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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Binyamin Netanyahu’

Netanyahu Says Israel Can Withstand PA’s UN Diplomatic Attack

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the Jewish State will withstand the diplomatic ambush being prepared by the Palestinian Authority and Arab Nations in the halls of the United Nations.

Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday’s weekly government cabinet meeting this week that any resolution to force Israel to withdraw to the 1949 Armistice Lines by November 2016 – as is called for in a draft resolution circulated by Jordan – will be rejected by the UN Security Council.

“This will bring the radical Islamic elements to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “We will not allow this. We will rebuff this forcefully and responsibly. Let there be no doubt; this will be rejected.”

Washington appeared to waffle on whether or not to commit to a concrete veto of any resolution that would force an Israeli withdrawal to the “1967 lines,” as the 1949 Armistice lines are sometimes referred to.

Nevertheless, a senior U.S. official told the Reuters news agency the Palestinian Authority proposal as currently phrased was not acceptable.

“The Palestinian draft through the Jordanians contains a hard deadline for the withdrawal from the West Bank of two years, so that is not the way we would look at handling a very complicated security negotiation, by simply mandating a flat deadline of two years,” the official explained.

Netanyahu has made it clear that the most recent spate of rocket fire from Gaza during last summer’s 50-day Operation Protective Edge underscored the risks Israelis have faced daily since the last time a major piece of territory was handed back to PA Arabs. More than 12,000 rockets, missiles and mortars have peppered southern and central Israel since that time, killing and mutilating thousands of Israeli civilians. That was the price for having uprooted nearly two dozen Jewish towns and expelled nearly 9,000 families from their homes and businesses – and in Judea and Samaria alone, nearly half a million Jews call the region “home.”

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu in Rome to discuss the various alternative proposals circulating around the UN.

Kerry then travels to Paris for talks with his European counterparts before leaving for London, where he will meet with Arab envoys.

PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat will join a delegation of foreign ministers from the Arab League in meeting with Kerry in hopes of persuading the U.S. not to use its veto in the UN Security Council against the PA proposal.

Netanyahu, American Jews Urge White House to Free Pollard

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a personal call to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Saturday night after hearing that former agent Jonathan Pollard fell unconscious in a North Carolina prison and was taken to a hospital.

Netanyahu urged the United States to grant release to the former spy, who has applied for parole but whose request was rejected by the parole board.

“Pollard’s life is in danger. After 30 years in prison it’s time he should be released and live the rest of his life as a free man,” Netanyahu said Saturday night after the phone call.

Netanyahu’s efforts were followed up by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which also issued a statement urging President Barack Obama to commute the remainder of Pollard’s sentence to time served.

“We urge President Obama, especially in this holiday season and given Mr. Pollard’s worsening health, to take steps immediately to expedite Mr. Pollard’s release and to commute his life sentence to the more than 29 years he has already served,” the group stated.

Authorities plan to return Pollard to the infirmary at the federal prison where he is incarcerated in Butner, North Carolina. Reportedly he will require surgery in the coming days, according to activists working for his release.

The former Navy analyst was convicted on a single count of passing classified information to an ally — Israel — and has been in prison since his arrest in 1985. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 despite having agreed to a plea bargain deal with the prosecutor’s office. The crime for which he was jailed usually carries a sentence of two to four years in prison.

Bennett Cites Agreement with Netanyahu During Campaign

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett have agreed to a truce, at least during the upcoming campaign, according to Bennett’s account.

The two men have often been at odds with each other over the past year, even during this past summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge.

But in order to face a common threat to a possible coalition deal ahead, the two came to an “arrangement,” Bennett said Saturday night while at the Saban Forum.

“I was critical, and I still am critical of his policies,” Bennett said. “He supports a Palestinian state and I oppose it. I thought that in many cases he made mistakes and I told him, and sometimes publicly, when I thought it might influence the outcome.”

However, he added, “We have an arrangement where we don’t attack each other during these elections. Last time I was strongly attacked by Likud, and ultimately we want to form a strong national bloc which, obviously in my opinion, is good for Israel.”

 

Kerry Says US ‘Not Involved,’ Hopes Israel’s New Gov’t ‘Can Negotiate’

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was cautious Tuesday and offered no direct comment on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to take the government to new elections by firing Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

In Brussels, he ducked questions from international journalists who asked how he thought the decision might affect relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“We hope that whatever government is formed, or whether there are elections, that those elections will produce the possibility of a government that can negotiate and move towards resolving the differences between Israelis and Palestinians, and obviously, the differences in the region,” Kerry said.

The first political poll of the “new season” shows that the next Israeli government is likely to be “more right wing and extreme,” observed PA Foreign Minister Riad Maliki. Speaking from the PA capital of Ramallah in the Samaria region, Maliki estimated that such a government might draw more international support for the Palestinian Authority’s effort to secure recognition as an independent sovereign country.

 The current Israeli coalition broke down over Netanyahu’s decision to submit a bill to define Israel at the legislative level as the “Jewish State.” Although Israel is already defined as such in its declaration of independence, Netanyahu is insisting the definition must be reiterated at the constitutional level in order to send a message to the rest of the world, and in particular to Israel’s enemies.

In the version of the measure authored by Netanyahu (there have been several different versions of the bill, authored by others) Israel’s democratic character is preserved and the rights of all other citizens are maintained, contrary to reports circulated in some international media.

 Hebrew is listed as the national language, with Arabic as an honorary but not mandatory second.

Election Fever in Israel

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The Likud party, led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is set to hold primary elections next month. Members will cast their ballots on January 4, 2015 to decide who will lead the party, just a day before primaries are held by the Bayit Yehudi party, led by Naftali Bennett, for the same reason.

The announcement that the two leading right wing parties in Israel are both set to hold primary elections next month comes in the wake of a failed “peace” attempt between Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of the left-centrist Yesh Atid party, on Monday night.

The prime minister told Lapid at that meeting the coalition would be unable to stand as long as Lapid and his party members continued to attack the very same government in which they participate.

Netanyahu listed five conditions to be met by Lapid in order to hold the coalition together and avoid early elections:

  • Cease attacks on the coalition, Israeli construction in Jerusalem and the nation’s relations with the United States;
  • Transfer NIS 6 billion to the defense budget to fund development of APCs (armored personnel carriers), the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, and military training programs;
  • Release funds to facilitate the IDF move to the Negev in accordance with previous agreements. The project was officially frozen Sunday by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon due to a lack of funds from Finance Ministry;
  • Support the Jewish State Law version authored by Netanyahu as presented at the cabinet meeting on Sunday;
  • Freeze the zero percent VAT bill, a centerpiece project of Yair Lapid.

Given the final condition in particular, it appears that early elections are inevitable. The  zero percent VAT bill is one that Lapid has promised his constituents he will pass.

The Yesh Atid party said in an official statement following the Netanyahu-Lapid meeting that the prime minister “chose to act irresponsibly and put the needs of the Israeli public at the end of his list of priorities… The prime minister prefers to drag the entire economy into elections that will paralyze the economy, will stop all the reforms designed to benefit the citizens of Israel and prevent young couples from having the opportunity to buy their own apartment with the realization of the zero percent VAT law.”

Israel May Call Early Elections Next Month

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will likely call early elections next month as controversy continues over the Jewish nationality bill and other measures — and as the second-largest political party, Yesh Atid, fights for control of the government.

The prime minister has slammed the 2015 budget proposal advanced by Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of Yesh Atid, saying the budget would hurt the IDF and jeopardize Israel’s security.

A bill proposed by Lapid to drop the VAT (sales tax) to zero was also criticized by Netanyahu, who said the plan would “waste billions, won’t lower the cost of housing and will help only contractors who are close to Lapid advisers.”

More to the point, Netanyahu maintained Lapid is blocking him from governing the country effectively — and said new elections were preferably to the “back room deals” he said were sabotaging his leadership.

“The coalition will only survive if I can govern,” he said Friday. “I’m not sticking to my chair. I was chosen to run the country and the nation as I see fit but I cannot run the country this way. If Yesh Atid and Lapid continue their irresponsible behavior it will be right to go back to the voters.”

In response, Lapid told an audience at a cultural event in Tel Aviv that Netanyahu had not spoken to him in the past month. “Housing reforms are stuck, the budget is stuck, our international relations are deteriorating. Insteading of passing the budget and dealing with these issues [Netanyahu and his advisers] are dealing with petty politics,” he complained.

Other politicians are also gearing up for what appears to be an inevitable drive towards early elections.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, chairman of Yisrael Beytenu, has released a diplomatic plan to Hebrew language dailies — but Liberman had started his political posturing already during this past summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge.

Former social services minister Moshe Kahlon also held a rally as part of preparations to form a new political party and he too has been making statements to media in what clearly appears to be preparation for elections.

Hareidi religious political parties are holding talks with all sides in order to see who will give them the best deal, as usual; United Torah Judaism has long had a handshake with Yisrael Beytenu, trading local votes for favors in small towns and cities throughout the country. In return, it is likely a similar deal will come into play at the national level when early elections are held.

Netanyahu Warns of ‘Terrorist Assault on Jerusalem’

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Israelis in a statement Tuesday of a Palestinian Authority Arab “terrorist assault focused on Jerusalem” and of “hatred and incitement” perpetrated by the PA leadership against Israel.

In an unusually long and particularly intense statement, the prime minister exhorted Israelis to put aside their differences and to unite around defending Israel’s capital, Jerusalem and to defend the security of Israel’s citizens.

Netanyahu also issued a clear warning to Israelis not to take the law into their own hands, and reaffirmed his commitment to keep Jerusalem united.

“Today, during morning prayers, as they were wrapped in prayer shawls and tefillin, four rabbis were slaughtered, four innocent and pure Jews – Rabbi Avraham Goldberg, Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, Rabbi Kalman Ze’ev Levine and Rabbi Moshe Twersky. May their memories be blessed.

“We send our condolences to their families. We send our best wishes for a recovery to the wounded and to the heroic policemen whose action prevented a greater disaster. The human animals who perpetrated this slaughter were full of hatred and incitement, deep hatred and terrible incitement against the Jewish People and its state.

“Hamas, the Islamic Movement and the Palestinian Authority are disseminating countless lies and falsehoods against the State of Israel. They are saying that the Jews are contaminating the Temple Mount. They are saying that we are planning to destroy the Holy Places, that we intend to change the order of prayer there – this is all lies.

“These lies have already claimed a very heavy price. They took the life of a three-month-old baby, Chaya Zissel Braun, who had been taken for her first visit to the Western Wall, along with her parents, who wanted to thank G-d for giving them a baby. They also claimed the lives of Karen Jemima Mosquera, Jidan Assad, Aharon Badani, Sgt. Almog Shilony and Dalia Lemkus. All of them were pure souls. All of them were victims of this mendacious incitement. Today they are joined by additional victims of the same wild blood libel of the kind that is etched in the memory of our people.

“Yesterday a bus driver from eastern Jerusalem committed suicide. He committed suicide. The findings of the pathology report have been published and they prove this unequivocally. He committed suicide. But this has not prevented those same elements from inciting and disseminating the blood libel to the effect that he was murdered by Jews.

“This incitement contributed its part to the shocking slaughter that was perpetrated this morning in a holy place during prayers. But what is outrageous is not only the brutality of the murder but the shouts of joy in Gaza, in Bethlehem and in other places. They are giving out candies, waving axes in the air and praising the shahidim. (ed. – martrys)

“True, this time Abu Mazen (PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas) condemned the slaughter and it is good that he did. I remember that he also condemned the murder of the three youths but it is not enough because in the same sentence in which he condemned today’s slaughter, he linked it to imaginary actions – which have no basis in reality – that Israel is purportedly planning to carry out on the Temple Mount.

“There is daily, even hourly, incitement on the streets of the Palestinian Authority. There, not only do the most reprehensible murderers become the heroes of Palestinian culture, but there is unending, constant incitement against the very existence of the State of Israel, against the security of Israel’s citizens, in schools, the media, mosques, everywhere, and this is the root of the conflict: The refusal to recognize – and educate for – the existence of the state of the Jews.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-warns-of-terrorist-assault-on-jerusalem/2014/11/19/

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