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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Ministry’

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

Dore Gold Resigns as Director-General of the MFA

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Dore Gold has just resigned, citing personal reasons, according to Israeli sources.

Gold said, “I thank the Prime Minister for the trust given to me and I will continue to make myself available for any mission imposed on me in the future.
The Foreign Ministry General-Director role was a personal and professional summit in which I served on the diplomatic front.
I am grateful for the professional and dedicated employees of the Foreign Ministry, together with them we were led to Israel’s diplomatic struggles. During my service as Director-General, we had a boom in foreign relations led by the Prime Minister.
I feel proud of being a partner in this.
I wish great success to my replacement”

PM Netanyahu thanked Gold for his contributions in strengthening Israel’s political position in the world, including in Africa and the Middle East.

Gold is a close associate of Prime Minister Netanyahu and they have worked together for the past 25 years.

From 1997 to 1999, Gold served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.

From 2000, he served as the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

In May 2015, Netanyahu appointed him as Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the time Gold agreed to serve a maximum of 6 months.

He was born in 1953 in Hartford, Connecticut, in the United States, and now lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.

Jewish Press News Briefs

President Rivlin Receives New Ambassadors from India, Chile, Myanmar, Estonia, Lesotho

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

President Rivlin this morning (Wednesday) at his residence received the diplomatic credentials of new ambassadors to Israel from the India, Chile, Myanmar, Estonia, and Lesotho. Each ceremony began with the raising of the flag and the playing of the national anthem of the visiting country, included an honor guard, and – after the presentation of the credentials – the signing of the guest book, before the playing of Israel’s national anthem ‘Hatikva’.

First to present his credentials was Ambassador of India, H.E Mr. Pavan Kapoor. President Rivlin welcomed the Ambassador, his wife, and delegation and said, “The relationship between our two nations and our two states is being spoken about all over, and the cooperation between us is not only about innovation where we are trying our best to tackle problems in agriculture and water, energy, but also cyber and the need for security. I know that we can expand this cooperation and your appointment is an opportunity to look at ways we can do so. I convey my best regards to the President and Prime Minister, and I hope that the Prime Minster will be able to visit Israel and that I will be able to visit India in the coming months.”

Ambassador Kapoor thanked the President and said, “We are working to take our relationship further. We have received Israel’s help in a number of areas including defense, agriculture and water where we suffer a lot – in our country we either have droughts or floods, and we have a lot we can learn from Israel.” The Ambassador added, “We are looking forward to your visit and are working on dates for what I believe will be a landmark visit.”

President Rivlin thanked him and concluded, “The Indian and Israeli people have a lot in common, we know how to respect tradition and to be ready to learn and bring innovation to our lives for the benefit of our people and the whole world.”

Next the newly appointed Ambassador of Chile, H.E Mrs. Monica Jimenez De La Jara presented her credentials. The President welcomed her and showed her a picture of him as Speaker of the Knesset together with former President of the Chilean Senate and daughter of former Chilean president Isabel Allende taken at an international conference in Santiago. The President congratulated the Ambassador on her appointment and said, “I know that coming here from having served as Ambassador to the Vatican, you will feel at home in Jerusalem which is the center of the Holy Land. I welcome you also as a former education minister and we know that everything one can bring to our people begins with education. We are doing all we can in Israel; while 90 years ago we had only one university, now we have more than 6 universities and many colleges that are giving the opportunity to every citizen of Israel to study. We believe that the future of all people is together with education.” The President spoke of the relationship between the two governments and added, “From time to time we have some differences of opinion but we know that the relationship between our two nations and governments is strong. We can accept criticism – we do not accept boycott – but we can accept criticism.”

The Ambassador of Chile thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “I am honored to have come from the Holy See to the Holy Land. I greatly appreciate being in a country with so much university activity. We have visited the Weizmann Institute, and the Hebrew University and we have plans to visit many more. We would like to have an academic delegation from Chile to reinforce the academic and research relations.”

She added, “I have worked all my life for peace. I know the situation in the Middle East is very difficult but Chile is ready with an open hand to do all it can to advance peace.”

Next, Ambassador of Myanmar, H.E Mr. Maung Maung Lynn arrived to present his credentials. The President welcomed him, his wife and delegation and said, “Mr. Ambassador, I remember as a student in High School when the Prime Minister of your country, U Nu, came to visit Israel, and then as a soldier in the IDF I remember Israel’s first Prime Minister Ben Gurion visited your country and brought back a great appreciation for your people and your culture. We are very proud of our connection and our relationship with your people. The Foreign Ministry started the idea of MASHAV in your country, the idea of connecting with other nations through learning together and sharing our knowledge about water for example. We also know that many Jews found shelter in your country until the outbreak of war. I want to congratulate you on the recent democratic elections in your country, which make Myanmar stronger.”

Ambassador Lynn thanked the President and noted, “It is a great pleasure to be here. I am here with my family and my daughter who will study here, and we have visited much of the country.”

Next, Ambassador of Estonia, H.E Mr. Sulev Kannike presented his credentials. The President congratulated him on his appointment and said, “We appreciate the wonderful relationship between our states and governments, and we appreciate your support for Israel in the international arena on so many issues, as well as the participation of Estonia in peace keeping efforts in the region. We appreciate also the understanding of Estonia on Holocaust education in your schools and among your people. In the field of cyber we are working together, in order to keep safe people in the region, and across Europe and the world.” The President added, “Please send my special wishes to your Foreign Minister who served as Ambassador of Estonia in Israel.”

Ambassador Kannike thanked the President and said, “I am happy to convey the greetings of my President who visited Israel in 2012. Bilateral relations between Israel and Estonia are almost without problems. We understand each other very well, and this is important for us. In July next year Estonia is taking over the Presidency of the European Union and I hope this will help us improve not only our bilateral relations but also our multilateral relations. I also express my appreciation for Israel’s work in cyber security and startups – an area in which Estonia is also working hard.”

Ambassador of Lesotho, H.E Mrs. Lineo Irene Molisa-Mabusela then presented her credentials as non-resident Ambassador to Israel. President Rivlin congratulated the Ambassador on her appointment and stressed, “The relationship between our two nations is very important to us and despite any crises, we have maintained uninterrupted relations.” The President spoke of the important cooperation between the nations in the fields of agriculture and water innovation, he said, “We would like to see more of your students come to study through MASHAV especially here in Israel.” The President added, “Israel would be pleased to return to its observer status at the African Union.”

Ambassador thanked the President and said “Allow me to pass the warmest wishes of His Majesty and the people of Lesotho. We are appreciative of the wonderful relations between our two countries, and we would like to work to open new channels of communication including in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, water and many others.”

Jewish Press Staff

FM Director-General Dore Gold Thanks Norway For Blocking Payments to Jailed Arab Terrorists

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold thanked Norway on Sunday for blocking foreign aid payments that were being used to funnel funds to Arab terrorists by the Palestinian Authority.

Gold spoke with the Norwegian Ambassador Jon Hanssen-Bauer in order to express Israel’s appreciation with the decision taken by Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Bren regarding Norway’s financial contribution to the Palestinian Authority’s coffers.

Norway has made clear that under no circumstances would it contribute funds that would be transferred to support convicted terrorists and their families.

D-G Gold stated that Israel supports aid to the Palestinian Authority — as long as such aid does not incentivize terrorism.

“It is outrageous that killing Israelis has become a source of income for many in the PA,” Gold said. “This completely contradicts what peace is all about. These payments incentivize terrorism and must be stopped,” he added.

Earlier this month, Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende met with PA leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and told him that the “extensive support program” of his government, making payments to security prisoners (terrorists) in Israeli jails, is unacceptable and should stop.

The payment program was first exposed by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) watchdog organization in 2011.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/fm-director-general-dore-gold-thanks-norway-for-blocking-payments-to-jailed-arab-terrorists/2016/05/15/

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