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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Isaac Herzog’

Netanyahu Tells Knesset Session Honoring Shimon Peres: ‘Peace Will Not Be Achieved at Futile Conferences’

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

During Monday’s special Knesset session honoring the memory of Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the peace summit that took place in Paris a day earlier, saying “peace will not be achieved by force or from above, not at futile conferences, and not by foreign dictates. It can only be achieved in direct negotiations between the sides.”

Netanyahu said that Peres, Israel’s ninth president and former prime minister who died in September at the age of 93, “spoke of a new Middle East; of a world where peace provides security. He wanted an era of rationalism, progress and tolerance between people and nations. Unfortunately, this has not come to pass.”

“The transition to the 21st century has taught us that the waves of fanaticism continue to be high, the forces of radical Islam have become stronger, and the storm they are causing is sweeping the area around us,” the PM told the session, which was held in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin and members of the Peres family. “In these circumstances it is clear – and I believe this was clear to Shimon as well – that alongside our aspirations for peace, we must constantly bolster our strength and prevent harm to our sovereignty.”

Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog called Peres “one of the greatest leaders of the Jewish people in recent generations.”

“Not necessarily because of his political leadership,” he said, “but due to his groundbreaking activities in all areas, including defense, welfare, the economy, and education. But I think that above all, Shimon Peres will be remembered in Israel’s history books as one who looked reality in the eye and rather than be deterred or try to keep it as is, he chose to change it.”

“It appears”, Herzog said in his speech, “that recently there has been a certain attempt to dim Peres’ peace doctrine; his faith in the two-state vision and [his efforts to achieve] a comprehensive peace with our Palestinian neighbors. Therefore, it is important to remember his doctrine – here and now, in this plenum. Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres marched together towards the bold act in order to preserve the Jewish nation’s one and only democratic state.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Peres dedicated much of his life, mainly as a politician and public figure, to “realizing his vision of peace between Israel and its neighbors, but, unfortunately, the public discourse on the possibility of realizing this vision, as well as the question of the heavy price many believe this would entail – myself amongst them – have turned ‘peace’ into an offensive term among a large segment of the public.”

This dispute, Speaker Edelstein stated, “continues to tear Israeli society to shreds.”

“Differences of opinion are legitimate and necessary, but not when they get out of control. Here the disagreement quickly turns to hatred, to a deep rivalry, from which the way to incitement and public shaming is short,” he said.

Edelstein said Israelis “will continue to draw strength from Peres’ actions, strength and spirit.”

JNi.Media

Majority of Israeli Leaders Condemn US Secy’s Speech

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t the only Israeli leader who was deeply offended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on Wednesday, scolding Israel for nearly an hour over its settlement policies.

Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett had harsh words in response to Mr. Kerry’s speech, saying Israel should not support the establishment of what he called “another terror state” in the heart of the country. The minister said that if it were up to him, he “wouldn’t allow it to happen.”

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud party) likewise hit back at the American diplomat, saying Mr. Kerry “lacked the proper understanding of the conflict” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Levin added that Mr. Kerry “is trying to force on us, in his last days on the job, a world view that constitutes a prize for Palestinian terror and that completely ignores our rights to the country.”

He added that a “true friend of Israel” should have shown support for the elected government.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, joined in the censure, writing in a tweet Wednesday night that the Obama Administration acted against Israel at the UN, and that “any claim to the contrary is a distortion of reality.”

The lone Israeli politician who spoke out in support of the speech was Opposition leader Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union (Labor party). He called Mr. Kerry a “great friend,” adding in a tweet that the Secretary’s speech expressed “true concern” about the well-being and future of Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Slams Obama’s Betrayal at Security Council

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an irate message following the US’ betrayal of its most loyal Middle East ally. On Friday, the US chose to abstain at a critical anti-Israel vote at the UN Security Council, for the first time since the Carter Administration in 1980. The Council passed a resolution condemning Israel’s settlements enterprise in the liberated areas of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. The vote passed with the vote of 14 of the council’s 15 members, to the sound of great applause. A veto by the US – or any of the five permanent members of the council – would have killed the resolution.

Netanyahu’s message was unabashed: “Israel rejects the anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms. At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall ‘occupied territory.

“The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it collaborated with the UN behind the scenes.

“Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.”

Indeed, the president-elect tweeted Friday evening: “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th.”

Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Netanyahu had only himself to blame for being knifed in the back as he had been, for failing to heed repeated US warnings against his increased settlement activity. “Prime Minister Netanyahu had the opportunity to pursue policies that would have led to a different outcome today,” Rhodes said.

But The Hill’s Jordan Fabian noted that Rhodes couldn’t really explain how the betrayal at the UNSC would improve the situation in the Middle East. Instead, it appears Obama just used his last chance to smack Netanyahu right where it hurt, in a final show of force, once he was free of the need to restrain himself on account of the elections.

As Rhodes put it, quite shamelessly, “There is one president at a time, [and] President Obama is the president of the United States until Jan. 20 and we are taking this action, of course, as US policy.”

In other words, we’re doing it because we can.

Netanyahu has begun to retaliate for the vote, ordering the Israeli ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal for consultation. Israel does not have diplomatic ties with the two other states that called for a vote on the resolution – Venezuela and Malaysia. The PM also canceled a scheduled visit of the Senegal’s foreign minister to Israel in retribution for its vote as a temporary UNSC member, and voided Israel’s entire aid package to that country. He also canceled the visits of the non-resident ambassadors from Senegal and New Zealand.

Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon said the US betrayed Israel, saying in a statement: “It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share – and would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) attacked President Obama, stating: “President Obama is personally responsible for this anti-Israel resolution. His diplomats secretly coordinated the vote, yet he doesn’t even have the courage of his own convictions to vote for it. This cowardly, disgraceful action cements President Obama’s richly deserved legacy as the most anti-Israel president in American history.”

Actually, Obama will probably have to fight Jimmy Carter for the title, but it’s close.

The Republican Jewish Coalition released a statement saying that “by allowing the United Nations’ anti-Israel resolution to be adopted by the Security Council, in the face of fierce bi-partisan opposition, the actions of the Obama Administration will forever be remembered as a dark, shameful moment for our country. The resolution passed today will only serve as a greater barrier to peace, which can only truly be achieved through negotiations. Instead of pressuring the Palestinians to be a partner for peace, President Obama chose to break with long-standing diplomatic practices and allowed the one-sided, anti-Israel United Nations to be used as a tool to bludgeon Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East.

“We applaud the efforts of Republican Senators, led by Senator Graham, to strip funding to the United Nations, which has time and again showed their anti-Israel bias. What happened today will forever be on the heads of the President, his Party, and groups like J Street that remained silent.”

This last part might not be such a smart move – some in Israel have pointed out that the last time the US cut its UNESCO funding it lost its influence on that vehemently anti-Semitic body, and remained unable to assist Israel when it is being attacked there. If anything, the Trump White House should enhance its involvement to be able to sway the support of the members in a desired direction.

Knesset opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) condemned the UNSC vote and Netanyahu with the same breath, stating: “This is a difficult night for Israel. I strongly oppose this harsh resolution of the UN Security Council, which is a strategic defeat for Israel.”

The far-left was giddy. Meretz Chair MK Zehava Galon said she was happy the US did not veto the resolution “against the policy of annexation and settlement and not against Israel.” She pointed out the vote was “the direct result of the law to legalize settlements, with Israel having lost all its shame and the world having lost its patience.”

The party to the right of Netanyahu’s Likud was also pleased with the vote, recognizing a rare opportunity to use the unifying anger of the vast majority of Israelis to get some positive action going. Habayit Hayehudi Chairman MK Naftali Bennett said on Saturday night that now is the time to “switch from retreat to sovereignty.” Bennett added that “thousands of terrorists the world over are watching the UN resolution, seeing it as a call to arms. This resolution is the direct outcome of the policies of Oslo, of concessions, withdrawals and splitting – and the result of our public agreement to establish a Palestinian State at the heart of our country. [This resolution] must be discarded to the trash heap of history like all its predecessors.”

“This is the time for a U-turn,” Bennett said, “It’s time to switch from retreat to sovereignty. The conclusion is that we must stop marching on the suicidal track of a Palestinian State and to impose Israeli law on Ma’aleh Adumim, the Jordan Valley, Ofra and the entire Area C, as soon as possible.”

JNi.Media

MK Begin Suspended for Voting Against Amona Regulation Act

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Coalition Chairman David Bitan (Likud) on Tuesday afternoon suspended MK Benny Begin from the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice after the latter had voted against the government-sanction Regulation Act which compels Arab claimants against Jews in Judea and Samaria to accept market value for their land.

Begin’s suspension for three weeks for defying coalition discipline was approved by Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and of Environmental Protection Ze’ev Elkin (Likud). “I used to frequently see such moves when I was coalition chairman,” Elking told Army Radio. “It’s well-known that when a coalition MK votes against the government line he knows he’s going to pay a price. This goes for every coalition MK.”

“In this instance Benny chose to vote the way he did and I’m sorry about it. I think he is wrong on the issue, but the coalition chairman’s response was unavoidable.”

MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) responded to Begin’s suspension saying, “The fact that they’re suspending Benny Begin says everything about today’s Likud. Netanyahu used Begin’s reputation as an honest man for his election, now he steps on this reputation and on the truth with is decision.”

Incidentally, rumor has it that MK Livni is preparing to jump ship from the Zionist Camp to her fifth party, Yesh Atid. Livni’s chances to win a realistic spot in the ZC primaries are not high, according to surveys.

Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog tore up the proposed law at the Knesset podium, thus following in the footsteps of his exulted grandfather, Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Isaac Herzog, in 1939 tore up the British White Book that imposed severe limitations on Jewish immigration to Palestine and on land purchase there by Jews. The MK’s father, UN Envoy Haim Herzog, in 1975 tore up the “Zionism is Racism” assembly resolution.

Their scion tore up a bill seeking to keep Jewish families on their land.

JNi.Media

Bennett Defends Netanyahu Against Leftwing Attacks as Knesset Commemorates 21st Anniversary of Rabin’s Murder

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp), on the occasion of the Knesset plenum’s commemoration of the 21st anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination (12 Heshvan 5756, November 4, 1995), pointed a finger at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, saying, “the power of violence, the poison of racism, hatred and incitement mixed with silence were fertile ground for [Rabin’s] murder… You didn’t mean it, but you didn’t prevent it, either. The next murderers may already be walking among us, and the responsibility to stop them and to do everything in order to prevent the next murder lies first and foremost with you Mr. Prime Minister.”

Jabbing at Netanyahu’s notoriously thin skin in dealing with personal attacks from the media on himself and on his wife Sara, the Zionist Camp chairman said that Rabin “didn’t think the state belongs to him. He understood the rules of the democratic game and respected them. He knew that criticism against a prime minister isn’t personal persecution.”

An angry Education Minister Naftali Bennett then decided to put away his prepared remarks and directed his speech at Herzog. “You are trying to silence half of the population and blame them,” Bennett said. “For 21 years, the Left has been trying to blame Netanyahu for the incitement. Over and over Netanyahu said we disagree, but there should be no incitement. And now you’re trying to silence him.”

“We should not blame and point fingers. [Herzog] stood here and continued doing what [the Left] has done for 21 years. There was a dispute, but not for a moment did I doubt Rabin’s good intentions, and neither did Prime Minister Netanyahu. The phenomenon of hatred of individuals exists today, and we must all fight it.”

“It’s not a matter of Right or Left,” he added, noting that Rabin’s assassin “replaced his ballot with gunpowder. He will stay in prison until his dying day, but Israeli democracy will flourish.”

“Apart from the national, personal and familial tragedy, Yitzhak Rabin’s murder, whose background was political-ideological, remains as a deep wound in the gentle fabric of Israeli society,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein told the plenum.

“The murder separated between communities and formed high and fortified walls – walls of fear, of casting blame, of casting a collective moral stain on the one hand, and a sense of rejection and alienation on the other,” Edelstein said.

Turning to listeners from the national religious community, the Knesset speaker said, “Do not boycott, do not hold a grudge forever,” and to Israelis from the Left he said: “Don’t forever view an entire sector of the public as stained… Don’t exclude an entire part of the public from being part of the memory and learning lessons.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu said the murder is “a gaping wound in the body of the nation that heals and leaves a scar for generations.”

Netanyahu argued that while Rabin was “not a rightist, he was not the total opposite either, and on issues related to the state’s security, he represented a very broad common denominator within the nation.”

The prime minister mentioned Israel’s disagreements with the American government in the 1970s and said Rabin “was undeterred and was strongly opposed to a forced solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, insisting on our security requirements and promoting the transfer of military aid to Israel.”

“Rabin sought peace and extended his hand for peace but fundamentally he understood that the establishment of peace needed to be done in a sober fashion and with responsibility,” Netanyahu said. “His insistence on security arrangements, even during his final speech, is exactly where I stand: the security arrangements to which even today the Palestinians do not agree.”

“Unfortunately, today Palestinian society continues to glorify murderers, and terror organizations announce again and again their intention to annihilate Israel. Like Rabin, we repeatedly extend our hand to them in peace and negotiations without preconditions,” Netanyahu told the plenum.

Netanyahu added that “the root of the storm sweeping the region now lies in the rise of radical Islam. Rabin frequently and explicitly named Iran as the state which fans the flames of this radicalism. He warned of Iran’s aspiration to develop a nuclear weapon, which today, through a variety of means, Israel has succeeded in preventing. He also pointed to Iran’s far-reaching aspirations to undermine the stability of our region.”

“Not much has changed since then and if it has, then it is for the worse,” the PM stated. “The Iranian regime has repeatedly stated its intention to eradicate Israel and Iran still has not abandoned its nuclear program. We will continue fighting the terror of Iran and its proxies and we will not allow it to arm itself with nuclear weapons or establish itself in Syria.”

Opposition leader Herzog addressed the election of US President Elect Donald Trump, saying that his election supposedly allows the Netanyahu government to “annex and build [at will], but actually this is the moment of truth for you (Netanyahu) and your government, for the plenum and for the entire nation… Our existential decisions are not derived from the identity of the person sitting in the White House, but from what where Jews should settle in order to preserve our Jewish and democratic home.”

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon directed her prepared comments at Netanyahu, saying: “You are not the victim of Rabin’s assassination. No one in the world gained as much from Rabin’s murder as you did. You owe your political existence to his murder.”

“I have no doubt that you didn’t want the murder to happen, but you released demons and proved that you have no problem releasing them again,” she stated. “Stop playing the victim and start taking responsibility for what you say and what your friends say.”

So, that “gaping wound in the body of the nation” is still pretty much gaping, 21 years later.

JNi.Media

Medvedev, Netanyahu, Rivlin, Discuss Bilateral Cooperation and Agricultural Innovation

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Israel on Wednesday and on Thursday held meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin. He plans to meet with opposition leader Isaac Herzog on Friday. But the Russian PM and his entourage appear to be more interested in visiting the Volcani Center in Beit Dagan, next door to Rishon L’tzion, which may be the most advanced facility in the world for agriculture research, focusing on plant sciences, animal sciences, plant protection, soil and environmental sciences, food sciences, and agricultural engineering.

On his visit there, alongside Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi), Medvedev was shown new technologies, including a robot, which should be ready for market in three years, designed for spraying agricultural fields and crops in hothouses. Also on Medvedev’s tour: a new tool for testing the sugar level in apples, to help farmers harvest their apple crops at the optimal time to fit with storage and marketing considerations. The same tool also checks the oil level of avocados and the ripeness of mango and papaya.

The Volcani tour will conclude with new sensors to monitor milk quality and output in cows, and new wheat storage solutions that protect against pests.

“I last visited Jerusalem in the 1990s, and I am glad to have an opportunity for myself and members of our delegation to visit Israel,” Medvedev told TASS on the eve of his trip.

The Russian prime minister pointed to the friendly relations between Russia and Israel that have lasted for many years, adding that, “of course, we will discuss our bilateral issues, including economic cooperation, political interaction and all kinds of international problems, which are plentiful in both this region and the entire world.”

President Rivlin noted that “Russia has always played an important role in our region,” and recalled that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Russia and Israel.

On Friday, besides meeting with Herzog, Medvedev will also visit Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and lay a wreath to the Eternal Flame there.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko told reporters on Thursday that “Russia and Israel are brought together by opposition to anti-Semitism, other manifestations of xenophobia and inter-ethnic strife. Together we stand against falsifying history, reconsidering the results of the Second World War, attempts to glorify accomplices of fascism, diminishing the decisive contribution of the Soviet Union to the victory over Nazi Germany, and denying the Holocaust.”

JNi.Media

Labor Party to Hold Rabin Memorial After Annual Event Cancelled

Monday, October 31st, 2016

The annual memorial rally to mark the anniversary of the murder of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has been canceled this year due to lack of funds.

The event, scheduled to be held in Rabin Square on Saturday night, was canceled after the organizers were unable to raise the money to pay for it.

Labor Party Chairman Isaac Herzog responded to the cancellation by saying his party would hold an event instead.

“It should be clear that the gathering has always been the responsibility of external, private entities,” Herzog said.

“But because it was the assassination of our leader, the head of the Labor Party, Yitzhak Rabin of blessed memory, we insist on holding the alternative gathering.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/labor-party-to-hold-rabin-memorial-after-annual-event-cancelled/2016/10/31/

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