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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Netanyahu’

PM Netanyahu’s ‘Deep Sorrow’ Over Death of Duma Father

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed “deep sorrow” Saturday night over the death of Sa’ad Dawabsheh.

The 32-year-old father of two succumbed earlier in the day to burns covering 80 percent of his body after a week-long fight for life at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.

His 18-month-old baby Ali died immediately in the firebombing that burned his house in the village of Duma, also seriously wounding his wife Riham and four-year-old son Ahmed. The two are hospitalized at Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

In his statement Saturday night, the prime minister told media: “I express deep sorrow over the death of Sa’ad Dawabsheh. When I visited family members in hospital last week, I promised that we would use all the tools at our disposal to apprehend the murderers and deal with them to the fullest extent of the law and this is what we are doing.

“At last week’s Security Cabinet meeting we made decisions to assist the fight against terrorism, including in regard to administrative detentions and advancing anti-terrorism legislation. We will not tolerate terrorism of any kind.”

Hamas used the attack on the Dawabsheh home as an excuse to against attempt to launch a third intifada.

The terrorist group issued a region-wide call to Palestinian Authority residents Saturday to attend the funeral of Sa’ad Dawabsheh in Samaria.

The group also called on PA Arabs to launch attacks on Jews throughout Judea and Samaria, claiming the violence against Israelis is “an obligation and a means of self-defense.”

President Rivlin Praises Netanyahu and IDF for War on Terror

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin expressed his support of the IDF and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s efforts to keep the country safe from terrorists.

In a statement after the hit-and-run attack by a Palestinian Authority terrorists who ran over three soldiers, leaving one in life-threatening condition, the president said:

I am proud of our soldiers who responded immediately against the terrorist who carried out the horrific attack on Route 60. We do not and will never tolerate terrorism.

I express my support for the Prime Minister, and the heads of all the security services in their uncompromising struggle for our right to live and go about our daily lives in every part of the land of Israel. Together with all the people in Israel, my prayers and wishes are with the injured for their full and speedy recovery.

Cabinet Passes 2015-2016 Budget, DM Ya’alon Abstains

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

The Cabinet passed the 2015-2016 budget early Thursday morning after a long day of wrangling and debating.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was the only holdout, abstaining due to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s support for recommendations by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to set the defense budget at NIS 55.3 billion for 2016. Kahlon conditioned on raising the budget to NIS 59 billion on the adoption of the recommendations of the Locker Committee.

The Locker Commission, headed by Maj.-Gen. (res) Yochanan Locker last year issued a 77-page report calling for massive across-the-board cuts to the IDF budget. Included were 53 recommendations on budget savings and “efficiency reforms” totaling NIS 9.6 billion annually between 2016 and 2020 that Locker said could be “reinvested” as new funds by the IDF.

Among the recommendations were cuts to pensions for IDF non-combat officers, capping the defense budget at NIS 59 billion, limiting mandatory service for men to two years and 11 percent cuts in personnel.

The IDF viewed the recommendations as short-sighted, pointing out the new challenges facing the military such as the need for advanced development of cyber defense, Iron Dome anti-missile training and technology and similar cutting-edge financial needs. At the time, Ya’alon also said the commission’s recommendations were incompatible with the threats facing Israel which have not decreased but rather, have only changed.

Additions to Israel’s present budget were made throughout the day on Wednesday to individual budgets in ministries where coalition promises had been made.

The ministers had already been warned ahead of time by Netanyahu that the government would collapse if they did not stop their demands and get behind the budget.

From the outset, on Tuesday, Netanyahu said bluntly, “The State of Israel will have a budget because otherwise it will not have a government and our economic and security situation will deteriorate. Demands always exceed what there is but in the end, the right decisions are made. We will do so this time as well.”

An extra NIS 8 billion ($2.1 billion) had already been pulled together for the NIS 414 two-year budget, but ministers clamored for more spending on education, defense and police. In addition, there was an outcry over value added tax (sales tax) which social activists want eliminated on basic goods.

An addition of NIS 1.7 billion was made, for example, to the budget of Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan over the next two years.

Cutbacks were cancelled in the budget of Sport and Culture Minister Miri Regev, and an additional NIS 50 million was found to sweeten the deal.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett received NIS 290 million for his budget as well, to ease the cutbacks to his ministry’s coffers.

“We have to continue the economic growth and that is why taxes will not increase,” Netanyahu said when introducing the budget on Wednesday. “When the money gets to the citizens, they will make better use of it than the bureaucrats will.

“There are reforms here that reduce the cost of living for citizens. It’s important to reduce the price of food, transportation and health, and to increase the supply of housing,” he said.

After having passed the Cabinet, the budget will go to the Knesset plenum for a vote on August 31. Final passage of the budget must be completed in the Knesset by November 19.

Obama Offers His ‘Deal or War’

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

This critical period during which Congress is mulling over the nuclear deal made by U.S. negotiators and their P5+1 partners with Iran has turned into a hotly contested debate between those committed to preventing the deal from being approved and those who are desperate to ensure that it will be approved.

Yesterday, Aug. 4, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke to thousands of Americans and explained why he believes the deal is a bad one. It boiled down to “Keep or Cheat.” However Iran decides to act under this agreement, it will attain nuclear threshold status.

Today President Barack Obama gave a midday televised speech from American University in Washington, D.C.. During the speech he ridiculed those who criticize the deal, and explained why, according to him, the choice is either the deal or war.

Obama sought to compare the current situation in which Iran is seen by many as threatening the U.S. and its closest allies, and perhaps the world, to the time in which the Soviet Union, also a supporter of terrorist proxies, was considered the global danger.

This comparison is useful because the tensions and stakes were similar, and the danger was handled through diplomacy, rather than a resort to war.

Of course, diplomacy is not a generic concept, and its success depends greatly on the diplomats involved and the deals they are able to strike.

This American administration and its negotiating team are not the teams who handled the Cuban Missile Crisis, nor have they woven treaties like the SALT and START Treaties. In fact, one clear red flagging difference is that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is not a treaty, or at least is not being called one, with all the consequences that entails.

The President agrees with many of his critics about one factor: the importance of the issue. He described the deal and the foreign policy debate surrounding it as “one of the most consequential” the United States government has engaged in, in years.

Unfortunately, unlike Netanyahu’s speech, which was entirely respectful of President Obama, this one was smug, threatening, nasty and insulting, especially regarding Netanyahu, but also towards any other critics of the deal.

In refusing to take the high road, it may be that Obama lost the opportunity to win over those who were wavering. Or, and perhaps more likely, the threats he raised, including the specter of disaster that will befall the United States should the deal be rejected, may be sufficient to capture those who are susceptible to such tactics.

Time will tell.

In the hour-long speech, the President reiterated what he and the other proponents of the deal have been touting since the JCPOA was signed two weeks ago. This is the best possible deal, snap-back of sanctions will be available if Iran cheats, the inspections regime covers all contingencies (but while admitting the Iranians will have 24 days before inspectors can visit contested sites, Obama promised “we will be watching it continuously until inspectors get in.”)

A careful review of the speech, however, reveals several significant inconsistencies.

SANCTIONS NOT ENOUGH, BUT IF THEY CHEAT, WE’LL SNAP BACK SANCTIONS

The President spent a great deal of time deriding the idea that sanctions would be enough to deter Iran from driving towards its nuclear weapons goal, and ridiculing the idea of America going it alone on sanctions should Congress reject the deal. He pledged that should Iran cheat, “we can catch them, and we will.”

He then said, “If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place. We won’t need the support of the other members of the U.N. Security Council, America can trigger snap back on our own.” So what happened to the idea that America can’t go it alone? Or that sanctions are sufficient?

Netanyahu: New Budget Puts More Money in Israeli Pockets

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

“Israeli citizens need to have more money in their pockets, and put out less money for services they receive from the government,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said today at a meeting of the full cabinet held to review the budget he submitted together with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.

“This is the essence of the budget we have submitted today to the government,” Netanyahu said.

“This budget is balanced, responsible and aimed at continuing the economic growth in the State of Israel. We are working so that every family in Israel will save hundreds of shekels every month. We are not only talking about it – we are doing it,” he emphasized.

“The budget includes reforms that reduce the expense of daily living for Israeli citizens,” he went on to explain. “I want every Israeli citizen to put out less money for services that he receives from the state, or that the state controls on their behalf.

“For instance, in the food sector, there is not enough competition and therefore the prices here are very high. Therefore, we are going to make some changes here the likes of which have not been seen in years.

“I have been working on them for years, and I am glad to have the cooperation of the Economy Minister and the Finance Minister in carrying out these very important, far-reaching changes — to lower the price of food, transportation, and health [care],” he said.

No Increase in Taxes
We are interested in continued economic growth. This is what makes the Israeli economy unique, at least the economies that I have overseen; this is also what guides us today. We must continue growth. Therefore, the level of taxation will remain low, or at least it will not increase, because we know that the money goes to the people, into their pockets and they will make much better use of it than government officials. Thus I have a very clear view, different than that of many, but it is a correct view and it advances economic growth in the State of Israel – a budget for growth.

Increasing Housing Units
“A very great effort that has been made in this budget and in the Arrangements Law is the effort to increase the supply of apartments. The Finance Minister has been leading this, with my complete backing, and the Cabinet will give its complete backing to this important endeavor because this, in the end, can change the trend in housing prices.

‘Security Ensures We Will Have Other Needs’
“I would like to say something about security. This budget must, in the end, strike a balance between the country’s security needs and all of its other needs. I put it this way – all of the country’s other needs versus security – because security ensures that we will have other needs. Without security there is nothing. We know that this is always a hard balance. This is an important dilemma. It has become more important due to the many great and changing security challenges facing the State of Israel; naturally, this also requires an appropriate security budget.

“I received two proposals on how to deal with the size and composition of the budget. In recent weeks we have been studying these two proposals. Of course, we will learn lessons from both. We will also combine them and then link between them regarding the changes that we want to make in the security budget, including its increase beyond what is being proposed here. I say in advance. I want all ministers to be familiar with the process that we are going to undertake. We need to provide security alongside meeting the other needs in the State of Israel.

Targeting Growth of 4 Percent
“What we will do here today is a continuation of the balanced and successful policy that we have led in recent years. The State of Israel has not fallen into the holes that other economies have fallen into, including Western economies both nearby and far away; we have continued growth. Our obligation is to try and bring about growth of approximately four percent. When growth is around four percent and not 3.5 percent, we will be on a very, very healthy track for the State of Israel.

“This will also be done by other means – opening major markets in Asia, Latin America and other places; and moving forward with new products, especially cyber – but it will also be done by the things that we will decide on today. Our goal is to reach four percent growth, if not this year then certainly next year. Less than this will not suffice and we need to do our utmost in order to achieve this with low taxation. This is the essence of what we want to do with this budget.”

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon appeared to be in full agreement with the prime minister. Smiling, he presented his view of the budget, which he confirmed was “responsible, and balanced.”

Kahlon added, The [Finance Ministry] Budget Division has been working with the ministries for months in order to reach agreement.

Increase in Civil Expenditure
“There is a very significant increase here in civil expenditures. There is very nice expansion here in education from 14-16, approximately NIS 4 billion. There is very nice expansion here in health. There is expansion here in public security. There is major, good and necessary expansion on all other civil matters. As the Prime Minister said, there are benefits that make things easier for people vis-à-vis the cost of living, housing supply, growth, investments, the periphery; we are dealing with all these areas, including infrastructures and bringing the periphery closer to the center, which will generate significant growth.

Reforms ‘Will Require Courage’
“There are major reforms here the likes of which have not been seen for years, reforms that need a lot of courage and your support, Mr. Prime Minister and my fellow ministers, in order to implement them. It is not for nothing that they have not been done for very many years. We have very significant reforms in the financial market that people did not want to deal with – but we are dealing with it. The financial market is a monopolistic market that requires reforms and changes. There has been major pressure on us not to enact them, but we will enact them and in many other areas as well – the cost of living, food; we mean to do it.

“A word about security. Security is dear to us. The IDF is dear to us. We will help and support lest there be the impression – Heaven forbid! – that security is a side issue. Security is in the center. There must be balances between society’s needs and those of security and I am certain that together with the Defense Minister and the Prime Minister, and the other ministers, we will reach a solution. There must not be the impression – Heaven forbid! – that security is a side issue; security is in the center.”

Bibi: ‘Keep or Cheat,’ This Deal Will Give Iran the Bomb

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed American Jews in a conference call on Tuesday, August 4. He delivered a strong and steady message about why the Iran deal, the JCPOA, is the wrong deal to make with Iran.

Netanyahu’s essential message was that the nuclear deal negotiated by the P5+1 with Iran will not achieve what it was intended to achieve. Instead of ending nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, he said, it will trigger the biggest nuclear weapons race ever, in the most volatile area of the world.  And that is because Iran will be allowed to attain its goal of attaining nuclear weapons capability through one of two pathways, the shorthand for which is “Keep or Cheat.”

Iran will be able to develop nuclear weapons with the international community’s official hecksher, at the end of the deal, or even earlier, if it cheats on the deal.

Netanyahu hit all the significant points he has been making throughout his campaign against Iran’s race to nuclear weapons capability.  He articulated them succinctly, and substantively addressed the counter-points made by the deal’s proponents.

The Prime Minister also stated calmly that the issue is not a partisan one, nor is it a personal one. Netanyahu even said that he believes U.S. President Barack Obama truly believes the deal is the best way to go to block Iran’s efforts towards nuclear weapons capability. But Netanyahu disagrees with that assessment.

He pointed out that Iran should have been given an either/or choice, and instead it was given a take-it-all choice. Iran wants to have nuclear weapons capability and it wanted to have sanctions lifted. The current deal, the JCPOA, lifts the sanctions and lights the way for Iran to have nuclear weapons.

KEEP OR CHEAT – EITHER WAY IRAN HAS SHORT PATH TO THE BOMB

The key points that Netanyahu laid out are all subparts of the basic premise, which is that the deal will not prevent Iran, the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world, from becoming a nuclear threshold state. He referred to this as the “Keep or Cheat” concept – either Iran will keep the deal, in which case it will have a relatively short path to the bomb, or it will cheat on the deal, in which case it will have an even shorter path to nuclear weapons capability.

In the short term, even embracing the absurd notion that Iran will not cheat, in the blink of an eye – just ten short years – Iran will almost immediately be able to build a few nuclear weapons, followed soon thereafter by hundreds and thousands of them.

But there is no credible evidence that Iran will not cheat, and every available kind of evidence, especially past history, that it will cheat on the deal.

Netanyahu swept aside the claims by the deal’s proponents that intelligence and inspections will prevent Iran from cheating. He pointed out that neither inspections nor intelligence were able to detect or deter North Korea from developing nuclear capabilities.

$ TRILLIONS FOR TERRORISM

The lifting of sanctions will mean an enormous infusion of cash to Iran. Everyone is aware of the $100 – 150 billion in nearly immediate sanctions relief, but Netanyahu pointed out that if you look at it over the course of the whole deal, the number is exponentially larger. He posited that even if Iran only uses one-tenth of those funds to support its terrorist sidekicks such as Hamas and Hezbollah, that will still be trillions of dollars that will be invested in making the world dangerous for democracy and those who love it.

Netanyahu said that the kind of money which will be made available to Iran to further fund terrorism could turn its terrorist sidekicks into the equivalent of terrorist super powers.

US Promises to Protect Israel if Iran Attacks

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

An Obama administration official told Israeli diplomatic journalists Monday that the United States will protect Israel if Iran attacks it.

He also promised that the United States will not sell the F-35 advanced warplane to any other Middle East country besides Israel.

The briefing served the Obama administration’s current priority to make sure that Congress does not reject the nuclear deal with Iran by a veto-proof majority. President Barack Obama has no chance of winning majority support in the Senate, and Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam declared on Monday that a majority of House members have pledged to back a resolution of disapproval of the nuclear deal

In the briefing with Israeli journalists, a defense official said that the government’s commitment to Israel’s security is “something US defense officials live on a daily basis.”

He also asserted that Iran’s continued declaration to annihilate Israel “doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t sign a deal that decreases the likelihood they will be a nuclear state.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has argued that ObamaDeal actually paves the way for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. If that is the case, the Obama administration in effect is creating an existential threat to Israel and then proposing a solution that makes Israel dependent on Washington.

Similarly, the promise not to sell F-35 warplanes to other countries n the region, most notably Egypt and Saudi Arabia which have expressed interest in buying the plane, eventually could be used as a tool to force concession from Israel. For example, President Barack Obama, or his successor, could warn Israel that if does not surrender to the Palestinian Authority, Washington will sell the F-35 to Egypt.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-promises-to-protect-iran-if-iran-attacks/2015/08/04/

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