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October 21, 2016 / 19 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Ministry’

Analysis: Turkey Toning Down Hopes for Reconciliation With Israel

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

It appears that, like Israel, Turkey’s government is working to reduce expectations of a reconciliation between Ankara and Israel, just as Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has in Jerusalem.

The Ankara edition of ‘Today’s Zaman’ published an article Monday headlined: ‘Turkey FM says Israel wanted Erdogan ousted from power, put off deal.”

From the very first paragraph, the article laid the blame for any failure of reconciliation talks at Israel’s doorstep – as Turkey has consistently to this point.

“Turkey’s top diplomat has claimed that Israel has been cold to rapprochement with Turkey because of raised expectations about Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan being ousted from power,” the paper reported.

“Briefing lawmakers in Parliament last Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the framework agreement with Israel was already in place several years ago, saying his government has been in talks with the Israeli side on the same issues that were reported today. ‘In fact, there was a main agreement in place on all these issues, but why was Israel not approaching to [finalize the deal]?” he asked, adding that Israel has been waiting on the departure of Erdogan from power…’”

The foreign minister repeated Turkey’s conditions for the normalization of ties, which include the payment of compensation over the deaths of those who died in the 2010 Mavi Marmara debacle.

What is interesting and new is the position allegedly expressed by Cavusoglu, that Turkey insists on ‘lifting the Israeli embargo on Gaza (the use of language here, as with all diplomatic issues, is very important) and that “Turkey wants to help Gaza residents, including providing electricity to the strip.”

According to Today’s Zaman “the Turkish government’s priority is on lifting the embargo rather than the blockade and hopes to channel development assistance to rebuild Gaza.” (ed.-italics added)

This is the first time Turkey has changed its demand for Israel to drop its blockade of Gaza and instead moved to a request to lift the ’embargo,’ adding a suggestion that it be able to aid in supplying electricity to the enclave.

Despite Ankara’s leanings towards the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey nevertheless might prove helpful in preventing Hamas from stealing the construction supplies that now go missing to rebuild military infrastructure rather than residential neighborhoods.

On the other hand, one must question whether Turkey is hoping to play a role in Gaza in order to establish a presence in the face of another recently-demoted former ally, Egypt. Israel has in the meanwhile strengthened its relations with Cairo, which has increasingly lost patience with Turkey’s foster son, Hamas.

Cavusoglu also revealed that Israeli officials have expressed concern Turkey would continue its public criticisms after a deal is finalized.

“If Israel continues to implement these policies, including illegal settlements and attacks on Palestine, then we’ll naturally criticize; we are very clear and open about this,” the Turkish foreign minister was quoted as saying.

And herein lies one of the problems: Turkey seems to feel free to interfere in the internal domestic national security issues of other sovereign nations but takes great umbrage when others do the same.

For instance, Ankara has no problem taking on the role of advocate for Hamas, the terrorist organization spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood that rules Gaza, and which has been responsible for countless mained, wounded and dead in Israel. Turkey even welcomed Hamas to establish its international headquarters in Istanbul.

But were another sovereign nation to take the same stance on behalf of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), the internationally-recognized terrorist group located in Turkey’s southeastern sector, one wonders how Ankara would respond.

Somehow, Turkey fails to see the parallel.

Negotiators from Ankara and Jerusalem are once more trying to work out a way to regain the relationship the former allies once enjoyed. It has been mutually rewarding and is now needed by both as the region faces an impending onslaught by the hordes of Da’esh (ISIS).

Hana Levi Julian

Hotovely Revamps Foreign Office Training Adding Right-Wing Teachers, Jewish Studies

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

(JNi.media) The days of Israeli Diplomats siding with the Palestinian Authority’s cause, or embarrassing themselves with their lack of familiarity with the Jewish prayer book, are over. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) and Ministry Director-General Dr. Dore Gold have altered the new course for diplomatic cadets starting Sunday at the College of Statesmanship in Jerusalem, with changes including compulsory tours in Judea and Samaria, lectures from faculty who are affiliated with the right side of the political spectrum, Jewish studies, and a class on the justification for Jewish settlements in regard to international law, Israel Hayom reported.

Hotovely said that she added several educational topics to the training course, primarily helping Israel’s future diplomats to acquire tools to deal with contemporary issues challenging Israeli information dissemination, including knowledge of international law regarding the legality of Jewish settlements, knowledge of the laws of war in light of Israel’s struggle against terrorism, and defending Israel in debates of ethics and warfare.

In a recent Facebook post, Hotovely reported on a lecture she had delivered at the College of Statesmanship, on the topic of An Ethical Foreign Policy, revealing “things that not everybody knows about Israel’s foreign affairs, because they don’t receive media exposure.”

“Israel is a beacon of science and technology development for large parts of the world. World powers such as India and Japan, and other countries in the East and in the rest of the world, see Israel as a trailblazer in providing solutions to 21st century problems,” Hotovely said, adding that, “in meetings with officials of all countries, the themes that emerge are Israeli developments in medicine, agriculture, water infrastructure, technology, and security.”

“Israel’s shop window displays more and more contribution to humanity,” Hotovely noted in her lecture. “The best propaganda is the economic value of Israel alongside strengthening the moral prowess of Israel in the world. It is important to recognize and understand this aspect of Israel’s foreign policy.”

Pundits and politicians on the right have complained for years that the training course for diplomatic cadets conducted by the Foreign Ministry has had a leftist bias, and that the way to change it is by changing the teaching staff. But Foreign Ministry senior officials told Israel Hayom they consider the claims “absurd,” noting that the course does offer tours of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. They called the news about the revamping “a spin on Hotovely’s part.”

However, an examination of the changes show at least a refreshing of the existing program, if not something more radical: there will be a tour of the City of David, near the Temple Mount, guided by David Be’eri, one of the heads of the Jewish community there; a tour of the Jordan Valley with Major General (Res) Uzi Dayan; and a guided observation of the city of Sh’chem with Benny Katzover, one of the leaders of Jewish settlement in Samaria. Also, the course will include a visit to the Barkan industrial park, to witness first hand the reality of Arabs working side by side with Israelis. And the cadets will receive a series of lectures on the subject of tikkun olam and Judaism’s universal message.


Only 0.3% of Yearly Visitors to Temple Mount Are Jews

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Only 12.000 entries by Jews to the Temple Mount were recorded last year, compared with nearly 4,000,000 for Muslims, according to statistic provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

That comes out to 0.3 percent.

There also were approximately 200,000 entries by Christians.

So what is this business about the Jews taking over the Temple Mount?

Even if police were to allow more Jews to ascend the holy site, the numbers would not increase significantly. The Chief Rabbinate forbids entry to the holy site for reasons of Jewish law concerning impurity since the destruction of the Second Temple.

An increasing number of rabbis permit entry to certain areas, but the number of Jews who have an interest in visiting the Temple Mount, where there is no visible sign of the Temples, remains tiny.

The most noise from Jews on the Temple Mount has been created by those who have to remain silent because they are forbidden to pray out loud.

Police enforce the restriction placed by the Muslim authority on the site, even though it contradicts the principle of freedom of worship.

Thoughts are allowed, at least for now.

The Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty specifically cites the freedom of access to all people to holy sites and even implies that prayer is allowed. However, the “status quo” accepted by Israel shortly after the Six-Day War honors the Muslim limitations.

The Foreign Ministry stated:

The status quo protects the right of Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount, as well as the freedom of all people, whether Muslims, Christians, Jews or others, to visit the Mount. Visits

The recent series of attacks against Israelis is the direct result of incitement by radical Islamist and terrorist elements … [and] includes the spread of false claims against Israel, in particular regarding the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority, including its chairman Mahmoud Abbas, are using inflammatory Islamic rhetoric to spread false and malicious claims against Israel, and treat those who engage in the murder of Israelis as heroes…..

Radical Islamists are bringing explosive devices, Molotov cocktails and other weaponry onto the Temple Mount, thus deliberately desecrating, damaging and endangering the holy site and turning it into a battle field.

The militarization of a site revered by all should be universally condemned. The aim of these elements is to change the status quo and to prevent visits by non-Muslims on the Mount.

Israel has guaranteed freedom to Christians and Muslims to visit all of their holly sites in Judea and Samaria and areas of Jerusalem that were under Jordanian occupation until the Six-Day War in 1967.

Jordan did not allow Jews and Christians to visit their holy sites, except in rare circumstances when a foreign Christian leader traveled to Israel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Good Jewish Boy from Israel Tries to Join the ISIS

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

A Foreign Ministry statement Tuesday that an Israeli Jew has been returned home after trying to join the Islamic State (ISIS) leaves too many questions unanswered.

The facts that are known are simple: Turkish officials, despite far from loving relations with Israel, helped nab the 21-year-old man and return him home.

The family of the unidentified youth called the Foreign Ministry last week after their son flew to Crete as a stopover before traveling to Syria, where he would have violated Israeli law by setting foot in the territory of a declared enemy state.

That’s it. Happy ending, except perhaps for the youth.

As for Turkey, it is not surprising that it cooperated because it hates the ISIS much more than it hates Israel.

And now for the unanswered questions:

Is this young man a psychiatric case? Or does he simply live in a movie, albeit a horror film?

Did the ISIS have contact with him? Did the man promise to convert to Islam? Or has he? Did the ISIS plan to show him off as a Jew having found Allah?

Did he want to chop off peoples’ heads? Was he looking for sex slaves?

Did the 21-year-old man serve in the IDF? Is he angry at Israel as an “occupier?

Foreign Ministry spokesman told The Jewish Press Tuesday:

There is nothing to add to what we already have stated.

Our heartfelt concern goes out to the youth’s family, and may no other Jewish family know such sorrow.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Netanyahu Spokesman Officially Appointed Ambassador to England

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

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.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Govt to Establish Anti BDS Taskforce

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

(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.”


Body of Missing Israeli Found in Georgia

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

The body of Dor Cohen was located in Georgia over the weekend by search and rescue team dispatched by the Israeli Harel insurance company.

The missing Israeli back packer had been out of touch for at least four days, and a search was launched by ground crews and by air.

Cohen’s family was notified when his body was found, and the insurance firm is now working together with the Foreign Ministry to repatriate the remains by air back to Israel.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/body-of-missing-israeli-found-in-georgia/2015/08/02/

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