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Posts Tagged ‘Avigdor Lieberman’

Lieberman: Israel Won’t Agree to ‘Further Conditions’ for Talks

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman blamed the Palestinians for lack of progress in peace negotiations, and said Israel would not agree to additional conditions for the continuation of the talks.

“The Palestinians are the ones torpedoing the talks by setting conditions,” Lieberman told Israel Radio Thursday, according to the Times of Israel. “Israel would not agree to any further conditions for the continuation of talks.”

The statement comes in response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for Israel to freeze West Bank settlement expansion in order for talks to continue.

The negotiations, which began last July, are nearing the nine-month deadline that Secretary of State John Kerry set at their start. Kerry hopes to persuade both sides to agree to a framework for ongoing negotiations that would extend beyond the original deadline. Recent reports indicate that significant gaps remain between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Lieberman is set to meet Kerry in Rome later in the day Thursday.

Avigdor Lieberman Warns US Jews ‘You Are Facing a Catastrophe’

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

American Jews are facing nothing less than a demographic catastrophe, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman asserted on Tuesday in a speech at the Jerusalem meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.

He quoted recent surveys that show that there are 6.1 million Jews in Israel and slightly less than 5.5 million in the United States, not including those who claim affiliation or identity with Judaism.

Lieberman emphasized that no Jew – whether in the Diaspora or in Israel and whether Reform Conservative or Orthodox – “is illegitimate and should be placed outside of the tent,” but he added. “There is a significant rise in those who have little or no Jewish content in their lives, marry outside the faith and are not raising their children Jewish.”

He pointed out, “The intermarriage rate has reached a high of 58% for all Jews, and 71% for non-Orthodox Jews, a huge change from before 1970 when only 17% of Jews intermarried.”

Attachment to Israel is markedly higher among older Jews, with only 32% of respondents under the age of 30 sharing the idea that “caring about Israel as an essential part of what being Jewish means to them.”

Lieberman then put the cards on the table and categorically stated they are stacked against the Diaspora.

“For many years, Israeli officials have called on our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, like many of you gathered here tonight, to donate your time, energies and funds to Israel,” he said. “However, I turn to you today and say that, while we are enormously and forever grateful for your assistance, we believe it is now time to concentrate on the challenges facing your own communities, especially those emanating from the dangerous trends in the Jewish community demonstrated in the recent survey.”

Lieberman was being kind. He could just as easily have said, “You American Jews sit as armchair generals for Israel, undermine our government’s struggle by deciding how we should deal with the Palestinian Authority and the Arab world while you don’t see that the ground in the Diaspora is crumbling under your feet.”

In more diplomatic language, he said, “Above all discussions on Iran and the Palestinians, your discussions with the Israeli Government and the Jewish Agency should be focused on saving future generations.”

Lieberman stated that education is the key to fighting “assimilation, intermarriage and disengagement” but that “Jewish children are being kept from the Jewish classrooms because of the exorbitant and prohibitive costs of Jewish education in the United States.”

“On my last visit to New York, I met with a Russian Jewish family in Brooklyn,” Lieberman told his audience. “They told me that for their three children to attend good Jewish schools it would cost them around $100,000. They simply could not endure such costs. They are not alone. This situation is being replicated across the Jewish world, whether in the United States, Russia, France, Argentina, or elsewhere. If this situation persists, we will lose another six million Jews in a generation or two.”

He said that most Israeli diplomats abroad shun local Jewish schools and instead send their children to learn at international schools because the standard is higher.

“Sadly this is also reflective of the general Jewish population in places like the United States, where only around 12% of Jewish children attend Jewish schools, and when the Orthodox children are removed from the equation; it drops down to no more than a few per cent,” he added.

Lieberman proposed the creation of a global network of Jewish schools with a superior standard, and he committed the Israeli government to budget $365 million a year in matching funds for the project.

He also is looking forward to massive aliyah “The creation of an international network of Jewish schools is only the first part of my vision,” Lieberman declared. “In addition, my goal is to bring an additional 3.5 million Jews from the Diaspora in the next ten years so that the Jewish population in Israel will exceed 10 million.”

Jews are undoubtedly a major influence in American life, but the number of Jews who are Jewish “in name only” spells a dismal future for the Diaspora.

One of the most self-serving ways to deny the future is to accept the definition of a Jew as anyone who considers himself Jewish. That kind of identity is temporary, at best.

Jewish institutions and organizations maybe boasting larger numbers, but the meaning of Jewish is becoming emptier.

What Lieberman essentially told the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem Tuesday was, “Wake up. It’s later than you think.”

Geneva Ceremony Welcomes Israel as Member of Nuclear Research Group

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Israel was officially admitted as full member of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in a ceremony in Geneva Wednesday. Israel is the 21st member state of CERN and the only country outside Europe to have achieved full membership.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman represented Israel at the ceremony held at the CERN Globe of Science and Innovation, at the end of which the Israeli flag was added to the line of flags representing the member states of the organization.

Lieberman said that the admission of Israel as a full member of the organization is a recognition of the high level and quality of scientific research in Israel and its contribution to the world.

Chalk up another failure for the BDSers.

Can You Yell ‘God’ in a Crowded Cemetery?

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Yitzhak Aharonovich, of Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu party, is Israel’s Minister of Internal Security. His first government role was as Minister of Tourism, which probably qualified him for his latest career move.

I don’t like the fact that Israel has a ministry devoted to internal security. The name brings to mind not images of little children playing care free in the park as it does images of long, gray corridors and interrogation rooms. Until 1995, the office was named Ministry of the Police, which brought to mind traffic tickets and cops fighting over their pensions. I liked it better that way.

Israel already has a Ministry of the Interior, which, by rights, should be taking care of Internal security—it’s in the name, even. Who needs, on top of a ministry taking care of the interior, another ministry taking care of the security of the interior?

Here’s what Minister of Internal Security Aharonovich was busy with this week:

As you may have noticed wherever you looked or listened in Israel these past three days, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died on Saturday, after a long sleep. No one took the news lightly. The man had admirers, but, boy, did he have enemies. One of his loudest enemies inside Israel were the students of yeshiva Torat Hachayim, who were among the thousands of Jews Sharon had forcibly deported from Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip.

Some of those students reacted with exuberant glee to the news of Sharon’s passing, and even hung up leaflets literally congratulating him on his demise, complete with a citation from the Shulchan Aruch regarding the proper mourning ceremony for Jewish traitors (the terms mumarim and mosrim are subtler, but in this context, they mean traitors).

Our gemora teaches (Bav BB 16b) that a man is not judged for things he said or did in his time of stress. This is not a criminal rule, but a social one, and it also hints at the way Heaven evaluates our speech and actions at such times.

In my opinion, these yeshiva guys were entitled to their expression of satisfaction at the death of the man who ruined their lives. I wish everyone in Israel shared their freedom of spirit. What’s more normal and mentally healthy than to rejoice at the passing of the wicked man who sent brutal cops to drag you and your parents and your children onto the waiting buses, and abandoned your property so your enemies could come and burn it down.

Secular Israelis have a habit of citing bits of verses which turn out to mean entirely different things than the full verse does. Most memorable is the clipped cite “he who steals from a thief is absolved,” which basically means that if I ran off with your car after it had been stolen by someone else, I get to keep it. That’s a distortion of the actual mishna (Bav BK 62b) which says that while a thief must pay back double what he stole, the one who steals from a thief is absolved from paying double and must only return the stolen item to its owner.

A similarly convenient cite is from Proverbs 24:17: “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.”

That sounds like a firm warning by Scriptures that when you see your enemy getting what he deserves, you shouldn’t be happy. The only thing missing here is context, which is provided by the next verse, 24:18: “Lest God will see and disapprove of you and turn His wrath away from him (your enemy).”

In other words, this is good advise to anyone taking their relationship with God seriously: God is watching all of us, and if you make a lot of noise, you’re practically begging Him to judge you on your gloating.

Israel Promises to Keep Consulate in Philadelphia

Friday, December 13th, 2013

The Foreign Ministry has notified Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter that its consulate offices in Philadelphia will remain open following reports that they were to be closed.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman sent to the mayor a copy of the letter via Mid-Atlantic Regional Consul General Yaron Sideman, who was attending a board meeting of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia at the time.

“Today’s announcement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs is tremendously exciting for the City of Philadelphia, our Jewish community, and the Consulate General. I want to thank Minister Liberman for his decision,” Nutter said in a press release.

“It would have hurt – just the civic pride, if nothing else – but really the service provided by the Consul General’s Office is also critically important” he added.

Local leaders and Congressmen conducted a campaign to keep the Consulate open, including as direct appeal by Mayor Nutter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres while on a trade mission in Israel last month.

Abbas to Blame Jews’ Prayers for Rain for Halting Peace Talks

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Jerusalem – Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared on Thursday that Israel must not be a Jewish state. He supported his demand by blaming Jews in Israel for influencing God to send the snowstorm that delayed visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Kerry was scheduled to meet with Kerry Thursday night, while the Secretary of State’s discussions with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were postponed because of the early winter storm.

“The Jews inserted special prayers last month for God to bring them rain but used Kabbalistic ideas in a code that encrypted requests that a winter storm would coincide with Kerry’s visit and disrupt his schedule,” Abbas told the official Palestinian Authority news agency.

He also noted that only a few days before the current storm, IDF soldiers stormed the Al Aqsa compound to learn about the alleged presence of the Holy Temples.

“There are too many coincidences, here,” Abbas told reporters in Kerry’s entourage after the Secretary of State landed at Ben Gurion Airport. “This is only a hint of what would happen if we were to recognize Israel a Jewish state. The Jews cannot be trusted. They will use their influence on God to get what they want. There might even be peace, Allah forbid, one day.

“The Jews will stop at nothing to ditch the negotiations that are aimed at two states, a Palestinian Authority state based on our needs for secure borders and an Israeli state with clear and secure boundaries of Dizengoff Square, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Azreilla Mall.”

Abbas also threatened that if Jews do not rip out from their Sabbath prayer books the prayer for the government of Israel and the IDF, he will go to the United Nations to declare a boycott on all synagogues throughout the world.

“I also will appeal to the International Court, after we gain membership there, to rule Jewish prayers a war crime because they ask Him to take vengeance on Israel’s enemies,” said Abbas.

Martin Indyk, who is the American government’s 56th special envoy to the Middle East in seven years and who is Jewish, did not comment.

Another Jew in Kerry’s entourage, Frank Lowenstein, told reporters he would forward Abbas’ demands to CAIR, the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR). The American Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization has been identified as having ties with Palestinian Authority freedom fighters who blow up Jews to be freed of them. In 1994, CAIR was one of four U.S. organizations of the Palestine Committee of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization and supporter of Hamas.

Abbas also charged that Jews, using their experience during the years they illegally occupied Goshen in ancient Egypt, manipulated the storm so that more snow fell on Jerusalem than on Ramallah.

Israel meteorologist Ahmed al-Hail told The Jewish Press that a heavy rain and snowstorm in early December is rare and that the timing is suspiciously similar to the period of the Ten Plagues, when Moses was the Jews’ senior negotiator with Pharaoh. And we knew what happened to him.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman pointed out in an exclusive interview with The Jewish Press, “Don’t thank God for the storm. I am the one who engineered it. Using my contacts in my native country, I arranged for the Kremlin to organize the storm, which arrived via the Black Sea.”

A senior national religious rabbi told The Jewish Press, “If Abbas has a problem, he can ask the Prophet Mohammed to turn to Allah, but he would be wise to make sure that there is no bomb in Mohammed’s turban. The Mossad works everywhere.”

Bennett Urges Annexing Major Jewish Centers in Judea and Samaria

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party and a key government coalition partner, has publicly proposed that Israel annexing Maaleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and other areas in Judea and Samaria where there are large Jewish population centers.

“I favor implementation of Israeli sovereignty over the zone where 400,000 [settlers] live and only 70,000 Arabs,” Bennett, who also is Minister of Economy, said on Israeli radio Sunday. His numbers are way off the mark, unless he was including approximately 250,000 Jews who live in areas of Jerusalem that have been under Israeli sovereignty since 1980. The United States and the United Nations still refer to them as “settlements.”

Bennett did not refer to any specific communities, but Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem, Beitar Illit, Efrat and neighboring communities in Gush Etzion, and the city of Ariel are home to approximately 150,000 Jews, about half of those living in Judea and Samaria.

Even talking about annexing parts of Judea and Samaria could be enough to scuttle U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s “Peace Talk Road Show,” which played another round last week.

Kerry left Israel with triumphant statements, such as “I believe we are closer than we have been in years to bringing about the peace and the prosperity and the security that all of the people of this region deserve.”

Bennett could not have been more negative about Kerry’s cheerleading.

“This is all a joke. It’s as if we’re discussing the purchase of a car with only half of its owners,” Bennett said Sunday.

Add to that juicy comments by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and then ask if Kerry knows what is going in the Israeli government, or ask if chief negotiator is preparing to blow up the whole works by destroying the coalition.

Lieberman told the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington Friday, “Today the trust between the two sides is about zero. It’s impossible to create peace if you don’t have any credibility. I don’t believe it is possible in the next year… to achieve a comprehensive solution to achieve some breakthrough but I think it is crucial to keep our dialogue.”

Ya’alon told the annual Globes Business Conference Saturday night, “As someone who supported Oslo [Accords], I’m learning that on the other side we have no partner for two states for two people. There is no one on the other side, and hasn’t been since the dawn of Zionism, a leadership that is prepared to recognize our right to exist as a nation-state for the Jewish nation, and to recognize an agreement as the end of the conflict and the end to demands.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/156221/2013/12/08/

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