Prime Minister Netanyahu congratulates one of the newly graduated Israeli Air Force pilots at the Hatzerim Air Base in the Negev on June 25, 2015.
Posts Tagged ‘Netanyahu’
Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett called on the world to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in speech to the annual Herzliya Conference on Sunday.
Israel annexed the strategic and water-rich Golan in 1981, but many foreign media articles are preceded with the dateline “Golan Heights, Occupied Territories.”
Bennett’s initiative might be the first small step towards what is going to be an eventual reality. As Syria falls apart, the idea of handing over the Golan to Bashar Al-Assad doesn’t even enter the imagination of Secretary of State John Kerry.
However, Bennett’s call for recognition was welcomed with a resounding thud by foreign media, such as AFP, whose first words in its report were “Far-right Israeli minister.” The description is outlandish, if not libelous, unless the same news agency were to call Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog “far-left.”
Bennett said yesterday:
I call on the international community… to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan…. I understand that there is a disagreement on Judaea and Samaria, what the world calls the West Bank. I understand that on this we shall agree to disagree.
But the Golan, to ban agricultural exports from the Golan? Where is the logic, where is your morality? Who would you like us to give the Golan Heights to? To Assad? To Al-Nusra Front? To the Islamic State group? To Hezbollah?
There is a consensus among Israelis that the Golan Heights should remain in Israel. The 20,000 Jews in the Golan Heights make up 50 percent of the population, the other half being Druze, approximately half of whom live in the city of Majdal Shams.
Prime Minister Netanyahu took the air out of Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi party, which in the early stages of the election was polled to win 16 seats in the Knesset. By Election Day, the number was down to 12, the same it had in the previous government.
The day after the election, Netanyahu’s frantic call for Jews to vote had reduced the party’s strength to eight.
Bennett is not making the mistake of previous nationals religious parties to become a party of “Yesha,” the acronym for the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria.
He is trying to shed the party of the stigma that nationalists must be religious. Secular Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked was at the top of the heap in the elections and won the prize of Justice Minister.
Now Bennett needs even broader support in Israel to strengthen his position in the government, and his call on the world to recognize the Golan was more for local consumption than any expectation that the United Nations or even the Obama administration will admit to the truth.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting with the usual warning that “Israel holds Hamas responsible for all firing from Gaza” but also jabbed the world for remaining silent.
The Prime Minister said:
I have not heard anyone in the international community condemn this firing; neither has the United Nations said a word. It will be interesting if this silence continues when we use our full strength to uphold our right to defend ourselves.
Let it be clear: The spreading hypocrisy in the world will not tie our hands and prevent us from protecting Israel’s citizens. Thus we have acted; thus we will act.
Turning to the BDS movement, Prime Minister Netanyahu noted, “We are in the midst of is establishing an offensive, first of all offensive, but also defensive, network in the face of attempts to boycott the State of Israel and harm the IDF’s right to defend the citizens of the country. As far as those pushing the boycotts are concerned, the settlements in Judea and Samaria are not the focus of the conflict, but our settling in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Be’er Sheva, Haifa and – of course – Jerusalem.
Netanyahu also had a message for the “peace process” promoters: While we call for a resumption of the diplomatic negotiations, the Palestinians are taking steps against us at the UN and at the international court in The Hague. They shun negotiations and at the same time are also pushing international sanctions and UN Security Council decisions against us because there are no negotiations. They ran from Barak, Sharon and Olmert, they ran from them all, and then they accuse us. Here as well their cynicism knows no bounds, and I regret that there are those who fall into this trap of organized hypocrisy.
Could he possibly be referring to President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry?
President Barack Obama used Israeli television Tuesday night to accelerate his campaign to make Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu look like an illegitimate leader
The President established his credentials for a thorough knowledge and understanding of Israel. Afar all, he said, “When I’ve visited Israel, when I was in Sderot, talking to families who had seen missiles crash through their living rooms; when I was with young people in Jerusalem and talking to them about the possibilities of peace, the reception was incredibly warm.”
He then provided evidence that he knows and understands “the very moral imperatives that led to the founding of Israel — the belief that all of us share a basic humanity and dignity and rights that make it important for us to speak out against anti-Semitism.”
So much for Theodore Herzl and Zionism.
President Obama then went to the heart of his criticism of Netanyahu’s leadership in Israel, but he inadvertently exposed his administration as a wholesale failure without his questioner taking note.
Referring to the dangers of security to Israel, he noted “the incredible tumult and chaos that’s taking place in the Middle East, the hope of the Arab Spring that turned into the disasters of places like Syria, the rise of ISIL, the continuing expressions of anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli settlement [sentiment] in so much of the Arab world, the rockets coming in from Gaza, the buildup of arms by Hezbollah.
And which country and which president of the same country encouraged the Arab Spring without the ability to see beyond tomorrow, because of ignorance of the Middle East? The United States and President Barack Obama.
And which country and which president encouraged Israel to exercise “restraint” and not respond “disproportionately” when Hamas and Hezbollah tried to destroy the country? Same answer.
But the heart of Obama’s creed is “two states,” which he stills dreams is a “solution.” He blamed Prime Minister Netanyahu for “so many conditions” for “two states” “that it is not realistic to think that those conditions would be met any time in the near future.”
His clincher is that since the peace process is a dead duck, Israel is to be blamed and will be deemed illegitimate:
And so the danger here is that Israel as a whole loses credibility.
Already, the international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution.
His statements represent a huge collapse of his former promises the United States would not impose conditions on Israel. President Obama always has promised that Israel should be guaranteed security and should remain Jewish, but now he is defining what those terms mean.
Netanyahu’s concerns for security are not Obama’s, and therefore the Prime Minister’s conditions are not “practical.”
The President did not utter one word about the Palestinian Authority, not about Mahmoud Abbas’ corrupt regime that he heads seven years after his term of office has expired, and not about Abbas’ refusal to talk with Israel except on his own condition of “all or nothing.”
President Obama used to criticize the Palestinian Authority for ditching the Oslo Accords and going to the United Nations for recognition, but he indicated in the interview last night that he might tacitly support the move.
But the practical consequence that I refer to — let’s be very specific — if there are additional resolutions introduced in the United Nations, up until this point, we have pushed away against European efforts, for example, or other efforts because we’ve said, the only way this gets resolved is if the two parties work together….
Iin fact, there’s no prospect of an actual peace process, if nobody believes there’s a peace process, then it becomes more difficult to argue with those who are concerned about settlement construction, those who are concerned about the current situation– it’s more difficult for me to say to them, be patient and wait because we have a process here — because all they need to do is to point to the statements that have been made saying there is no process.
But Obama says Israel has his back.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tore into British students Wednesday for joining the Boycott Israel movement, while a British official tried to cover up a government boycott action by promising a “commitment” to trade with Israel.
The National Union of Students in Britain voted Tuesday to join the BDS movement to boycott Israel. The move has little practical effect but is an important propaganda victory for the Boycott Israel movement.
The British government, along with France and several other countries, also have boycotted Israel by banning companies in their countries from staging an exhibition at this week’s seventh annual Israel Defense Expo in Tel Aviv.
Rob Dixon, Britain’s Deputy Ambassador to Israel, ignored the ban at the exhibition, as if it didn’t happen, and assured Israel on Wednesday that his government is against BDS and is “committed to advancing trade links” with Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, during a meeting with visiting Canadian Foreign Minister Robert Nicholson, chastised the British students Union for joining BDS and said:
They condemn Israel and do not condemn ISIS; they condemn themselves.
Israel has an exemplary democracy. We have academic freedom, press freedom, human rights. ISIS tramples human rights to the dust. It burns people alive in cages and the national student groups in Britain refuse to boycott ISIS and have boycotted Israel. It tells you everything you want to know about the BDS movement.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called US Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday night and expressed condolences on behalf of himself, his wife Sara and the people of Israel on the passing of Beau Biden this past Saturday.
The Prime Minister told Biden that he recalled the pride with which the latter – during their 20 years of friendship – would tell him about Beau and about the deep bond between them. He said that he offered his support and that of the people of Israel at this difficult time, and sent his condolences.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Israelis Tuesday in an interview aired on Channel 2 television that the US-brokered deal with Tehran will “pave the way for Iran to atom bombs.”
Speaking at Home Front Command headquarters during the week-long “Turning Point” nationwide military defense drill, Netanyahu said challenges from the rising risks of imminent attacks are “piling up.”
The threat of rocket and missile fire has hung over Israel for decades. Most of the weapons have been supplied to the terror organizations by Iran, both north and south of the border.
“When speaking of the security of the citizens of Israel I rely first and foremost on us only. Proof of the wisdom of this is the agreement emerging between the world powers and Iran,” said the prime minister. He pointed out that the deal would inject billions of dollars into the Iranian economy, in addition to “paving the way for Iran to atom bombs.”
With the funds it receives, Iran “can continue to arm our enemies with high trajectory weapons and other arms, while also arming its own war and terror machine which is acting against us and the Middle East, and which is much more dangerous than the Da’esh (ISIS) terror machine, which is also dangerous,” Netanyahu said.
U.S. President Barack Obama is slated to present his case for the deal with Iran on Israel’s Channel 2 television later in the evening on Tuesday night.