Full Text Israel Political Brief December 17, 2014: PM Netanyahu’s Statement on the Removal of Hamas from the EU List of Terrorist Organizations — Transcript

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

Source: PMO, 12-17-14

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

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

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

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PM Netanyahu’s remarks in Rome

Source: MFA, 12-15-14 

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

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

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

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

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

Full Text Israel Political Brief March 9, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of Weekly Cabinet Meeting on Iranian Weapons Ship to Gaza

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

Source: PMO, 3-9-14
יום ראשון ז’ אדר ב תשע”ד

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

“The Iranian weapons ship reached Israel last night. The operation to seize the ship  had two goals: Preventing the delivery of deadly weapons to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, which would have directly endangered Israel’s citizens, and exposing the true face of Iran, which was behind this weapons shipment . Iran completely denies its involvement; it is lying in the most brazen manner. We will present evidence of this tomorrow and later.

I call this to the attention of Catherine Ashton, who is now visiting Tehran. I would like to ask her if she asked her Iranian hosts about this shipment of weapons for terrorist organizations, and if not, why not. Nobody has the right to ignore the true and murderous actions of the regime in Tehran. I think that it would be proper for the international community to give its opinion regarding Iran’s true policy, not its propaganda.”

Israel Political Brief February 12, 2014: EU Parliament President Martin Schultz’s address to the Knesset causes uproar and walkout

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EU Parliament President Martin Schultz’s address to the Knesset causes uproar and walkout

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz adresses the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on February 12, 2014.  (Photo credit: Flash90)

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz addresses the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on February 12, 2014. (Photo credit: Flash90)

Leaders from Israel’s Right leaning parties, including Economics Minister Naftali Bennett and his Bayit Yehudi party left as European Parliament President Martin Schulz addressed the Knesset on the last day of his Israel visit and made incorrect statements about Palestinian freedoms and access to water.

The comment that caused Knesset members to be upset was when Shulz asked; “One of the questions these young people asked me which I found most moving – although I could not check the exact figures – was this: how can it be that an Israeli is allowed to use 70 litres of water per day, but a Palestinian only 17?”

Bennett demanded that Schulz apologize for his ‘lying propaganda,’ and PM Benjamin Netanyahu stated it was “selective hearing” on the part of the EU President.

Sources:

“Lawmakers walk out of European Parliament president’s Knesset address,”  JTA, 2-12-14

“Netanyahu accuses EU Parliament chief of ‘selective hearing’ after Bennett walkout,” Haaretz, 2-12-14

Full Text Israel Political Brief February 12, 2014: European Parliament President Martin Schulz’s Speech Addressing the Knesset — Transcript

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European Parliament President Martin Schulz’s Speech Addressing the Knesset

Source: Times of Israel, 2-12-14

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz adressess the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on February 12, 2014.  (photo credit: Flash 90)

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz adressess the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on February 12, 2014. (photo credit: Flash 90)

I stand before you today as the German President of a multinational European Parliament. I am well aware that it is by no means self-evident that the German language should be heard in this House, and I should like to express to you my gratitude for allowing me to address you in my mother tongue.

It is a great honour for me to be in Jerusalem as a guest of the Knesset, the body which is the heartbeat of Israeli democracy, the body which symbolises the realisation of the hope cherished for so long by the Jewish people for a homeland of their own; following centuries in which the Jewish people were betrayed and persecuted throughout the world; following the unprecedented break with all civilised values which the Shoah represented; and following the barbaric murder of six million Jews.

I was born in 1955. I am a German who did not experience at first hand the atrocities of National Socialism, but the crimes committed by the Nazis were the reason I became involved in politics and their repercussions have influenced political thinking from the start. I bear the same responsibility as every other German for the mass murder perpetrated in the name of my nation. In the name of my nation, the Jewish people were forced to endure suffering for which no reparation can ever be made. I bow down before the memory of all those who were murdered.

As a German who holds political office, and international political office at that, I regard it as my first duty to honour the following pledge: Never again. Never forget.

We must make sure that the act of commemorating past disasters which have befallen humanity engenders a sense of responsibility for the present and the future, and that we let this sense of responsibility guide our actions.

Letting this sense of responsibility guide our actions means standing up for freedom, for democracy and for human dignity every day.

We are all witnessing with dismay a return to ways of thinking which we thought had long been consigned to history, in the form of anti-Semitism, ultra-nationalism and populism. This merely strengthens me in my conviction that we must stand firm together – every one of us – against all those who stir up hatred. I believe that what the philosopher Edmund Burke said still holds true: ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’.

We have no choice, therefore, but to act responsibly. Acting responsibly means observing the principle enshrined in Germany’s Basic Law that ‘human dignity is sacrosanct’.

Acting responsibly means, for us, nurturing the European unification process, because integration between our States and our peoples was the response we Europeans found to the wars, destruction and murders which disfigured the first half of the 20th century. Unification and integration have helped us to banish the old demons and have immunised Europe against the threat of war.

Acting responsibly means, for us, openly acknowledging Israel’s right to exist and the right of the Jewish people to live in security and peace. The European Union will always stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel.

Dear Members of the Knesset,
For the sake of our children and our children’s children we must remember. For the sake of future generations, who will never have the opportunity to talk with survivors of the Shoah, we need events and places which help us remember.

Yesterday I had a deeply moving experience. Together with Judge Gabriel Bach I visited the Yad Vashem memorial. I had the honour of meeting Judge Bach for the first time two years ago, on International Holocaust Memorial Day, which we celebrated at the European Parliament for the third time only a few weeks ago, together with members of the European Jewish Congress and survivors of the Shoah. I find Judge Bach’s life story very inspiring, and meeting him has restored my faith in justice. The fact that a 10-year-old boy who was driven from his homeland by a Nazi criminal in 1938 should later, as Deputy State Prosecutor of a democratic Israel, put that criminal, Adolf Eichmann, on trial, shows that there is such a thing as justice in this world. And that justice is something worth fighting for every day!

Ladies and gentlemen,
Israel embodies the hope cherished by a people of being able to live a life of freedom in a homeland of their own. As a result of the actions of brave men and women, Israel represents the realisation of that very human dream. Throwing off the shackles of prejudice and persecution, in order to live in freedom and dignity – this is a desire shared by many people throughout the world.

Today, Israel is a robust democracy, a vibrant, open society with all the conflicts that implies, and a modern economy. The kibbutzim which once made the desert bloom have been replaced by hundreds of start-ups and high-tech research centres in which work is being done which will lead to the inventions of the future; minute microchips and robots, computer tomography and ultrasound scanners. Israeli researchers are world leaders in many areas. Israel has only eight million inhabitants, but it can boast seven major research universities, including the Technion in Haifa and the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, and 12 Nobel Prize winners!

Israel has built a society founded on the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Israel and the European Union share these values. They are the ties which hold our partnership, our friendship, together. They are the basis for the answers we are seeking together to the challenges of the 21st century: climate change and water scarcity, refugee problems, peace and security. They are the basis for our scientific and economic cooperation.

If you will allow me, I will deal first with security and peace.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Arab Spring has brought with it revolutions and upheavals in the region which are presenting Israel and the EU with new challenges. Together, we can exert a positive influence on developments in our neighbourhood. This is a responsibility we cannot ignore.

The changes and upheavals I referred to a moment ago are leaving many people uneasy, and with good reason. Syria is experiencing an ever more brutal escalation of violence. The Assad regime would rather massacre its own population than give up power! Even children are being tortured and killed. The opposition is also guilty of perpetrating appalling massacres and recruiting child soldiers. We condemn the savage violence in the strongest possible terms. The killing must stop!

Two days ago in Jordan I visited the Al Zaatari camp, which houses 90 000 of the 2.2 million Syrian refugees. I was deeply shocked by the human suffering I witnessed there, but I was also deeply moved by the generosity which has led the States in this region to open their borders to refugees from the civil war and do whatever they can to provide them with food and a roof over their heads. Israel, too, is saving many lives by giving medical care to people damaged physically and mentally by the Syrian war. Sometimes I wish we in Europe would show the same kind of commitment.

But there are also grounds for hope: Tunisia’s new constitution is a document to gladden the hearts of all democrats. The EU will always support those who commit themselves to upholding democracy and universal human rights.

This sense of hope is creating a new opportunity to establish peace in the region.

I understand that bitter experience may make some people reluctant to extend the hand of peace. People in this chamber know much more about the Holocaust than I do. There are people in this chamber who risked their lives in wars waged to secure Israel’s survival. For years on end, Israel’s neighbours challenged its very right to exist.

No one has forgotten the open threats made against Israel by the last Iranian President, or the fact that not so long ago political gatherings in Tehran ended with the words ‘Death to Israel’.

For that reason I can readily understand why Israel regards an Iran which has the capability to launch nuclear missiles as a threat to its existence. That is a threat not just to Israel, but to world peace in general.

This is why the EU is monitoring the implementation of the preliminary agreement very closely. Let me assure you that there is one thing on which the EU and Israel agree: Iran must never acquire nuclear weapons. In our eyes, diplomacy and dialogue are the best way of ensuring that, since it is in all our interests that this issue should be resolved peacefully and that everything should be done to prevent another war in the Middle East.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Security is a very abstract concept, but it has an immediate impact on people’s lives.

We in Europe have little understanding of the physical and emotional scars which terrorism leaves behind, what it means for parents in Sderot and Ashkelon to live every day with the fear that their children may die in a rocket attack on their way to school. I was the father of children who could go to school without fear. For that reason, Israel has the right and the government the duty to protect its people. We condemn the rocket attacks on innocent people in the strongest possible terms. Terrorist attacks are crimes for which there is no justification.

It is only the peoples directly involved who can make peace in the Middle East. It is only the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves who can make peace between their two peoples. We Europeans support them on that difficult road, which will require both sides to make painful concessions.

We know that the Israeli people want peace. Courageous men such as Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres held out the hand of peace and signed agreements in Madrid and Oslo. The hopes embodied in those agreements have not always been fulfilled, and this has made some people pessimistic about the prospects for peace in the future. Others, only a small minority to be sure, are even actively working to scupper any peace agreement which might be signed.

On the Palestinian side as well, courageous men and women are working for peace. In recent years, building on their impressive ‘no violence’ policy, Mahmud Abbas and Salam Fayyad have developed modern institutions and done much to establish law and order.

Two days ago I spoke with young people in Ramallah. Like young people everywhere in the world, their dream is to train, study and travel, to find work and to start a family. But they have another dream as well, one which concerns something most young people take for granted: they want to be able to live freely in their own country, with no threat of violence, with no restrictions on their freedom of movement. The Palestinian people, like the Israeli people, have the right to fulfil their dream of creating their own viable democratic state. The Palestinians, just like the Israelis, have the right to self-determination and justice.

One of the questions these young people asked me which I found most moving – although I could not check the exact figures – was this: how can it be that an Israeli is allowed to use 70 litres of water per day, but a Palestinian only 17?

(In the wake of this question, members of the right-wing Jewish Home party heckled Shultz, with Moti Yogev MK declaring “that’s a lie, the Palestinians are lying,” and several walked out of the chamber. Left-wing MKs later criticized them for their behavior.)

Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, the upheavals in the Middle East are creating a new opportunity for peace.

The future of young Palestinians, but also the future of young Israelis, hinges on the way Israel responds to these changes.

For without peace there can be no security. Military power can quell disorder, but it cannot create peace.

Ariel Sharon, may he rest in peace, said something for which I admire him: ‘It is impossible to have a Jewish democratic state, and at the same time to control all of Eretz Israel. If we insist on fulfilling the dream in its entirety, we are liable to lose it all.’

From the outset, the whole rationale behind the two-State solution proposal was to make it possible for the Palestinian people to live in dignity, and on the basis of self-determination, and to safeguard peace and security for all Israelis. Despite all the obstacles in the way of its achievement, we must remain true to the objective, born out of a desire to build a better future, which the two-State solution represents. Even if this objective is achieved, the security of the Israeli state will remain an issue of major importance.

For that reason, we support the US commitment to mediation and the tireless work being done by Secretary of State John Kerry.

One of the main bones of contention is Israel’s settlement policy. As you are no doubt aware, both the European Parliament and the United Nations have adopted numerous resolutions which criticise the ongoing process of building and expanding settlements and call for it to be halted. In the eyes of the EU and the entire international community, the fact that East Jerusalem is cut off from the West Bank is certainly an obstacle on the road to a peaceful settlement.

The blockade of the Gaza Strip is your response to attacks on Israeli civilians and I can understand that. But it is stifling all economic development and driving people to despair – despair which in turn is being exploited by extremists. The blockade may in fact undermine, rather than strengthen, Israel’s security.

How can we break the vicious circle of violence?
This was the question which lent the initial impetus to the European unification process, and the founding fathers of the European Union came up with the answer. My grandparents’ generation would have regarded reconciliation with the arch enemy France as impossible. But the impossible came to pass, through a simple acknowledgement of the fact that if Europe was not to continue tearing itself apart on the battlefield we Europeans had no choice but to make peace and work together. I believe that if we want to grant people a life in dignity there is no alternative to peace for the Israelis and Palestinians today.

It was because our neighbours were prepared to hold out the hand of reconciliation to Germany, which had started the war in the first place, that Germany was able to find its place in the international community once again and become a stable democracy. As Yitzhak Rabin put it so aptly, ‘peace is something you make with your enemies, not with your friends’.

Yes, we achieved reconciliation. Then, through the efforts of courageous men and women, who planned for and organised peace, the idea took root in people’s hearts and trust grew.

I firmly believe that a negotiated settlement, the outcome of which is an Israeli State and a Palestinian State living side by side in peace, is realistic. The European Union believes this as well, which is why, once a definitive peace agreement has been signed, we have pledged to provide unprecedented support, in the form of funding and human resources, under a special privileged partnership. The agreement reached by the Foreign Ministers in December will also afford Israel and a future State of Palestine easier access to the European market, will facilitate trade and investment, will enhance cultural and scientific exchanges and will lead to closer cooperation in the area of security. Let me seize this opportunity to make a clarification: the EU has no intention to boycott Israel. I am of the conviction that what we need is more cooperation, not division.

All too often issues of security and peace overshadow other aspects of our relations which are hugely important for people in Israel and Europe – social justice and equal opportunities are cases in point.

The financial and economic crisis has brought with it increased levels of poverty and unemployment in Europe. Huge numbers of young people are jobless, and as a result more and more of them are losing faith in politics. This is hardly surprising if we consider that the most open-minded and best educated generation which Europe has ever had is watching as its prospects are destroyed by a crisis for which it was in no way to blame.

Everywhere, even in countries whose economies are performing well, poverty and despair are spreading to the middle classes and the weakest members of society are being marginalised more and more. The marches of the indignados which reached our capitals in spring 2011 were repeated a few months later in the heart of Tel Aviv.

Giving young people fresh hope in a better future is certainly our most important task as politicians. To do this, we must also safeguard the competitiveness of our economies in the globalised 21st century. Only in this way will jobs – good jobs – be created.

Our economic ties are already close. The EU is Israel’s most important trading partner and our cooperation in the area of research, science and technology is the basis for our future economic strength. Our competitiveness in a globalised world will hinge on two things – innovation and education.

The Israeli-European research community is already into its third generation and its members are forging ever closer links. Israel’s formal involvement in the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, which will start soon, will take our cooperation to a new level. Horizon 2020 is the largest research and innovation programme there has ever been. It promises to yield more breakthroughs and discoveries because it will provide backing for every stage in the process of turning ideas tested in the laboratory into marketable products. Scientific cooperation is already the most successful aspect of our partnership. I am convinced that as a result of our cooperation under Horizon 2020 new records will be set. I am also particularly delighted that more and more Israeli students are taking part in the Erasmus Mundus exchange programme.

You and I are the heirs of the founding generation of the State of Israel and of the European Union. We must safeguard that heritage.

Parents all over the world are prepared to make sacrifices for their children, to do everything they can to give them a good future. It is now up to us, the heirs, to show the same boldness, drive and vision in safeguarding the State of Israel and the European Union for future generations. The words which should guide us in that endeavour are those spoken by the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Willy Brandt, a man who fought against Nazi Germany and knelt before the memorial to the Jews murdered in the Holocaust. ‘Peace is not everything, but without peace there is nothing.’

Israel Political Brief September 8, 2013: EU sending diplomats to Israel to talk about new settlement guidelines

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EU sending diplomats to Israel to talk about new settlement guidelines

Source: JTA, 9-8-13

The European Union will send to Israel a diplomatic team to talk to Israeli officials about implementing the EU’s new settlement guidelines….READ MORE

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

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ISRAEL MUSINGS: OP-EDS & ARTICLES

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

ISRAEL MUSINGS

ISRAEL MUSINGS: OP-EDS & ARTICLES

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

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

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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.

Israel Political Brief March 12, 2013: President Shimon Peres delivers historic European Union speech

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Israel’s Peres delivers historic EU speech

Source: Deutsche Welle, 3-12-13

Israel’s Peres delivers historic EU speech. Israeli President Shimon Peres delivered an historic speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, calling for the Arab League to intervene in Syria “to stop the massacre….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief March 8, 2013: President Shimon Peres to address the 754 members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Israeli President Peres to address the 754 members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Source: European Jewish Press, 3-8-13

After his meetings this week with European Union leaders in Brussels and with French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Friday, Israeli President Shimon Peres will conclude his visit to the EU with a foreign policy address to the plenary session of the 754-member European Parliament next Tuesday in Strasbourg, France.

He will be the first Israeli leader to speak before the European assembly in its current format 28 years after his predecessor Chaim Herzog also addressed an EU with only 10 member states compared to the 27 countries today….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief February 27, 2013: European Union diplomats recommend economic sanctions against settlements

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

EU diplomats recommend economic sanctions against settlements

Source: JTA, 2-27-13

European Union diplomats in eastern Jerusalem have recommended economic sanctions against Jewish settlements in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief December 10, 2012: European Union draft resolution slams Israeli settlements, carries no sanctions

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

EU draft resolution slams Israeli settlements, carries no sanctions

Source: JTA, 12-10-12

A draft of a European Union resolution said the EU was “deeply dismayed” by Israeli plans for new construction in settlements but did not mention sanctions….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief October 16, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of his Meeting with European Union Ambassadors

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of his Meeting with EU Ambassadors

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the start of his meeting with European Union member state ambassadors:

“I look forward to our annual meeting, it’s always good to meet, but these are auspicious times. I first want to congratulate the EU for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Would that we could replicate in the Middle East what was achieved in Europe. That is, decades of stability and peace and tranquility. That is our goal and we’ll discuss how we can advance that goal, that all Israelis share fervently.

But especially today I want to commend the EU for the tough sanctions that were adopted yesterday against the greatest threat to peace in our time, and that is the tough sanctions against Iran. These sanctions are hitting the Iranian economy hard, they haven’t yet rolled back the Iranian program. We’ll know that they’re achieving their goal when the centrifuges stop spinning and when the Iranian nuclear program is rolled back. And I think that this is a goal that is shared by anyone who wants to guarantee the security and peace of the world, not only in the Middle East, but throughout the world. So these are momentous issues, momentous times, and it’s time to continue discussing them.”

Israel Political Brief April 16, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Talks with Iran Have Given it a ‘Freebie’

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Netanyahu: Talks with Iran Have Given it a ‘Freebie’

PM Netanyahu meets U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, warns against Iran using talks to further advance its nuclear program.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed on Sunday the latest round of talks between Iran and six world powers, which were held in Turkey over the weekend.

Netanyahu, who met with U.S. Senator (ID-CT) Joe Lieberman, warned against Iran using the opportunity to advance its nuclear weapons program.

On Saturday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said the talks have been constructive and that the sides will meet again in Baghdad on May 23.

Ashton said future talks will be guided by the “principle of a step-by-step approach and reciprocity.”

“My initial impression is that Iran has been given a freebie,” Netanyahu said during his meeting with Lieberman. “It’s got five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation.”

He added, “I think Iran should take immediate steps. First, stop all enrichment, take out all the enriched material and dismantle the nuclear facility in Qom. I believe that the world’s greatest practitioner of terrorism must not have the opportunity to develop atomic bombs.”

Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was now “urgent” for Iran to ease concerns over its nuclear program.

“We believe there is still time for diplomacy, but it is urgent that the Iranians come to the table to establish an environment conducive to achieving concrete results through a sustained process,” Clinton said.

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