Full Text Israel Political Brief October 23, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat Visit Jerusalem’s Gilo Neighborhood

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat Visit Jerusalem’s Gilo Neighborhood

Source: PMO, 10-23-12
Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visited the Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “United Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital. We have full rights to build in it. We have built in Jerusalem, we are building in Jerusalem and we will continue to build in Jerusalem. This is our policy and I will continue to support building in Jerusalem.”

Mayor Barkat said, “Jerusalem is one united city, which has not been partitioned into tribes and will never be divided. This has always been our obligation and it will remain so in the future. Mr. Prime Minister, you and your government are true friends of Jerusalem. Thank you for the support and the resources that you have allocated to the city’s growth, and for the assistance that you have given to our right and our obligation to build and develop the city. We will continue to build tens of thousands of apartments throughout the city

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 20, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Yom Yerushalim at Merkaz HaRav: “I Will Never Divide Jerusalem”

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Netanyahu at Merkaz HaRav: “I Will Never Divide Jerusalem”

Emotional Netanyahu vows: “I know my roots. I will never give up any of Jerusalem”. Rosh yeshiva reveals letters from PM’s grandfather.
 PM Netanyahu at Merkaz HaRav
PM Netanyahu at Merkaz HaRav
פלאש90′

The traditional Jerusalem Day celebrations at the flagship religious Zionist yeshiva, Merkaz HaRav Kook, took place on Sunday evening so as not to cause desecration of the Sabbath.

This year, in addition to words of Torah about the city, dancing and joyous song led by famed clarinetist Musa Berlin and singer Akiva Margaliot, they included an historical revelation by the head of the yeshiva and an emotional declaration of loyalty to united Jerusalem by the Prime Minister himself, who vowed “I will never forget thee, O Jerusalem” and spoke of the international pressures to give in on the city with which he is confronted – receiving a loud burst of applause from the packed audience.

The celebrations, as always, were attended by the Chief Rabbis and the most renowned Torah luminaries in the religious Zionist world, as well as high ranking public figures including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Education Minister Gideon Saar, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, MK Zevulun Orlev.

Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, the head of the yeshiva, told the Prime Minister  that he has found a letter of gratitude sent by the Prime Minister’s grandfather, Rabbinic scholar Natan Millikowsky (who changed the family name to Netanyahu) to Israel’s Chief Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, founding head of the yeshiva, after asking him to see that justice is done to Abba Ahimeir, the Revisionist Zionist accused of murdering Labor Zionist leader Chaim Arlozorov, killed while walking with his wife on the Tel Aviv beach in 1933.

Netanyahu’s own father had gone to the PM’s grandfather for help, stating that he had met with Ahimeir at Zion Square in Jerusalem shortly before the murder, so that it was physically impossible for Ahimeir to be in Tel Aviv when the assassination took place. He said that no one would listen to him, and the elderly rabbi turned to Rabbi Kook, who saw to Ahimeir’s vindication by himself, putting himself on the line (The sensational murder, which caused severe rifts in the rival Zionist movements, with Labor accusing Jabotinsky’s followers of perpetrating it, has never been solved).

Rabbi Millikovsky also asked Rabbi Kook to write Ahimeir a letter of encouragement while he was imprisoned.

Netanyahu, visibly affected, said that he knew the rudiments of the story from his father, for whom he sat shiva less than a month ago, but had not known of the existence of the letters.

Rabbi Shapira used Torah references to remind the Prime Minister pointedly that he must have courage and show leadership, as did King Hezekiah of yore, to leave standing all Jewish construction in Eretz Yisrael, saying that Jerusalem symbolizes the entire country and that Beit El and Jerusalem are one. He reminded him that the word Ulpana means a place of learning, a clear reference to the Ulpana houses in Beit El, to Migron and other disputed communities in Judea and Samaria. He told him to follow in his late father’s way, saying that he spoke in the name of all those Jews in Judea and Samaria and the entire Jewish people..

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said during the celebrations, “Jerusalem needs people with power and self-sacrifice such as those who defended the Jewish Quarter in 1948 or those who liberated the city 45 years ago. At a time when we are threatened from the outside and are weakened from within, we need to be clear: We’ve returned to Jerusalem and we will remain there.”

He added, “We will not be frightened by ‘marches on Jerusalem’ of various kinds, by political provocations, by boycotts and by schemes. Some say that Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is the main factor to foment tension and wars in the region and globally, and I say that a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is the only guarantee for peace and is the embodiment of justice.”

Rivlin expressed regret that “in recent years there has been a public weakness in respect to our right to Jerusalem. Former prime ministers had been engaged, both secretly and openly, in negotiations over Jerusalem. This obfuscation of our right to Jerusalem…weakens our hold not only on Jerusalem but on the entire land of Israel; it creates a large gap in our children’s Jewish identity.”

Education Minister Gideon Saar said, “Our obligation to protect Jerusalem is related to our ability to tell ourselves, as well as strangers, the facts and insist on the truth, and that is that not only is Jerusalem mentioned in the Holy Book, but also that Jerusalem has never been the capital of anyone other than the Jewish people.”

He added, “We need to repeat these facts in the face of the lie imposed by our enemies – Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinians and the entire Arab world. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel. It has been our united capital for more than 3,000 years and it will not be divided again.

“For the past three years, half a million students visit Jerusalem every year and experience it through their own eyes and feet, and today for the first time fifth graders participated in a nationwide contest on Jerusalem and its history,” noted Saar.

NIr Barkat, Jerusalem’s mayor, spoke of the centrality of the yeshiva and of his plans for the development of the Holy City.

דברי ראש הממשלה נתניהו בישיבת מרכז הרב ביום ירושלים

צילום לע”מ

יום ראשון כ”ח אייר תשע”ב

–  הטקסט עבר התאמת עריכה –

ריגשתם אותי עד מאוד, ריגשת אותי עד מאוד ראש הישיבה הרב יעקב שפירא, ממשיך דרכו של רבנו האהוב אברהם שפירא, וברשות הרבנים המכובדים והדיינים וראש עיריית ירושלים ניר ברקת וחבר הכנסת זבולון אורלב, רבני הערים, ראשי הישיבות, תלמידים יקרים, חברים יקרים.

אני עדיין בתוך השלושים, והמכתב, חילופי המכתבים האלה שהבאתם בפניי מעלים פרשה סוערת שהתרחשה כאן בארץ ישראל לפני כמעט שמונים שנה. באחד מהימים באותה שנה הלך אבי, שהיה אז בן 23, הוא פגש בכיכר ציון את אב”א אחימאיר חברו, השעה הייתה לפנות ערב. כעבור כשעתיים נרצח ארלוזורוב על שפת ימה של תל אביב. אחימאיר וסטבסקי, הואשמו ברצח.

אבי הזדעזע כשהוא שמע את זה, כי בצלילות מחשבתו ובחדות ניתוחיו הוא קודם כל הבין שאין היתכנות מעשית להגיע מכיכר ציון לשפת ימה של תל אביב בתנאי התחבורה שהיו קיימים אז. ברוחב מחשבתו ובהבחנותיו הוא ראה גם סתירות אחרות והוא הגיע למסקנה שמדובר בעלילה, עלילה שהלכה והתגבשה מייד כשהציונות הרוויזיוניסטית, ברית הבריונים כפי שקראו לה אז, הם הם שרצחו את ארלוזורוב. אבל הוא ידע שאחד מהנאשמים העיקריים, הוא ראה אותו, הוא פגש אותו, הוא ידע שהדבר הוא בלתי אפשרי.

ובסער לבו הלך אבי אל אביו, הרב נתן מליקובסקי ששינה את שמו לרב נתן נתניהו. הוא הלך אליו ואמר לו שהוא חייב ללכת אל הרב קוק ולגייסו כדי לצאת נגד עלילת הדם. סבי אז כבר לא היה בקו הבריאות, אבל הוא גייס את כוחותיו והלך אל הרב קוק, והרב קוק יצא בקול גדול נגד העלילה, ובכך, בכוח אישיותו, יושרו, אצילותו וכוח השפעתו, הוא סובב את דעת הקהל. בסופו של דבר יצא משפט צדק, וכפי שאתם רואים סבי לא הסתפק בזה, והנה באה החלפת המכתבים הזאת, שאגב לא הייתי מודע לה, אז אני מודה לכם על התוספת לארכיון המשפחתי-הלאומי שלנו.

וזמן קצר לאחר מכן נפטר סבי, שהיה אדם צעיר בשנות החמישים, והרב קוק הספיד אותו. הוא ספד לו בהלוויה, והוא כתב על סבי, שהיה רב ומטיף גדול לציונות, הוא כתב: ‘מעט מאוד ראיתי בני אדם החיים בתוך החברה המודרנית שיהיו מלאים הערצה כזאת לתורה, לגדולתה, שיהיו קשורים כל כך בעומק נשמתנו בהכרה שכל עבודתנו הלאומית, הפוליטית והבניינית, הצלחתה תלויה במידה שהיא יונקת ממקור הכבוד, ממקור הכבוד של ישראל הנובע מדבר ה’ שבתורתנו הקדושה ומתוך חזון נביאי האמת וצדק, מאירי מחשכי האנושיות כולה’. ועוד הוא מוסיף על סבי: ‘הוא הרגיש את האמת הזו בכל לב, והרבה פעמים הצליח לבטא אותה בפאתוס מלא חיים ועוז’.

ידידיי, כמו סבי לפניי, אין לי כל ספק באשר למקור כוחו של עמנו. הוא נובע ממורשתנו, הוא נובע מאמונתנו. אתה אמרת, הרב שפירא, שאני מתייצב בפני מנהיגי העולם, אני מציג את האמת שלנו, את האמת ללא מורא, כי אני יודע שאני מייצג לא רק את אזרחי מדינתנו ולא רק את בני עמנו. כשאני נושא דברים באו”ם או כשאני יושב בחדר הסגלגל בבית הלבן, או כשאני נפגש עם נשיאים וראשי ממשלות, אני יודע שחובתי לדבר גם בשם אומה בת 4,000 שנה. אני יודע שחובתי לדבר בשם מאה דורות של יהודים שהשתוקקו לבנות מחדש את חייהם הלאומיים על האדמה הזו. אני יודע שחובתי לדבר בשם עם שציין כל חגיגה וגם כל טרגדיה במשאלה פשוטה: לבנות מחדש את ירושלים, “לשנה הבאה בירושלים”, חלום הדורות. זוהי הבטחה קדושה שלעולם לא אזנח. לעולם.

ביום הזה אנו חוגגים 45 שנים לשחרורה של ירושלים, אבל אנחנו חוגגים דבר שהוא עוצמתי פי כמה. אנחנו חוגגים 3,000 שנות היסטוריה בעיר הזאת ואלפיים שנות כיסופים. אנחנו חוגגים את התגשמות החלום הנצחי ואת מימוש החזון הנבואי. אנחנו היינו היום, לפני שעות אחדות, בגבעת התחמושת, וציינו את הקרב על שחרורה ואיחודה מחדש של ירושלים, איחוי הלב הקרוע של עמנו, ואמרתי שאני זוכר את הרטט שעבר בלבי כששמעתי את מוטה גור אומר: “הר הבית בידינו”. הלב של מי לא רטט, מי לא חשב אז, הזכרתי את דוד ושלמה, ישעיהו וירמיהו וחזקיהו, עד יהודה המכבי ורבי יהודה הלוי, והרמב”ם לפניו והרצל אחריו ועד ימינו אנו: “הר הבית בידינו”. זה לב האומה.

אז כשאני שומע את אומות העולם מבקרות אותי על בנייה בירושלים, אני חושב על המלך דוד ששלט בעיר הזאת אלפי שנים כמעט לפני שכל האומות הללו קמו. אני חושב על ישעיהו שניצב על חומות ירושלים כדי להזהיר את המעצמה הגדולה של זמנו לבל תמיט רעה כלשהי על העיר. ואני יודע, יש שרואים בהיסטוריה הזו נטל גדול. הם מאמינים שכדי להבטיח את העתיד עלינו להתנתק מהעבר, הם טועים. הם טועים טעות גדולה, כי ההיסטוריה הזאת היא מקור עוצמתנו הלאומית, בלעדיה איננו יותר מאשר עלה נידף ברוח. כל אחד ואחד מכם ההולך בדרכו של הרב קוק מבין זאת היטב. אתם מבינים שניתוק אומה מעברה הוא כמו ניתוק עץ משורשיו, וזו הסיבה שאתם עמלים יום אחר יום לחזק את שורשיה של אומה זו, לגזום את ענפיה ולהרוות את אדמתה. אתם יודעים שרק כך נוכל ללמד את עמנו כיצד למצות את מלוא התקווה והפוטנציאל המצויים בו.

אני רוצה שתבינו, גם אויבינו מבינים את מקור כוחנו. רק לפני שנים ספורות אמר נציג אש”ף בלבנון את הדברים הבאים: ‘אם ישראל תצא מירושלים מה יישאר מכל הדיבורים הללו על הארץ המובטחת והעם הנבחר, הרעיון הציוני יתחיל להתמוטט’. ידידיי, כל עוד אני ראש ממשלה זה לא יקרה, ולא ניתן שזה יקרה אף פעם. אחריותי כראש ממשלת ישראל היא לעשות כל שביכולתי כדי להבטיח את עתיד המדינה היהודית ועתידו של העם היהודי.

ישנם אלה שמאמינים שהבטחת עתיד עמנו משמעותה חלוקת ירושלים, אבל ירושלים היא לב לבו של עמנו ולא ניתן להבטיח את עתידנו על ידי עקירת לבנו. את העתיד מבטיחים באמצעות חיזוק הלב שלנו, וזה מה שאני עושה וזה מה שאני אמשיך לעשות. אמשיך לבנות את ירושלים, אמשיך לעמוד איתן מול אומות העולם, אמשיך לומר להן שירושלים תישאר תמיד בירתה המאוחדת של מדינת ישראל ובירתו המאוחדת של עם ישראל.

אני נדרש, אכן כפי שאמרת הרב, לנווט את ספינת המדינה דרך ימים גועשים ורוחות חזקות. אולם אני מבטיח לכם זאת: לעולם לא אאבד את מצפני. המצפן שירשתי מאבי ומסבי ומאבותינו. לעולם לא אתפשר על ביטחוננו ועל זהותנו למען אהדת העולם. כמו סבי לפני, לעולם לא אשכח את מקור כוחנו הלאומי, לעולם לא אשכח את ירושלים.

חג שמח לכם.
חג שמח לירושלים.

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 20, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu & Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting — Special Meeting Marking Yom Yerushalim, 45th Anniversary of the Liberation and Unification of Jerusalem at Ammunition Hill

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

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

Source: PMO, 5-20-12


Photo By GPO

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem:

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Good morning.  We are holding a special meeting to mark the 45th anniversary of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem.  We come with a united Government to a united Jerusalem.  We have a great obligation to see to the development of the city and to work together with the Mayor of the city, who has done much to advance Jerusalem into the 21st century very quickly while maintaining our special heritage, which is basically the foundation of our existence here.  Nir Barkat, if you please.”

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat: “Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Government ministers.

First, I would like to thank you for your direct support of Jerusalem.  Thank you also to the ministers and deputy ministers for your complete commitment to the city.  Since the Government was established, your Government has – year after year, continuously – supported Jerusalem and provided it with resources and significant tools, unprecedented in relation to what has been in the past, which have enabled us to accelerate momentum in the city.  The scope of investments, projects and inter-ministerial cooperation in the city are on the increase and this greatly contributes to the changes and processes moving through the city of Jerusalem.

This year, we have good news: The investments are starting to bear fruit.  For the first time, we are seeing a change in the trend – from a drastic decline in the numbers of students in the state secular and state religious schools in Jerusalem, after over 15 years, we see an increase in the state secular stream and for three years already, we have seen growth in the numbers of students in the state religious stream.  Of course, this is alongside growth in other sectors.

Economic and cultural growth in the city have also been considerably higher than the national average over the past three years.  Look at the skyline and you will an increasing number of cranes, which indicates growth.  Jerusalem has returned to being a cultural capital with a growing number of visitors and tourists.

We also see an increase in pupils’ achievements on their matriculation exams, an increase in enlistment in the IDF from Zionist schools, and an increase in the number of pupils in youth movements.  We see that the Government and the Municipality are continuing – at an accelerated pace – to reduce the gap in the number of classrooms in the Arab and ultra-orthodox sectors thanks to considerable investments in physical infrastructure in eastern Jerusalem.  The residents have felt this very well.

Jerusalem has returned to being a city that it is worthwhile to live in.  The public in Jerusalem is expressing confidence in the city and we see that it is more satisfied than the national average.

Mr. Prime Minister, the Middle East is a seething cauldron.  The world is awash with instability and crises.  However, we see that in the State of Israel in general and in Jerusalem at its heart in particular, economic growth is accelerating.  We are enjoying an increase in visitors, from unprecedented quiet in activity in the municipal framework.  This would not have occurred without your support, Mr. Prime Minister, as well as that of the assembled ministers and members of the municipal administration.  I am entirely hopeful that we will continue to build up Jerusalem for the benefit of all its residents despite global trends.

I would like to wish all of you a happy Jerusalem Day.  May we meet here again next year with more good news, amidst further momentum in the economic development of the city.

Thank you Mr. Prime Minister.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Thank you.  The work is indeed considerable and impressive and is being carried out under your leadership and, of course, in cooperation with, and led by, Government ministers.  Each one of them has contributed of his or her time and energy and, I must say, from their budgets.

There is very great commitment to the unity and development of Jerusalem.  We are translating this, first of all, into a lot of money that we are investing here.  We also see this in the aesthetic change that has come over the city – in infrastructure, education, tourism and tourist sites.  We are continuing this here today with the decisions that we will make.

We are committed to the liberation of Jerusalem.  With the concurrence of Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, we have also decided to maintain and renovate this site.  Ammunition Hill expresses the heroism and self-sacrifice, without which Jerusalem would not be unified.  We will renovate this site and turn it into a heritage site.  As soon as it becomes a national heritage site, it will, in effect, ensure its continued operation for generations to come.

A second thing that we are committed to, first of all, is to the city’s past.  Jerusalem was a city of the Bible, Jerusalem will be a city of the Bible.  Today, we will make a series of decisions that will enable us to build Biblical sites in the city that will enhance and explain our link to the Land of the Bible, to Zion, and also allow millions of people, no less, millions of people to have a direct appreciation of Israel’s heritage as it finds expression in the Bible.  This will be Jerusalem and this is very important.

We are committed to Jerusalem’s present – to build apartments.  Today, we will make decisions that will make it easier for military and police personnel to live in Jerusalem.  This is very important, there is housing distress and there is also great demand for housing – and we will deal with it.

We are also committed to an expanded tourism plan that will embrace the entire city; this will lead to the present and future development of Jerusalem.  We are committed to the future.  There is a special expression to this that we will decide upon today – the decision to build the Einstein museum.  The idea is President Shimon Peres’ and I adopt it wholeheartedly.  I think that the Government ministers who are familiar with this special idea can give it their backing because it will attract the entire world to the museum, which has been designed in the image of the head of Albert Einstein.  I believe that this will be a global attraction.

We are joining the past, the present and the future, and I think that very great and important things are being done here to ensure the future of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital as well.

I would also like to comment on one additional issue, that of illegal work infiltrators.  This phenomenon is very grave and threatens the social fabric of society, our national security and our national identity.

It began over seven years ago and upon the Government’s entry into office three years ago, we decided to deal with this problem in all its aspects – first of all, to stop the entry and second, to begin to withdraw those who were already inside.  If we do not stop the entry, the problem, there are now 60,000 illegal infiltrators, could easily grow to 600,000 illegal infiltrators.  This would inundate the state and, to a considerable degree, cancel out its image as a Jewish and democratic state.

Therefore, the first necessity is to build a physical barrier and again, all ministers here have contributed from their budgets so that we can build this barrier which is currently nearing completion.  By October it will be complete in its entirety, except for a small section around Eilat, which we are dealing with separately and where a fence will be completed.  But until then we will block it with other means, including forces.

Then the first thing is to stop the entry.  And the second thing – is to start withdrawing.  How will this be done?  First of all, those who employ illegal infiltrators will be punished severely and we will also begin the physical withdrawal.  I know that this issue bothers many citizens, and rightly so.  I talk with them.  I have been to Eilat and other places, so have the ministers.  We are aware of the distress; we are dealing with it.  We will resolve the issue, not by shouting, but by action.  We hear the shouts, we are taking action and the action will succeed.

A Happy Jerusalem Day to you.

Jerusalem is, by the way, a beautiful city.  I see it as very picturesque.  Together, we will make it even more beautiful.

A happy holiday to Jerusalem.  Thank you.”

 

  1. The Cabinet decided to develop Ammunition Hill as a national heritage site in order to strengthen awareness of its historic story among the public at large.
  2. The Cabinet approved a series of plans to strengthen the city of Jerusalem and advance its economic, tourist and social development.
  3. Pursuant to its policy of strengthening tourism in Jerusalem and to the understanding that tourism is a significant economic growth engine for the State of Israel in general and for Jerusalem in particular, the Cabinet decided to formulate, within 24 months, a strategic tourism plan for the city of Jerusalem.
  4. The Cabinet decided to establish the Albert Einstein Museum in Jerusalem  to reveal items from the legacy of the father of the theory of relativity.
  5. The Cabinet decided to build Bible-based tourist sites, including a Bible museum, in Jerusalem in order to attract tourists from around the world and enable them to enjoy unique experiences based on the history, culture, archaeology and heritage of Jerusalem, with the main theme being representing the Biblical era in the authentic environment in which the events took place.
  6. The Cabinet instructed the Israel Land Administration to allocate, in 2012-2015, tender-free land in Jerusalem for those serving in the security forces (see #3 above).
  7. Pursuant to the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet approved Eyal Avraham Rosner to direct the Prime Minister’s Office national plan to develop technologies to reduce the global use of petroleum in transportation.
  8. At the close of the Cabinet meeting, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat reiterated his thanks to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the other ministers and the various ministries for their contribution toward the development and advancement of Jerusalem and for the cooperation that the municipality has met with in its contacts with the various ministries.
%d bloggers like this: