Israel Political Brief June 30, 2013: Rejecting appeal, cabinet approves Be’er Tuviya power plant



Rejecting appeal, cabinet approves Be’er Tuviya power plant

Source: Jerusalem Post, 6-30-13

Home Front Defense Minister Erdan’s appeal not to erect controversial plant near potential Gaza rocket fire is rejected. Be’er Tuvia residents protest gas plant….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 21, 2013: IDF to launch nationwide drill as officials ramp up war rhetoric



IDF to launch nationwide drill as officials ramp up war rhetoric

Source: Ynetnews, 5-21-13

“There is no longer a question whether missiles will be launched at Israel’s major population centers, only when it would happen,” Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan said Tuesday ahead of a nationwide drill….READ MORE

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.”

Israel Political Brief December 4, 2011: Israeli lawmakers oppose Hillary Clinton’s criticisms of Israeli democracy at Saban Forum



Clinton’s criticisms of Israeli democracy raise hackles

Source: JTA, 12-4-11

Israeli lawmakers rejected U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s criticisms of Israeli democracy made during a closed forum in Washington.

Clinton reportedly rapped two bills making their way through the Knesset that would restrict funding to left-leaning human rights organizations, as well as the marginalization of women in Israel, citing the examples of religious Israeli soldiers leaving programs that feature women singing and women sitting in the back of the bus on some religious bus lines.

She reportedly made the comments, which were reported in the Israeli media, during a closed session Saturday of the Saban Forum attended by American and Israeli political figures.

“Israel is a living, breathing liberal democracy,” Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said at the start of Israel’s weekly Cabinet meeting. “The issue of the exclusion of women and separation is unacceptable and must be stopped, but to claim there is a threat on Israeli democracy is a big stretch.”

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan called on “elected officials around the world [to] examine their domestic problems first.” He added, “I hope that government steps will demonstrate our commitment to equality between men and women.”

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