web analytics
January 16, 2017 / 18 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Ministry’

Russia: 2-State Solution Only Possible Through Direct Talks

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Russia has apparently not quite finished expressing its views on the issues raised by the UN Security Council’s condemnation of Israel’s existence, development and growth in territory won from enemies who attacked the Jewish State in 1967 and thereafter.

The full statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry explaining Moscow’s position following its vote in the UN Security Council in favor of Resolution 2334(2016) condemning Israeli Jewish communities in post-1967 areas was posted in English to the government website this week.

As Russia’s deputy ambassador explained to listeners on Israeli Army Radio on Tuesday, it seems Moscow was not entirely satisfied with the resolution as it was presented, but decided to vote with its fellow Council members anyway.

According to the statement, “The Russian Federation voted for it because the resolution is based on tested formulas reflecting the general view of the international community, which have been reaffirmed many times, on the illegality of Israeli settlement plans in the Palestinian territory.

“Consensus could have been achieved through more rigorous work, which would have taken longer and precluded any rash decisions that may damage the cause,” the foreign ministry commented in its statement on its website.

More to the point, however, is the conclusion reached by Moscow regarding the endless insistence by Washington that the “two-state solution” is the sole “solution” possible between Jerusalem and Ramallah, and the only way forward in order to achieve peace between Israel, her neighbors in the Palestinian Authority and anywhere else in the region.

“Our experience shows convincingly that a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is only possible through direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis without any preconditions,” states the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“It is with this aim in view that Russia has been working and will continue working as a member of the Middle East Quartet of international intermediaries to facilitate such negotiations. We would also like to reaffirm our readiness to host a meeting of the leaders of Israel and Palestine in Moscow.

“We hope that the parties will opt for the policy of constructive cooperation aimed at settling the Middle Eastern problem very soon.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated his willingness to meet with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas for direct talks, without preconditions, anywhere at any time.

Abbas has consistently refused to meet for direct talks with Netanyahu at any time, anywhere, for any reason, unless Israel first agrees to all preconditions set by the Palestinian Authority; hence the PA leader’s preference for venues such as the UN Security Council, the Paris Summit, and elsewhere but a face-to-face negotiating table.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Hits Back: Diplomatic Fallout After Anti-Israel UN Resolution 2334

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

Within hours after the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to condemn Israel and demand an end to settlement activity in any area restored to the Jewish State as of 1967, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was taking diplomatic action to address the UNSC members who had sponsored the resolution.

Two of the four nations who brought the measure to the floor – Venezuela and Malaysia – have no diplomatic ties with Israel. But their partners in proposing the resolution, Senegal and New Zealand, both have relations with the Jewish State.

By the end of the day, Netanyahu had recalled Israel’s ambassadors to both New Zealand and Senegal home for “consultations.” In his dual role as Israel’s Foreign Minister, Netanyahu also ordered a stop to all aid programs to Senegal and canceled the upcoming visit of the Senegalese foreign minister.

In addition, he canceled the visits in Israel of both non-resident ambassadors from New Zealand and Senegal.

Those who work with Israel will gain, he said, “because Israel has a lot to offer the nations of the world. “But those who stand against us will lose, because there will be a diplomatic and economic price to their actions against Israel.”

In addition, within 24 hours after the vote, the prime minister had cut NIS 30 million in funding to five UN institutions “that are particularly hostile towards Israel,” he said.

Moreover, he canceled next week’s scheduled official state visit to Israel by Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, to protest Kiev’s vote in favor of the resolution as well.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement Saturday allegedly explaining its reason for withdrawing Resolution 2334 from consideration on Thursday at the United Nations Security Council.

“Egypt is the key partner in ensuring negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian side,” Cairo said. “Therefore, it is necessary to take a balanced stance to keep an opportunity for maneuver and influence on the both sides of the upcoming negotiations focused on finding a comprehensive and fair settlement, which would guarantee the implementation of the rights of all Palestinians based on the UN decisions,” Egypt’s foreign ministry said, according to Sputnik News.

Egypt’s statement of explanation was held back, however, and issued only after the UNSC unanimously passed the resolution, which was instead advanced to a vote the very next day by New Zealand, Senegal, Venezuela and Malaysia.

Hana Levi Julian

Cabinet Holds Special Meeting in Fire Plagued Haifa

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assembled his cabinet on Sunday morning in Haifa, the Israeli city that has suffered more than any other large urban center in the week of blazes, both the natural and the man made kind. The prime minister said: “First, I would like to commend the IDF soldiers who, this morning, successfully repelled an attack against in the border triangle area (where Israel, Lebanon and Syria meet). We are well prepared on our northern border and we will not allow any ISIS or other hostile elements, under cover of the war in Syria, to establish themselves adjacent to our borders.

“En route here this morning I spoke with Rama Ben-Tzvi; her and her husband’s restaurant in the Jerusalem hills was completely burnt. I think that we all know how much love they have invested in this, their life’s work, for 20 years, and in an instant, it went up in flames. The fire there and in other places burned property, it burned objects replete with memories, it even burned animals in some places, but to our joy, this time we were well-prepared and it did not burn lives; we saved lives. I told Rama that we would help her rebuild her restaurant forthwith. The Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office has already spoken to her. This, in effect, is our message to all Israeli citizens whose homes and property were hit by the fires: We will help you rebuild your homes and your lives forthwith and this is the main goal of this special Cabinet meeting this morning in Haifa.

“We have come to Haifa and we have invited council heads from across the north whose communities were affected by the fires in order to give them clear message: All government ministries are committed to extending a hand to you quickly, to shorten the bureaucracy, and I say to brutally shorten the bureaucracy, to bring you assistance, relief and rebuilding as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will do everything necessary to maintain your remaining property.

“Immediately upon concluding my remarks, I will ask my fellow ministers – the ministers of Public Security, Finance and Interior – who, I must say, from the outset, have worked tirelessly in the field, to report on their ministries’ activities.

“Later, I will ask the other ministers to do so. Of course, we will be measured by results and not by processes, by deeds and not words. We will be measured by results. The event is still not over. There are reports now of a fire in the Zichron area and several other locales, that seem as if they are rekindling. We are working on all fronts, including law enforcement. Whoever starts a fire, either by malice or negligence, whoever incites to arson – we will act against them with full force.

“There is no doubt that thanks to the courage of the firefighters, the pilots from Israel and abroad, and to the determined response of the Israel Police, MDA, IDF, Home front Command and the other rescue forces, the local councils represented here and the extraordinary spirit shown by Israeli citizens – thanks to all these, we achieved impressive control of the fires which, to a certain extent, were much more complicated and much more difficult than the Carmel fire.

“On Friday, I received a meteorological report, which indicated difficult conditions vis-à-vis dryness and the weather, the combination of temperatures and the wind and continued dryness, it was 30% more difficult than the conditions that prevailed during the Carmel fire. Along with all the government ministers here, I salute all those who took part in dealing with this crisis, in extinguishing the fires, and in guarding life and property. We have built an impressive ability to fight fires on the ground and from the air and it proved itself. I do not want to imagine what might have happened if we hadn’t built this ability.

“I would like to thank the many governments who sent assistance in the form of firefighting aircraft, pilots and firefighters and I would like to thank the personnel at the Foreign Ministry and the National Security Council and especially you, Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Zeev Tzuk-Tam who supervised very impressive international coordination. It is not simple to bring here so many elements, pilots, planes and materials from so many countries.

“Against the mighty forces of nature, countries worked together and the principle that has guided me and the government was – better over-ability than the risk of under-ability.

“During the events, I personally visited several centers of the fires and I already instructed that a team be established to learn lessons so that we will be even better prepared in the future. I am initiating the establishment of a multi-national force that will be coordinated not just for action in time of disaster, but also to acquire planes and allocate the acquisition of various types of planes so that we might thereby achieve multi-national effectiveness, and not just national effectiveness, in dealing with gigantic fires. I have spoken about this with several leaders from the region. I must say that they have shown great interest in the idea and we will advance it.”

Jewish Press Staff

IDF Told Israeli Cabinet New Submarines ‘Needed’

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Israel has decided to purchase at least three more submarines from a German shipbuilder in order to protect its growing natural energy assets.

But the decision, made by the government after recommendations by the security cabinet, the National Security Council and the Foreign Ministry, is under scrutiny by some Israeli media that has been said to be seeking ways to undermine Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Attorney David Shimron, who has been the prime minister’s personal lawyer for many years, is also representing the German company that sells the submarines — a sale Israel’s Channel 10 has alleged was opposed by the IDF and former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon.

An IDF spokesperson said Thursday, however, that the military had informed the cabinet of a “need” for new submarines. The National Security Agency (NSA), said in a statement that there has been a “wave of false reports” and that in fact, the deal with Germany to purchase the latest group of new submarines was fully supported by Ya’alon.

Israel’s Channel 10, accused of a vendetta against Netanyahu, reported Tuesday night that Shimron is being accused of a serious conflict of interest because he represents both the German shipbuilder and has held high-level meetings with its Israeli representative, Miki Ganor.

Shimron told media in a statement, “I have not spoken with any state officials about the privatization of the naval shipyard nor have I dealt with any state officials about vessels purchased by the State of Israel.”

Likewise, Netanyahu told Channel 10 that he has never discussed Shimron’s private clients with him. “The only reason for the deal with the Germans is strategic and economic considerations,” he said.

In a statement on his Facebook page late Wednesday, the prime minister noted that the agreement on the submarines was carried out “in an orderly, professional manner with no outside influence and with the recommendation of all the professional bodies in the Defense Ministry, the IDF and the National Security Agency.”

The Israel Navy currently has a fleet of five submarines, plus a sixth that is to be delivered within the next two years.

Netanyahu announced at a cabinet meeting last month that negotiations were close to completion for the purchase of three more submarines for the Israel Navy, at a cost of NIS 6 billion ($1.5 billion), pointing out the acquisition was a strategically important move.

The prime minister has said the submarines will play an important part in the protection of Israel’s natural gas fields, and in the defense of the Jewish State against a nuclear-armed Iran.

“The acquisition of ships was done in a professional, organized way without any external influences,” said the National Security Council in a statement.

“In the course of preparations to protect natural gas fields and installations the government decided to purchase four ships. The decision was taken on recommendation of the security administration, the National Security Council and the Foreign Ministry. During the course of our investigation, a number of possibilities were suggested for acquiring ships in accordance with the operational requirements of the IDF. At the end of our professional investigation it was decided based on political, operational, technological and budgetary considerations to base the acquisition on the agreement between the Israeli and German governments.”

The Council also underlined the fact that then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was involved in the decision-making process.

“The decision was supported by then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, the Finance Ministry, and various officials from other government offices. It was also supported by then-Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon in accordance with the IDF’s position. Within the framework of the deal, Israel was granted a significant grant from the German government by virtue of the special relationship between the two nations, rendering the cost of the project lower than any of the other alternatives.”

 
Former head of the National Security Council General Yaacov Amidror (res.) explains to Channel 2 how the process of deciding to buy the submarines was made (in Hebrew):

Hana Levi Julian

Turkey Warns Citizens Against Travel to United States Due to Violent Protests

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Turkey has warned its citizens against traveling to the United States in an advisory on the website of its Foreign Ministry posted Saturday.

The warning comes in the wake of the coast-to-coast protests by supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton that have taken place in some two dozen major American cities following Tuesday’s election of Donald J. Trump as the next president of the United States.

The ministry said in its warning, “It has been understood from protesters’ social media accounts that the protests will continue for a while.”

The ministry also advised Turkish citizens to be “calm” about possible “xenophobia and racist abuse” and to “contact local security forces in the event of such incidents.”

Turkish media has been closely watching events in the United States.

“In Indianapolis, some protesters began chanting threats including “Kill the Police,” and officers moved in to arrest seven demonstrators. Police briefly fired pepper balls into the crowd during the confrontation,” reported the Hurriyet Daily News.

“Protesters rallied at New York’s Union Square before taking their cause up Fifth Avenue toward Trump Tower, where they were held back by police barricades. The Republican president-elect was holed up inside his tower apartment, working with aides on the transition to the White House.

“Among those railing against him was filmmaker Michael Moore, who tweeted a demand that Trump ‘step aside.'”

The new president-elect was reported to be “making some headway in forming a new administration.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israel and Turkey Delay Reconciliation, Ambassador Exchange

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Israel and Turkey have both postponed meetings to appoint new ambassadors to each other’s countries.

The appointments were to be set at meetings scheduled for October 27, but those meetings have been cancelled in both nations, and according to a report on Israel’s Channel 2 television news, neither country has set a new date.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was in Ankara Tuesday for a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has long been a firm supporter of the Hamas rulers of Gaza, opponents of the PA’s leading Fatah faction headed by Abbas.

The PA leader is in Turkey for a three-day visit, according to the country’s Hurriyet Daily News, which pointed out that the visit comes “as Turkey and Israel are preparing to appoint ambassadors to each other’s capitals in a final step in the reconciliation of bilateral ties.”

The hold-up may also be due to the fact that Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold resigned suddenly earlier this month. Although Yuval Rotem has been appointed to take his place, Rotem’s appointment has yet to be approved by the government and until that’s done, the ministry’s appointment committee can do nothing further.

The normalization process on the Turkish side also ran into a road block last week when a Turkish court suddenly refused to dismiss the legal case against members of the Israeli military who participated in the 2010 operation to redirect an illegal flotilla to Ashdod port, and away from Gaza.

The dismissal of the case constituted Turkey’s part of the reconciliation deal signed last summer with Israel. The Jewish State has already made good on its part by expressing its regret for the incident and paying $20 million in compensation to the families of the armed “activists” on the vessel who died after attacking IDF commandos. A number of the Israeli commandos were also seriously injured in the clash, some permanently.

Turkey and Israel came to an agreement together on allowing Ankara to bring humanitarian supplies to Gaza, and to plan construction of a hospital in the region.

But when it came time last week for the Turkish court to dismiss the case against Israel’s military commandos and other IDF officials, the court apparently refused to comply with the agreement. It’s not clear what measures are being taken to deal with the situation, and there is no mention of the diplomatic faux pas in the English-language Turkish media, which reported earlier in the month that Kemal Okem had been selected to become Ankara’s ambassador to Israel. Okem is a close associate of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Israel has yet to choose its new ambassador.

Hana Levi Julian

Mexico’s Ambassador to UNESCO Fired Over Infamous Jerusalem Resolution

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Andrés Isaac Roemer Slomianski, Mexico’s 52-year-old Jewish ambassador to UNESCO in Paris, was fired over his reluctance to cast a ballot in favor of a resolution that denied the basic reality of his ancestry and that of his countrymen.

“For not having informed diligently and with meticulousness of the context in which the voting process occurred, for reporting to representatives of countries other than Mexico about the sense of his vote, and for making public documents and official correspondence subject to secrecy,” said an official statement released Monday (Oct. 17).

Jewish Mexican news site Enlace Judio took a philosophical tone over the news: “Andrés Roemer lost his job, but the vote of Mexico changed from “for” to “abstain” from the infamous resolution of UNESCO, which ignored the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall.

“For the first time since 2010, Mexico has changed its consistent line of voting in favor of the Palestinian Arab bloc in UNESCO,” the site continued.

“Sadly, the Ambassador to UNESCO was sacrificed, but [he] managed to change a perennial tradition of sticking the Latin American bloc that eventually passed by a majority, an absurd and biased resolution.”

Roemer was poised Tuesday morning to trigger a special clause that would have forced a new vote on the Palestinian Authority’s proposed resolution entitled, “Occupied Palestine.” Mexico eventually settled simply for a statement on its wish to change its vote from “support” to “abstain.” Brazil did the same.

The UNESCO Executive Board went ahead and adopted the resolution, which erases for the world body, at least, the historic link between Jews, Jerusalem and the most sacred sites in Judaism: the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. For Christians, it does the same, erasing the root from which their faith grew.

According to UN Watch, the Mexican envoy had received a clear instruction to vote “for the Palestinians,” despite the assurance from Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto that his nation would not support such a resolution.

But Israeli ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen said, “As a Jew his conscience would not allow him to vote for ignoring the historic and religious connection with the Temple Mount and the Western Wall…. It’s possible that his conscience-based decision will result in his being sent home and fired,” Shama-Hacohen added.

On Friday, as Roemer visited with his Israeli counterpart in the sukkah of the embassy in Paris, he told him he was thinking of quitting. Shama-Hacohen advised him to wait, and in a formal letter publicly thanked him for his bravery and his courage. Roemer had just arrived in Paris this summer.

The Mexican envoy is the grandson of a Viennese conductor who escaped from the Nazis and a man of many talents. He is a political analyst, an author and playwright, and has served as a consul general for Mexico in San Francisco. Distantly related to the humorist Art Buchwald, Roemer is also an attorney, an economist and the founder of a think tank. Many refer to him as a “Renaissance man.”

The resolution “runs counter to the reasons that justified [Jerusalem’s] inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list,” as the agency’s director-general, Irina Bokova herself pointed out in a statement last week. Bokova is now under double security in the wake of death threats that came in response to her remarks.

“The outstanding universal value of the City, and the reason why it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, lies in this synthesis, which is an appeal for dialogue, not confrontation,” she said. “We have a collective responsibility to strengthen this cultural and religious coexistence, by the power of acts and also by the power of words. This requirement is stronger than ever, to bridge the divisions that harm the multi-faith character of the Old City.

“When these divisions carry over into UNESCO, an Organization dedicated to dialogue and peace, they prevent us from carrying out our mission,” she added.

Even outgoing United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon stepped back from the precipice on this one, saying in a statement via his spokesperson last Friday, “ The Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram al Sharif, the sacred shrine of Muslims, is also the Har HaBayit — or Temple Mount — whose Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism, a few steps away from the Saint Sepulchre church and the Mount of Olives, which is revered by Christians… any perceived undertaking to repudiate the undeniable common reverence for these sites does not serve the interests of peace and will only feed violence and radicalism.”

His spokesperson reiterated in response to a question from a reporter, “The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls have an undeniable link to three religions: Christian, Jewish, Muslim. It includes holy sites that are revered by the followers of these three religions. Anything that is perceived as an undertaking to repudiate that fact does not serve the cause of peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mexicos-ambassador-to-unesco-fired-over-infamous-jerusalem-resolution/2016/10/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: