Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, was formally appointed as the next Israel Ambassador to the UK on Tuesday. The announcement followed a meeting of the Foreign Ministry’s appointments committee on Monday.
A past deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Hong Kong, Regev also served as spokesman at the Israel Embassies in Washington DC, and in Beijing. He served as the chief spokesman for the foreign ministry upon his return from Washington, DC in 2004.
Regev immigrated to Israel from Australia in 1982 and has worked at the Foreign Ministry since 1990, but transferred to the Prime Minister’s Office on “loan” in 2007. He began serving as a prime ministerial spokesman with former PM Ehud Olmert, remaining at the post when Netanyahu entered the office in 2009.
The appointment now goes for final, formal approval to the full cabinet.
(JNi.media) Following many months of preparation and discussion, the Israeli government is expected to approve the establishment of a taskforce to fight the boycotting of Israel, Makor Rishon reported Saturday night. The taskforce will be run by Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who says he has studied the subject since joining the government.
The announcement represents a new stage in dealing with the BDS phenomenon with its various offshoots. Until now, the issue was handled by only one official at the Foreign Ministry, and sporadically by Israeli representatives around the world, who used their own judgment to tackle each case. Often, each embassy decided on its own and used its own tools in combating local boycotts.
The Foreign Ministry often complained in recent years about the lack of funding and standards for tackling the BDS challenge. There are also differing opinions within the foreign office as to the extent, if at all, to which BDS should be fought. Many think that the calls for boycott are so marginal, the very reference to them by the Israeli government plays into the hands of the BDS leaders, who question the legitimacy of Israel’s very existence.
Erdan has met in recent months with scores of organizations and individuals, inside and outside the government, in Israel and abroad, who are familiar with the BDS movement. His meetings included Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely.
It turns out that there is resistance inside the foreign office to Erdan’s plan, which is viewed as encroaching on the office’s territory. The ministry’s civil service professionals are concerned that Erdan would do more harm than good by barging into foreign scenes he may not be as familiar with as they are.
Kristin Lindow, senior vice president at Moody’s Investors Service and Moody’s lead analyst for Israel, told Forbes earlier this year that “the impact of BDS is more psychological than real so far and has had no discernible impact on Israeli trade or the broader economy.”
In fact, Lindow cautioned that “the sanctions do run the risk of hurting the Palestinian economy, which is much smaller and poorer than that of Israel, as seen in the case of SodaStream.”
An Israeli citizen has died in the Pattaya region of Thailand while traveling on Saturday to Bangkok. The circumstances are unknown at present.
The victim, whose name has not yet been released, is in his 30s. His family is in touch with the Foreign Ministry while the Israel Consulate in Bangkok makes arrangements for transport of the body back to Israel.
Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama dreamed about a “new Middle East” under the leadership of the United States. They were dead wrong.
They may have fantasized that they could make peace between Israel and Sunni Muslim states, the foremost being Saudi Arabia, but their worst nightmares did not envision such an alliance being formed in opposition to none other than the United States.
Dore Gold, director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador to the United Nations, finally spelled out on Wednesday what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has whispered for months. The Muslims and the Jews have two common problems. One is an enemy, meaning Iran, which threatens to rule an Islamic Caliphate with or without a nuclear weapon.
The other problem is the Obama administration, which is appeasing the enemy.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated several times that Israel and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in making sure that Iran does reach nuclear weapons capability. Gold went a lot farther in his message last night to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Referring to Iran, he said:
What we have is a regime on a roll that is trying to conquer the Middle East and it’s not Israel talking, that is our Sunni Arab neighbors — and you know what? I’ll use another expression – that is our Sunni Arab allies talking.
What happened to the “unshakeable bond” between the United States and Israel? It is there as long as people believe it. An era does not in a day, and American Jews will believe in that “unshakeable bond” for a long time to come because it makes them feel good.
And isn’t it President Barack Obama who is ready help arm Israel once again, after having forced it to be armed to the teeth by surrendering to many of Iran’s terms in his ObamaDeal, which Israel and the Sunni Arabs are certain is nothing more than a well-paved diplomatic road to hell?
Americans are too far away from the shores of the Middle East to feel the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran the way Jews in Israel and Muslims in the Gulf States feel it.
If Israel and its “allies” were to get it through the State Dept.’s thick skull that a nuclear-armed Iran is no less of a threat to the United States that it is to the United States, perhaps Americans would worry a bit more about Tehran and less about Mexican immigrants, homosexual marriages and Donald Trump.
Gold was upbeat, or at least tried to sound that way, about future relations between Israel and the United States in the likely event that Congress will not be able to ditch ObamaDeal.
We will find a practical way to come up with solutions to a very dangerous situation. But in the meantime we have to tell what we think about this agreement. We have to say the truth even though it’s unpleasant.
It also may be very unpleasant for President Obama amid his successor to realize that their influence in the Middle East is dwindling. President Obama was overjoyed at the Arab Spring rebellions for “democracy,” which in the Muslim Middle East means “anarchy” and which was the reality for too long a time in Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. Iraq is a lost cause.
Obama may have reached out Muslims, but he grabbed a handful of radical Islam that now threatens more than half the world.
He, like most other American politicians, assumes that Israel has no choice but to rely on the “unshakeable bond” with the United States.
A fictional Palestinian Authority village is on the throes of becoming a reality that threatens a Jewish presence next to the Talmudic-period Jewish village of Susiya and which would be a catalyst to support the blood libel that all of Israel was stolen from Arabs.
Arab Susiya, with several dozen tents and structures, has been built like a Broadway stage, complete with props that enable the Arabs to spin the yarn that it has existed for centuries but that the mean IDF is trying to destroy their ancient lifestyle.
The U.S. State Dept., the European Union and lazy and inherently biased international media have swallowed the tale that is chock full of romanticism and anti-Zionism.
The southern Hebron Hills until recent years was a forgotten rural region. Archaeological evidence clearly proves that Jews lived in Biblical and Talmudic times until as late as the 9th century, coinciding with the birth and rise of Islam.
Modern aerial photographs and academic researchers have categorically established that Arabs never lived in Susiya, but the world prefers to believe starry-eyed fairy tales that Jews are land thieves.
For centuries, only a few thousand Arabs populated the relatively vast southern Hebron Hills. Other Arabs came from the Hebron area to stay in caves for two months during the season for planting and reaping wheat or to grave sheep and goats.
Other than that, they were never to be seen because their homes were elsewhere.
All of that changed soon after the early 1980s when the Jews returned after 1,500 years.
The presence of Jews in the southern Hebron Hills woke up the Arab neglect of the region, where the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate and the Jordanian occupation after the War for Independence in 1948 never issued a solitary deed of land ownership.
Yasser Arafat in Ramallah and Arabs in Hebron started getting antsy about the Jews moving into a strategic area from which Arabs staged several deadly terrorist attacks before the Six-Day War in 1967, but they had a problem. Arabs did not want to move from the urban areas of Hebron and adjacent Halhoul and Yatta and into the mountain desert where the biggest crop is rocks.
The European Union and leftist organizations came to the rescue. They pay Arabs to live in the region and to claim that their families have done so for centuries.
B’Tselem, the EU and other pro-Arab group built structures for Arabs, gave them tents, solar power and water purification systems.
They have built new villages that never existed before, dotting the hillsides with a nearly contiguous presence trumpeted with a fictitious “historical claim.” For the record, the Jews have an older historical claim, as evidenced by the ancient synagogues in Susiya and in neighboring Samoa.
The focus of the creation of this lie has been Susiya, the largest Jewish community in the area, although less than 200 families live there. It is located several hundred yards from the Talmudic=period village, which is protected as a natural park.
The European Union and leftist groups have invested tens of thousands of dollars to bring Arabs to the narrow stretch of land separating modern and ancient Susiya. The IDF, with the approval of the Supreme Court, has issued demolition orders for some – but not all – of the illegal Arabs structures.
Most of them exist with the classic Bedouin and Arab ruse of cement buildings covered by tents to give the romantic impression they are inhabited by a group of Arabs whose love for the land is greater than the temptations to live a life of convenience in the city.
Their love for money and the love for hating Zionists are even greater.
The EU and leftists fund the Arabs to allow them to live through cold, windy and sometimes snowy winters, as well as the hot and sultry days of summer.
There are aerial photographs from two decades ago showing that not one Arab lived in Susiya, but the European Union is giving away free tickets to a play that is being billed as reality.
It has all of the elements that the anti-Israel establishment needs to beat their breasts and berate Israel for being so cruel as to destroy the lifestyle of Arabs and expel them from their ancient lifestyle, which in truth dates back to approximately 10 years.
The spokesman for the fake Arab Susiya is Nasser Nawaja, the author of today’s fiction presented as “opinion” by The New York Times. He wrote, and is quoted over and over by dummy journalists, that his mother was born in Khirbet Susiya.
And I was born in Antarctica, and you, dear reader, were born in Saudi Arabia.
Nawaja makes his living as a paid servant for B’Tselem and the European Union and whose job is to dupe the United States to adopt the illusion on which is based the Palestinian Authority claim to the rest of Judea and Samaria as well as all of Israel.
The oft-documented reports that the Palestinian Authority teaches that Haifa and Jaffa (Yafo) are part of “ancient Palestine” always were laughable and ridiculous, so thought the Israel government.
It now has woken up, years too late, and Foreign Minister spokesman Emmanuel Nachson shared with The JewishPress.com a directive it issued to its emissaries around the world to put a finger in the dike to stop the flood of fabrications.
Unfortunately, the Foreign Ministry is using logic, which is of no use, and rests its case on “long-standing agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including the Oslo agreements,” which no longer are a reference point for anything except for a study of idiocy.
The Foreign Ministry also told its foreign staff:
These clusters of structures… were built illegally and adjacent to an ancient Jewish archeological site.
Contrary to Palestinian claims that these structures have been permanently inhabited for decades, in fact, only a handful of families resided there in the 1980s and they only used the structures on a seasonal basis….
On 4 May 2015, the Supreme Court declined to issue another temporary injunction preventing demolitions.
The government is not taking to heart Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely’s advice to emissaries when she took office two months ago and said that the world needs to be reminded that Israel – all of Israel – belong to Jews by Biblical birthright. Anyone who does not agree can take his complaint to God.
The European Union the United Nations and especially the Obama administration do not care about the logic of legal or illegal buildings because they have adopted the entire Palestinian Authority hate libel that Israel is an “occupier” and that Jews have no right to live where Arabs want to live.
This has nothing to do with the “West Bank.” It has to do with all of Israel.
The “government of Tel Aviv” has closed its eyes for decades to the Bedouin and Arab rape of the Negev, well inside the “Green Line.” The squatters, many of whom have been imported from Judea and Samaria, have stolen tens of thousands of acres of state land – their “ancient land” – and the government has done nothing except to pay them to procreate their population bomb by winking an eye at polygamy and doling out outrageous child benefits.
“Arab Susiya” will be Israel’s Waterloo if it falls to international ignorance, in which the State Dept. has a stake.
When Indian reporter Goyal Raghubir, supposedly one of the better journalists covering Foggy Bottom, asked State Dept. spokesman John Kirby last week if he has “a reaction to reports that Israel may demolish part of a village called Susiya in the West Bank for expanding settlements,” the spokesman was ready with a prepared answer:
We’re closely following developments in the village of Susiya in the West Bank, and we strongly urge the Israeli authorities to refrain from carrying out any demolitions in the village. Demolition of this Palestinian village or of parts of it, and evictions of Palestinians from their homes would be harmful and provocative. Such actions have an impact beyond those individuals and families who are evicted. We are concerned that the demolition of this village may worsen the atmosphere for a peaceful resolution.
A “peaceful resolution” in the eyes of the Palestinian Authority, the European Union and the Obama administration is the expulsion of every Jew from all of Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and half of Jerusalem.
The “peaceful resolution” is build on the foundation of the lies of the “Palestinian people” and of Israel as “ancient Palestine.”
The international community has hidden its inherent anti-Semitism under propaganda spewed out as the truth by such groups as B’Tselem and Rabbis for Human Rights, who hand out to the media a perfume bottle full of a poisonous potion.
The Palestinian Authority-based Ma’an News Agency, one of the foreign media’s favorite sources for lies, told its readers last week that “Susiya villagers reportedly built homes in 1986 on agricultural land they owned, after being evicted by Israel from their previous dwellings on land declared as an archaeological site.”
I have been living in this area since 1991 and frequently visited the archaeological site of Susiya. There never was a single structure in “Arab Susiya” until the late 1990s.
The State Dept. will not believe me. The European Union will not believe me. The United Nations will not believe me.
It is not because I am an “occupier;” it is not because I am a “settler'” and it is not because they care about Arabs, or “Palestinians.”
“Mr. Bean” has the answer in his portrayal of someone at the entrance to Hell, where the devil tells the Christians, “Yes, I am sorry. I am afraid the Jews were right,”
The world cannot admit it, and that is why it adopts the lie of an “Arab Susiya.”
Israel finally has an honest religious Zionist as acting Foreign Minister.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has changed protocol for foreign dignities who now will be asked to visit the Western Wall (Kotel) as well as Yad VaShem and Mt Herzl Cemetery.
The new protocol is at least the second major change she has introduced into the Foreign Ministry since her appointment by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
When she took office, she met with Foreign Ministry officials and gave them a short sermon on Torah – “Dvar Torah” in Hebrew – and instructed them to made the Jewish People’s Biblical right to Israel as part of the “Hasbara” public relations program.
Now she wants foreign dignities to understand that official visits to Jerusalem sites should not be limited to the sadness identified with the military cemetery and the Holocaust Memorial.
Hotovely told the new head of the “Ceremonies Branch”” of the ministry to include the Kotel as part of the itinerary for foreign dignitaries, Yediot Acharonot reported.
In my eyes, the fact that the Kotel will become part of official visits of foreign dignitaries in Israel is a meaningful statement that strengthens the position of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
This visit will take dignitaries from the ethos and sentiment of Yad VaShem, which deals with the catastrophe of the Holocaust, to the positive character of the Kotel that speaks of deep roots of the city.
This will change the view of visits from 100 years of Zionism to 3,000 years of Zionism.
Hotovely she has taken into account that there will be some dignities who will refuse to visit the Western Wall because they consider it part of “disputed territories,” depending on the visitor’s political agenda.
Barack Obama anxiously visited the Kotel when he was campaigning for president in 2008. In his last visit to Israel, he refused to come near to the holy site and instead opted for Tel Aviv.
“If there are those who refuse to visit, we will try to convince them to do so, but the change is that until now, visiting the Kotel was not even a priority in the Foreign Ministry.
She added that she will not object if dignities condition their visits to the Western Wall on their being able to go to the Temple Mount, presumably to visit mosques and not to utter forbidden non-Muslim prayers, or to the Holy Church of the Sepulchre.
The first foreign dignitary to come under the new protocol will be Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who will be met at Ben Gurion Airport next week by Hotovely. She will escort him to the Kotel.
Hotovely’s innovations – a Dvar Torah and now visits to the Kotel – are brilliant if not simple moves that should have been part of policy from Day One of the modern State of Israel.
The beauty in the changes is that leftist and pluralistic politicians and media cannot easily oppose them.
They may not like including a bit of Torah in Israel’s explanations to the international community, but how can they be against it without saying that the Torah should not an official part of Israel?
They may not like her including the Western Wall as a part of the protocol for vesting dignities, but as Hotovely said, the Western Wall is part of the Israeli consensus.
Hotovely’s real innovation is that her observance of Judaism is above politics, exactly what has been lacking in Israeli governments.