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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘cabinet’

Netanyahu ‘Doubts French Impartiality’ in Paris Peace Initiative

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at this week’s cabinet meeting that he told French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in their meeting Sunday morning that his country’s support of a UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem cast doubt on the impartiality of France in its upcoming “peace initiative.”

More than 20 foreign ministers are invited to a meeting on May 30 to set the agenda for the “initiative” to be held later this year. Israel and the Palestinian Authority are not invited to the May gathering.

“I told him that the scandalous resolution accepted at UNESCO with France’s support, that does not recognize the bond of thousands of years between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount, casts a shadow over the impartiality of the entire forum France is trying to convene,” Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting after holding talks with Ayrault in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu had already sent a strongly-worded letter to French President Francois Hollande over his country’s vote supporting the UNESCO resolution to erase historic Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, Channel 2 news reported. The Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the resolution in mid-April on “Occupied Palestine” presented by several Arab countries. It refers several times to Israel as the “occupying power.”

The prime minister wrote that he was “astounded” by the support of France for such an “offensive and historic distortion of truth” and “an extremely biased and offensive” resolution.

“While we have no illusions as to the the UN’s commitment to truth or decency, we were honestly astounded to see our French friends raise their hands in favor of this shameful resolution,” Netanyahu wrote.

Hollande attempted to excuse his nation’s support for the resolution in a letter to the French Jewish community, calling the vote a “misunderstanding” and pledging not to support such measures in the future. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called the wording of the resolution “clumsy” and “unfortunate.” He added that his country’s vote “changed nothing” in its approach to the Israel-PA issue.

The French foreign minister arrived Sunday in Jerusalem to attempt to convince Netanyahu to participate in the Paris “peace initiative.”

But Israel’s prime minister has already dismissed the so-called “initiative” – saying bluntly that any real solution will only result from direct bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“I am willing to meet President Abbas today, right now,” Netanyahu said during a live chat Q&A session on Twitter this past Thursday. “He can come to my home here in Jerusalem or I can go to his home here in Ramallah.”

There have been no talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority since April 2014.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Eulogizes Minister Uri Orbach z’l – ‘We Loved Him Tremendously’

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Israel’s government cabinet started the weekly meeting on Sunday with a tribute to the late Pensioner Affairs Minister Uri Shraga Orbach, z’l, a member of the Bayit Yehudi party.

Orbach was not only a politician, however; he attended hesder yeshiva and served in the IDF Armored Corps and then became a journalist, writing for Yediot Ahronot and hosting a show for Galei Tzahal Army Radio. He also wrote children’s books, including “Donkeys on the Roof and Other Stories.”

In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eulogized Orbach, who passed away last year at age 55 due to blood disease. Family and friends went together to visit his grave on Friday to commemorate the one-year anniversary in accordance with Jewish custom.

“Uri was a wonderful minister who worked tirelessly to bring Israeli culture and heritage to every citizen of the country,” Netanyahu said.

“He initiated new projects in order to help the elderly citizens of the country and he maintained an attitude that was proud and nationalist from one standpoint, and open to all members of society from the other.”

“I can attest to the fact that every time that he spoke during the cabinet meetings, and he always spoke towards the end, everyone listened to him, as he had both wit, understanding and a true love of every Jew.

“We are all pained by his passing. We loved him tremendously.”

An official memorial ceremony will be held in honor of the late minister on Sunday night in Jerusalem, led by President Reuven Rivlin and attended by Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett, party member and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and other friends and family of the minister.

Hana Levi Julian

Cabinet Appoints Avichai Mandelblit as New Attorney General

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

The cabinet today voted to approve the appointment of Avichai Mandelblit as Israel’s new Attorney General.

An Orthodox Jew, Mandelblit served as Chief Military Advocate General of the IDF from 2004 to 2011. He was appointed Cabinet Secretary in April 2013.

Mandelblit replaces Yehuda Weinstein, who took office February 1, 2010.

Weinstein leaves office with the distinction of having been the attorney general who personally approved the torture of Jewish teens under Shin Bet custody.

Hana Levi Julian

Attorney General Clashing with Netanyahu over Changing Rules of Engagement Against Rioters

Monday, September 21st, 2015

(JNi.media) Government legal experts opposed the demand to ease the rules of engagement with live ammunition when there is a risk to civilian lives. Speaking at a special session convened on Sunday by the Prime Minister in response to the rise in violent incidents in the capital, the same experts did authorize the use of non-lethal weapons. They said an examination of the plan to ease the rules will continue.

Netanyahu’s office said that during the hearing the prime minister instructed his legal experts to re-examine the rules of engagement in order to “adapt them to the reality on the ground, so that the police can prevent and deter terrorism.”

Netanyahu told his cabinet meeting on Sunday about the policy changes he wished to enforce following the deterioration in the security situation in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. “The police have already used new measures under the new directives this weekend, and struck the stone throwers and Molotov cocktail throwers,” Netanyahu reported. “Today we will allow further expansion of the ability of police forces to act and will add forces to damage the rioters,” he said.

But there have been tensions between the political and legal participants in the debate about the rules of engagement, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again demanding that the legal team at the office of the Attorney General re-examine the rules in light of the escalation of Arab violence in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. According to NRG, the legal team told the Prime Minister that he cannot change the rules of engagement with live ammunition, which is why the AG’s office had approved police use of the Ruger .22 sniper rifle, a non-lethal weapon used by the military to disperse rioters. However, the Prime Minister’s repeated demand, the Attorney General stated that the examination of the proposed changes will continue.

According to preliminary reports, the police was supposed to present at the discussion a draft proposal, finalized with the Attorney General, on the changes in the permission to open fire on rioters, namely that police would be able to use live fire in cases of risk to civilians inside Israel. However, as the debate had begun, representatives from the Attorney General’s and the State Attorney’s offices stated their opposition to the draft.

Later on Sunday, Israel Radio reported that the Prime Minister said in a private conversations that he was determined to confirm his new anti-terrorism measures put forward earlier. Netanyahu reportedly said his government is the sovereign and it can decide. Netanyahu once again instructed his professional staff to examine changes in the rules of engagement for rioters who throw stones and Molotov cocktails, setting minimum sentences for said violations, and denying the parents of rioting minors their government entitlements, such as social security benefits.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein told Israel radio he objected to minimum sentences, but said he was inclined to agree if the penalties remain part of a temporary order and be applied only to adults, and not to children. Weinstein also opposed a change in the rules of engagement for police but agreed to clarify the rules again, in case of a misunderstanding.

According to the Prime Minister, “there is a new situation and we should match the punishment and the rules of engagement to the new reality. We can’t allow that in Jerusalem, our capital, or in any part of the State of Israel, the Galilee or the Negev, people would organize popular terror and start throwing bottles at passing cars, or stones that kill people. This will not become the norm here, the opposite norm will be enforced — we will stop you in mid-action, and punish you to the full extent of the law,” Netanyahu said.

JNi.Media

Israeli Cabinet Approves Gas Deal With Noble Energy, Delek Ltd.

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Government ministers passed the long-awaited, controversial gas deal on Sunday afternoon, giving the Noble Energy and Delek Ltd. consortium the rights to the large gas fields they had discovered and begun to develop beneath the waters of the Mediterranean – while giving Israeli citizens a future income of hundreds of billions of shekels in the process.

“This money will benefit education, health, social welfare and other national needs,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

“I would like to commend the work done by Minister Steinitz’s team which has led to a very significant reduction in the price the state will pay for gas and to other changes that will greatly improve the outline.

“I am not impressed by populism – to me it is only populism, even though people could possibly believe in what they are saying, but the country needs gas. Gas resources in our region will be developed, unfortunately, either way, and we need to see to it that our resources work at full capacity.

“We need to extract the gas from the sea,” Netanyahu went on.

“This decision is an important milestone. We are overcoming the obstacles step by step. This process will not be stopped,” he said, making an oblique reference to the myriad attempts by various groups to stymie the agreement that was finally approved.

“The gas will be extracted from the bottom of the sea and will reach Israeli citizens, Israeli industry and the Israeli economy – for the benefit of the citizens of Israel.

“Every objective test proves this outline is a significant improvement over the existing situation. But one more thing must be understood – it cannot be stopped.

“When the right thing needs to be done, and it is so crucial to Israel’s economy and strategic situation, that thing will not be stopped. They will look for another way to delay, another excuse, another reason – and that will not work.

This outline will pass one way or another, and it is about time that it does. The true interests of the State of Israel require the passage of this outline as quickly as possible.”

Negotiations between the government and the consortium comprised of Texas-based Noble Energy and the Israeli company Dekel Group Ltd. have been dragging on for months.

Israel’s Antitrust Authority last year decided the consortium could not continue operations as the sole owners and operators of the massive Leviathan gas field, and the somewhat smaller but also large Tamar gas field – both of which were discovered and have been developed at considerable expense by the group.

Gas has already been produced from the Tamar field since 2013. Leviathan is considered the largest discovery in the world in the past decade – and certainly the largest field in the Mediterranean.

Negotiations over how pricing will be set for gas in the domestic market and the prices and percentage of reserves to be exported had taken place for months between the government and the group – which has pointed out that without being able to recoup its investment and also to be able to make a profit, there is little point to continuing its operations in the area.

Antitrust Commissioner David Gilo threatened to resign in May over his opposition to what he insisted was the group’s monopoly over the Tamar and Leviathan fields.

The gas deal negotiated with the government this past week allows Delek Group – owned by Yitzchak Tshuva – to sell its holdings in the Tamar field, and also two smaller fields, Karish and Tanin, within six years. Noble Energy will gradually reduce its own holdings in Tamar to a maximum of 25 percent within six years as well. Prices for natural gas will be regulated by the government within that same six-year period as well.

 

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu: ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy for Terror, Praise for Security Forces

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened Sunday’s weekly government cabinet meeting with a firm statement of support for the military security forces and an equally strong statement underlining the nation’s policy of zero tolerance for terror.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend IDF soldiers and Border Guard Police officers for their steadfast operations over the weekend,” said Netanyahu. “The forces neutralized a number of terror operations.

Our policy is zero tolerance of terror,” he said. “He who attempts to harm us, we will harm him.”

The statements came in the wake of a weekend in which an IDF soldier and a Border Guard Police officer were both stabbed in the back in two separate attacks by Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists — including one incident in which a soldier was attacked after turning to simply get a drink of water for the Arab who said he was thirsty.

Bayit Yehudi party chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett commented Saturday night that the attack marked a new “moral bankruptcy” among Palestinian Authority terrorists.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu: Zero Tolerance for Terror ‘Distinguishes Us From Our Neighbors’

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

At the start to this week’s government cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s “zero tolerance” policy towards the issue of terror attacks – any terror attacks – and pointed out it is this policy that “distinguishes us from our neighbors.”

The remarks followed a 36-hour period which saw more than 60 Arab terror attacks, allegedly in “retaliation” for the horrific Jewish terror attack carried out against a small family in the Arab village of Duma late last week.

Four Jews were allegedly seen fleeing from the scene after hurling a firebomb into the open window of a small home in the village near the Samaria city of Shechem. An 18-month-old toddler was killed in the attack; his 4-year-old brother and parents were badly wounded. Hebrew writing at the scene constituted evidence the crime was carried out by Israelis.

The other terror attack carried out last week by a Jew was the stabbing of six people at the Gay Pride parade by a recidivist stabber Thursday in Jerusalem. Most of the victims are still in serious to critical condition.

“We recently witnessed two abhorrent crimes,” Netanyahu said. “Our policy toward these crimes is zero tolerance. I have instructed security and law-enforcement officials to use all legal means at their disposal to apprehend the murderers and deal with the stabber and the arsonists to the fullest extent of the law.

“We are determined to vigorously fight manifestations of hate, fanaticism and terrorism from whatever side. The fight against these phenomena unites us all.

“This is not a struggle by this or that faction. This is a matter of basic humanity and is at the foundation of our enlightened Jewish values.

“I remember as a child, when I would visit on Shabbat the home of my father’s great teacher, Professor Joseph Klausner, among the Jewish People’s greatest historians in the modern era, over his door were etched two words: ‘Judaism’ and ‘humanity’. They are combined and are mutually supportive.

“This is what distinguishes us from our neighbors. We deplore and condemn these murderers. We will pursue them to the end.

“They name public squares after the murderers of children. This distinction cannot be blurred or covered up. It is important to say this even as we utter our condemnations and unite against the criminals among our people.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-zero-tolerance-for-terror-distinguishes-us-from-our-neighbors/2015/08/02/

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