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June 29, 2016 / 23 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Netanyahu’

Netanyahu And NATO Representatives Commit To Mutual Cooperation, Fighting Terror Together

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with ambassadors from NATO countries earlier on Tuesday to discuss expanding cooperation between Israel and NATO against the common threat of global terrorism.

“There are so many threats that are facing NATO that are similar to the ones facing Israel,” said Danish Ambassador to Israel Jesper Vahr whose embassy is currently NATO’s contact point embassy in Israel.

During the press conference, Ambassador Vehr shared a message with Prime Minister Netanyahu on behalf of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who said that Israel and NATO face common threats.

“Today our nations face greater, more complex threats than they have in many years,” Vehr said on behalf of Stoltenberg. “It is right that those countries that share common values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law work together for the good of us all.”

Netanyahu concurred with Ambassador Vehr and Secretary General Stoltenberg and also expressed his belief in mutual cooperation between Israel and NATO.

“Israel has much to contribute to NATO. I believe NATO has much to contribute to Israel,” said the prime minister. “We’ve already begun that process, but I think we can extend and increase our cooperation.”

Although not a member of the NATO alliance, Israel has already played an integral role as a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, a working group between NATO and seven Mediterranean countries focused on maintaining security in the Mediterranean region.

“Israel for many years has been an active member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, the only security forum that brings together NATO allies with Israel and Arab countries. Last month, NATO and Israel went further, agreeing to establish an Israeli mission at NATO,” Ambassador Vehr said. “Having a mission will help us to take our political and practical cooperation to a higher level.”

Official authorization for such an office had been delayed by Turkey, a NATO member that has had strained bilateral ties with Israel since 2010. Turkey’s eventual lifting of its rejection to an Israeli mission was viewed by some as a sign on Turkey’s part of reconciliation with Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately welcomed the establishment of the office on May 4, referring to it as a critical step in the advancement of Israel’s security and as a demonstration of NATO’s desire to cooperate with Israel on security matters.

“We’re in the process of opening up the office as soon as possible,” remarked Netanyahu at the press conference. “We attach great importance to that.”

Netanyahu’s meeting today preceded an upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw scheduled for July 8-9, which NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg referred to last week as a “landmark summit” addressing “a changed security environment” around NATO.

Netanyahu assured NATO ambassadors that Israel is prepared to help the military alliance cope with global terrorism.

“In three weeks, you’re going to have an important summit in Warsaw and I believe the combat against global terrorism should be and probably is already a central part of your agenda,” Netanyahu told the NATO ambassadors. “Know that Israel stands ready to advance that agenda and I have no doubt that if we work together, we can roll back this terror.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

FM Kahlon Tussles With Netanyahu Over Casinos in Eilat

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Kulanu party chairman and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon apparently is teaming up with Bayit Yehudi chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett in a minor political brawl against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The argument is over funding, as usual – this time, a plan to open a casino in Eilat.

In the past Kahlon has sidestepped the issue altogether by saying, “Everyone knows there will not be a casino here.”

The Finance Ministry has taken steps to block gambling activities that target Israelis and others who have low incomes and difficulty walking away from their hopes for easy money.

“Last week we decided to put an end to slot machines and horse races – gambling activities that ruin families. These machines are placed in poor neighborhoods to sell them illusions and hopes while taking money out of their pockets,” Kahlon said, according to the Globes business news site.

“Sadly, this has been going on since 2003 – it has been talked about for years and we decided to take action; soon we’ll remove them, and Mifal HaPayis can scrap them as far as I’m concerned.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu appointed Tourism Minister Yariv Levin to head a commission to look into the possibility of developing a gambling spot in the southern resort city.

But Kahlon told journalists at the start of the Kulanu faction meeting in the Knesset on Monday: “The State of Israel does not need casinos. It needs to provide education, values, and jobs – not a casino.”

Hana Levi Julian

Restrictions Preventing MKs From Going Up to the Temple Mount to be Removed

Monday, June 13th, 2016

PM Netanyahu’s restriction preventing Knesset Members from going up to the Temple Mount is set to be rescinded, according to Israel Channel 2.

It is generally believed that Netanyahu put the restriction in place as a punitive measure against former MK Moshe Feiglin, who is a big Temple Mount advocate.

The Arab MKs have been saying they will be going up to the Temple Mount during Ramadan, and perhaps, knowing he couldn’t stop them, it was easier for Netanyahu to simply cancel this edict, rather than show that the Arab MKs walk all over his rules.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israel ‘Shocked and Horrified’ at Orlando Massacre, But Life Must Go On

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was speaking on behalf of the entire nation at the opening of the cabinet meeting on Monday when he offered condolences to the United States over the Orlando massacre.

The attack carried out by an ISIS terrorist at an Orlando night club in the wee hours of Sunday morning left 50 people dead and another 53 wounded, plus countless others deeply traumatized in the Florida city where Disney, among others, feel at home on the East Coast.

“We are all shocked at the horrific massacre in Orlando,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly government cabinet meeting.

“On behalf of the government and people of Israel, I would like to again express our condolences to the American people and the families at this especially difficult hour.

“This terror threatens the entire world and it is necessary – first of all – that the enlightened countries urgently unite to fight it. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the American people,” he said.

The prime minister then went on to discuss the economic improvements being considered by the government – including the separation of credit companies from the major Israeli banks.

“Competition in the banking sector will ease the credit situation for small and medium business,” he said. “And separation between the major banks and credit card companies is the start of a comprehensive reform that will be good for all Israelis.”

Hana Levi Julian

UNSC Unanimously Condemn Tel Aviv Terror Shooting, State Dept. ‘Happy to Once Again Condemn’

Friday, June 10th, 2016

The credit for this one belongs entirely to Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon, who, in less than one year at a job to which he was appointed to get him out of PM Netanyahu’s and DM Ya’alon’s hair, appears to be making a difference in effectively representing Israel’s case in the most hostile international arena outside Khartum, Sudan. In a manner reminiscent of another UN envoy, Benjamin Netanyahu, Danon is not a complainer, he is an attacker, and he makes demands. Such as the demands he has made of the UN to at last treat the murder of innocent Jews by Arab terrorists in Tel Aviv as seriously as the did, say, the murdrer of innocent Frenchmen in Paris by Arab Terrorists. Well, last night they did.

For the first time since the wave of Arab terrorism began, on September 2015, on Thursday at 11:30 PM, the UN Security Council condemned the deadly shooting in the strongest terms, calling for the individuals behind “these reprehensible acts of terrorism” to be brought to justice. The council statement was approved by all 15 members. It expressed sympathy for the families of the four civilians killed and those who were injured, and “reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable.”

Also on Thursday, in the daily press briefing by Mark C. Toner, Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Dept., reporter Arshad Mohammed asked Toner if he had anything more to say about the terror attack. Toner answered: “I’m happy to once again condemn yesterday’s terrible terrorist attacks in Tel Aviv.” Oh, for sure, this is gotcha’ journalism on our part, because, of course, Toner didn’t mean to say he was happy there was a terror attack — but the officious, businesslike manner in which the spokesperson treated the story and the statement conveyed how much empathy he really felt, which was probably somewhere between zero and one on the eleven-notch Spinal Tap volume scale.

The original State Dept. response, on Wednesday, sounded real, though: “The United States condemns today’s horrific terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in the strongest possible terms. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded. These cowardly attacks against innocent civilians can never be justified. We are in touch with Israeli authorities to express our support and concern.”

So we probably shouldn’t begrudge Toner his unfortunate expression of happiness.

The same reporter on Thursday continued, saying “the defense minister over there, Avigdor Liberman, has said that in the future Palestinians that are killed while carrying out attacks– their bodies will not be returned to their families. They’re going to be interred somewhere. Israel has a cemetery for enemies, I think.”

The Internet is rife with Arab media stories about Israel’s “cemetery for enemies.” It’s a real place, in the Jordan valley. Back in 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu approved the transfer of 84 bodies from the Jordan Valley cemetery of enemy combatants to the Palestinian Authority. The Liberman new decision to stop returning terrorists’ bodies is a blessed step in the right direction, and a clear change in the IDF soft arm policy of Liberman’s predecessor. Turns out Israel now has a rightwing defense minister. Liberman also revoked thousands of entry permits issued to Judea, Samaria and Gaza Arabs for the month of Ramadan, added two IDF battalions to Judea and Samaria, and sent security forces to Yatta Village, home of the cousin terrorists who murdered four Israelis in Tel Aviv. If Liberman also gets those two the death penalty he could probably be Israel’s next prime minister.

About which Toner had to say: “We understand the Israeli Government’s desire to protect its citizens, after this kind of terrorist attack, and we strongly support that right. But we would hope that any measures it takes would also take into consideration the impact on Palestinian civilians, who are just trying to go about their daily lives.”

We’ll see what we can do.

David Israel

Netanyahu Reveals 3rd Terrorist Captured in Sarona Market Attack

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Tel Aviv (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed on Thursday night that Israel has apprehended a collaborator in Wednesday night’s deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv that killed four Israelis.

“We caught the man who collaborated with the murderers,” said Netanyahu at the Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv, the scene of the terror attack.

Although the collaborator along with two suspects in last night’s shooting attack, cousins Khaled Muhammed Musa Mkhamra and Muhammed Ahmed Mkhamra, have already been taken into Israeli custody, Netanyahu said that security forces will implement extra security precautions.

“We decided on a number of firm steps,” said the prime minister. “We have quarantined Yatta.” Both Mkhamra suspects are residents of the village of Yatta, located south of Hebron, where IDF forces made a number of arrests on Wednesday after the attack.

“We cancelled hundreds of work permits for members of their clan,” continued Netanyahu. “We have also halted the easing of tens of thousands of Ramadan visits in Israel, we have increased security forces in the buffer zone and here in Tel Aviv, and we decided on taking more steps that I will not provide details for here.”

The prime minister also criticized the Palestinian Authority for failing to join the international community in unequivocally condemning the terror attack.

The Hamas terror group in Gaza openly praised the attack. The office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the harming of civilians – without referencing the specific attack – while his Fatah party described the attack as a “natural and automatic response” to Israeli actions.

“I have not heard such a condemnation from the Palestinian Authority, although I did hear the rejoicing in Gaza and other parts of Palestinian society in Judea and Samaria,” said Netanyahu, referring to spontaneous celebrations that broke out in Palestinian communities as news of the deadly attack spread.

“It only reminds us whom and what we are dealing with.”

Nonetheless, Netanyahu expressed a determined effort on the part of Israelis to continue living the day-to-day routine.

“They will not overwhelm us,” said Netanyahu. “I can even see that life around us is back on track.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

On Heel of Netanyahu Visit, Russia Pushing ‘Arab Initiative’ as Basis for Talks

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Moscow has no problem adopting the Arab peace initiative on settling the Arab-Israeli conflict, and sees no need to amend it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told TASS after talks the PA FM Riyad al-Maliki on Wednesday. And, apparently, as far as the Russians are concerned, they never heard Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling for any amendments to the initiative when he met with President Putin the day before.

“I did not hear any demands for amending the Arab peace initiative in the remarks of Benjamin Netanyahu,” Lavrov said. “It is integral and embraces the entire set of relations between Israel and the Arab countries, including Palestine of course. There is no need to amend it.”

According to Lavrov, the Arab peace initiative is a universal document, which everybody regards as the fitting foundation for a peaceful future between Arabs and Jews.

Also known as the “Saudi Initiative,” the Arab peace initiative is a 10 sentence proposal that was endorsed by the Arab League in 2002 and then in 2007, calling for normalizing relations between the Arab countries and Israel, in exchange for “(a) Complete withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4 1967 line and the territories still occupied in southern Lebanon; (b) Attain a just solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees to be agreed upon in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution No 194 (which says that ‘refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.); (c) Accept the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since 4 June 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

In other words, the elimination of the Jewish State as we know it—by the time the last conditions of the initiative were fulfilled.

Perhaps it was symbolic that on the day of the first declaration of the Saudi initiative, March 27, 2002, Hamas committed the Passover Massacre as a suicide bomber killed 30 Israelis and injured more than 170, including children, at the Park Hotel in Netanya.

And yet, in March 2009 US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell announced that President Obama’s administration planned to “incorporate” the initiative into its Middle East policy.

And last year, in May 2015, shortly after winning the March 17 elections, Netanyahu himslef expressed tentative support for the initiative, saying he accepted the “general idea,” but with significant caveats, specifically its calls for Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights and the relocation of millions of Arabs into Israel. As to Jerusalem, Netanyahu said it would not be resolved immediately, and so for now “we’ll set this aside.”

For his part, al-Maliki told TASS he was hoping for Moscow’s “direct and active involvement” in resolving the conflict with Israel, based on the generous Arab initiative. “Considering the results of the latest session in Paris, we felt that it was necessary for us to come to Moscow to exchange opinions and see whether there were prospects for progress,” the PA foreign minister said.

“We’re convinced that Russia can play a very important role in bringing the parties to the negotiating table,” he added, noting that the recent talks in Paris held without the participation of the parties to the conflict helped ensure agreement on the beginning of the talks.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/on-heel-of-netanyahu-visit-russia-pushing-arab-initiative-as-basis-for-talks/2016/06/08/

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