhood has already been inhabited for several years.

Maaleh Zeitim, May 25 2011, Olivier Pitosi Activists at Ma’aleh Zeitim in Jerusalem, May 25 2011.
Photo by: Olivier Pitosi

Rivlin delivered a speech at the ceremony, where he made a warning based on the recent Mideast policy speech laid out by United States President Barack Obama.

“Until today, despite a difference of opinions, there were relations between Israel and the U.S. based on mutual interests, shared democratic values, and recognition of the right of the Jewish people in their country,” Rivlin said.

“But this time, I hear another note from the U.S. president…. That Israel doesn’t need to be strict on the conditions that will protect her existence, that the U.S. will be responsible for [Israel’s] security and existence. And what happens if one day there is a president that thinks that Israel’s existence contradicts Americans’ interests?”

Rivlin condemned those that seek to “cut up” Jerusalem, as bringing “disaster” onto the city and its residents.

The comments come shortly after a weekend where U.S. President Barack Obama called for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians based on borders from 1967, which Netanyahu calls “indefensible”….READ MORE

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